Masons of Tulare’s Olive Branch Masonic Lodge, the oldest active fraternal organization in the city of Tulare, held their 14th Annual Public Schools Night Patriotism Essay Contest on April 26. The Lodge sponsors the event each year for the entire fifth-grade classes within the Tulare City School District, supplying all of the prizes for the students, as well as hosting a dinner for all of the school Sweepstakes winners, their families, and school administration officials.
The topic for the 150 words or less essays are on patriotism, a quality firmly believed in and strongly held for all Masons throughout the world. For each fifth-grade class, the teachers select first, second and third place winners, who receive ribbons. An overall sweepstakes winner for each school is picked from the individual class winner. The sweepstakes winner receives a trophy and advances to the Tulare City School District contest.
At the dinner, each school winner presented their patriotism essay, and two overall City Schools sweepstakes winners were chosen. The two students received a trophy and a new bicycle.
The school winners are: Athyna Stinson –Wilson; Dagene Smith –Pleasant; Salma Guzman –Mulcahy; Preston Tjandra –Mission Valley; Priscilla Mejia Flores –Maple; Samanta Garcia –Lincoln; Angelica Apolong –Kohn; Aricel Martin-Lomeli –Heritage; Cole Sappington –Garden; Mary Jose Sanchez Elias –Cypress; and London Jones –Alpine Vista. The two city school district winners are Angelica Apolong –Kohn and Dagene Smith –Pleasant.
“It is an event we look forward to hosting every year,” explained Chris Harrell, Master of Tulare’s Masonic Lodge. “All of the students write very beautiful and meaningful essays, and we as a Lodge are proud to sponsor this annual event for them.
“The Masonic fraternity is dedicated to learning to better oneself through self-improvement. We feel that every person may, by self-improvement, achieve whatever success hard work and dedication might bring. And patriotism has always been an important aspect of our work as Masons.”
April is known as Public Schools Month throughout the state of California. Masons have openly supported the nation’s public schools system from its inception and continues to promote the continued high standards of our public schools. Masons sponsored the first Public Schools Week observance in 1920.