Letter
February 17, 2016

Black River-Lafayette Lodge #85 requests extended tax-exempt status

Dear Editor,

At the annual meeting of the town of Ludlow, Vt., Article 4 will be presented for consideration. The article deals with the renewal of tax-exempt status of the property located at 22 Buttermilk Falls Road, owned by the Ludlow Masonic Building Association a.k.a. Black River-Lafayette Lodge #85 F & AM. The Brethren of the Lodge wish to thank all voters for approving the tax-exempt status 10 years ago and ask you once again to grant the exempt status of the property.

Lafayette Lodge #53 consolidated with Black River in June of 1965. The original Lodge in Ludlow was the Green Mountain, which held its meetings in the Jesse Fletcher Farmhouse, which is part of the Fletcher Farmstead just east of the Village of Ludlow.

Masonry nationwide contributes over $2 million a day in philanthropic endeavors, not the least of which are the Shriners Hospitals for Children. To be a Shriner, you must first be a Mason. Statewide, the Masons of Vermont finance the Vermont Freemasons’ C.A.R.E. program, a student assistance program for Vermont schoolteachers that gives them the tools to identify behavioral changes in children “at risk” for not only alcohol and drug abuse but issues ranging from physical, mental and sexual abuse, depression and suicidal tendencies to bullying in K-12. This training takes place once a year and will be run this year in South Burlington for two days at the end of March. Since 1990 the Masons of Vermont have spent close to $800,000 in this effort.

Black River-Lafayette Lodge is very proud to be one of the leaders in this most worthwhile program. Locally, we have supported the efforts of the Black River Academy Museum and our annual scholarship program to mention a few.

We are proud to be Masons and a valuable member of the Ludlow community for over 147 years. Other than the churches of Ludlow, Masonry has made a huge contribution to Ludlow’s development over those years.

In closing, we again wish to thank the voters of Ludlow for recognizing our value in the past and ask for your continued support by approving Article 4 on Town Meeting Day.

Above all, participate in our freedom and liberties by voting.

Earl J. Washburn, Ludlow

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