Annual Pilgrimage to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Did you know that the Odd Fellows is the only fraternal group allowed to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery? It was by an act of Congress when former President Franklin D. Roosevelt, an Odd Fellow, requested a law be set in place so that the Odd Fellows would be able to hold this historic event.
The event annual event held on the first Sunday in May. CLICK HERE for more info.
Annual Rose Parade Float
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have participated in the Rose Parade since 1908, continuously since 1955. The float is a work of art which is viewed by nearly a million people locally in Southern California and is televised to more than 70 million international viewers.
For photos and videos of past Odd Fellow – Rebekah Rose floats click below.
The EDUCATIONAL FOUNDATION of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows began its operation on September 20, 1927. The purpose of the Foundation is to operate a revolving loan fund for qualified students dependent in part, or wholly, on their own efforts for an education, and to award scholarships to students based on scholarship, leadership and financial need. Since the beginning of the Foundation, donations of approximately $3,500,000 have made it possible for over 3,500 young people to receive student low interest loans amounting to over $6,800,000, and hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship awards.
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An orphanage project named “Odd Fellow Village” was introduced at the 2003 Sessions of The Sovereign Grand Lodge in Halifax, Nova Scotia by then incoming Sovereign Grand Master, Henry “Hank” Dupray and adopted.
The village consists of 15 family homes, a social centre, a medical facility and kindergarten facility that houses approximately 150 orphaned and AIDS affected children ages 0-12. The village is a joint project in conjunction with SOS Children’s Villages International is in Battambang in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
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Living Legacy Program
The living legacy program was the idea of the Sovereign Grand Master Wilson D. Berkey, who in 1989 noticed many dead trees in the jurisdiction that he was visiting which aroused his concern for global tree loss. He commissioned this worthy project as “The Living Legacy Program” of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His untimely passing in March 1990 caused the program to become his own “Living Memorial” for his untiring work for Odd Fellowship!
You will be surprised how easy it is to donate and plant a tree!
To date, Oddfellows are responsible for planting 8 million trees worldwide.
Arthritis Advisory Board
Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have actively supported the Arthritis Foundation since 1986, embracing the opportunity to have a role in the search for a cure for arthritis by volunteering time, donating money and devoting efforts at the local, state and national levels. Contributions have allowed the Arthritis Foundation to sponsor research that has resulted in major treatment advances for most arthritis conditions. Over 5 million dollars have been raised and contributed over the last 15 years.
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Pilgrimage for Youth
Since 1949 the Odd Fellows and Rebekahs have offered this grand opportunity to youth from the United States, Canada and many other countries. For young adults interested in world affairs, international relations, economics and/or political sciences this is an opportunity of a lifetime exchanging views on education, politics and religion.Each student, or delegate as they are called while on the tour, will participate in comprehensive discussions with other young people from around the world as well as have the opportunity to make new and lifelong friendships.In addition, students experience one of the greatest cities in the world: New York. Attend a Broadway play, visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, the 911 Museum and Memorial, and much more. Visit historic sites in Washington D.C. with possible sites in Philadelphia, Baltimore and Ottawa, Canada., depending on the tour package.The Odd Fellows and Rebekahs Pilgrimage for Youth program has been growing in popularity and gaining public attention in the United States, Canada and abroad.
The Visual Research Foundation of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and Rebekahs, established in 1957, support and provide funds to advance eye research through professorships in ophthalmology at the world famous Wilmer Eye Institute at the John Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland.
Additionally, the World Eye Banks located in different State jurisdictions allow members of the fraternity to donate their eyes after death for corneal transplants and research. In 1961, the Foundation’s professorship in eye research was established through an endowment of $625,000.00. With the challenge of more needed research and rising costs, an additional $1,000,000.00 was added to the fund in 1987. As of 2012, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows has an endowment of $2.5 Million for this program and is planning to raise additional $500,000.00 to the fund. Supporting this worthy worldwide program has made it possible for many handicapped persons to be aided, whether it is through corneal transplant, or breakthrough to prevent blindness.
CLICK HERE for more info