Masons in Mitchell, South Dakota came together to demonstrate what it is that we do best. I’m not talking about Ritual Work, or fillling the lapels of our coats with Masonic bling- I’m taking about Masonic Charity. On Christmas Day, Masons from Mitchell Masonic Lodge and the Corn Palace Shrine Club gathered at the Mitchell Masonic Temple and served upwards of 650 meals! This is the 16th year of this local tradition, and More Light In Masonry wanted to shine a Light of appreciation and recognition for those devoted Brethren… OUR Brethren from Mitchell, SD and surrounding areas. Keep up the good work Brothers- you are an inspiration to us all!
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“The spirit of giving was on full display on Sunday.
Smiling faces filled the Masonic Temple in Mitchell on Christmas Day as a record 650 meals were served during the annual Community Christmas Day Dinner.
It was the 16th year the Mitchell Masonic Lodge, Corn Palace Shrine Club and approximately 100 volunteers teamed up to provide the free feast, and despite wet and windy weather, one event organizer was overjoyed with the record turnout.
“I was a little nervous today,” said lodge member and event organizer Troy Magnuson. “When it was icy and I got here and I slid in the back door, I’m like ‘Uh oh, this isn’t going to be good, what am I going to do with all this food?'”
Despite his early concerns, Magnuson said organizers began running low on food as the event came to a close.
The free holiday offering has provided hundreds with meals over the course of 16 years, and this Christmas was no exception. Jovial volunteers served a long line of hungry guests ready for their helping of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing and several other items.
And the wintry weather didn’t deter folks from coming out.
While layers of ice covered the ground and winds swept through Mitchell, Magnuson speculated the fact Christmas fell on a Sunday may have boosted turnout. But he said it’s challenging to predict how many guests will grab a bite at the Masonic Lodge each year.
As it turns out, this year would have a higher turnout than any other, easily besting last year’s mark of approximately 500 meals served.
But the free lunch isn’t about the meal, Magnuson said, it’s about camaraderie and lifting community spirit.
“This thing is awesome,” Magnuson said. “I saw some people that I know are homeless here, I saw some people that are millionaires here, I saw some people that are from all walks of life, and we firmly believe that nobody should be alone on Christmas Day. That’s why we do this.”
And Magnuson couldn’t let the day come to a close without thanking those who made the event possible.
“The community support has been awesome, the support from the lodge brothers as well, and the Shrine Club members have been awesome,” Magnuson said.”