(by Al Edenloff, Echo Press on Dec 1, 2018)
The Alexandria Area Freemasons made the largest donation in its 150-year history Monday night, Nov. 26.
Members of the fraternity gave $40,000 to the new Veterans Memorial Park that will break ground this spring at the corner of Alexandria’s Broadway and Eighth Avenue, east of Viking Towers.
The Freemasons first started talking about supporting the project last spring, and all 104 members voted for the lodge to donate $20,000. The contribution doubled when the Grand Lodge of Minnesota approved a matching grant.
Organizers of the veterans park were ecstatic. During a special presentation at the Alexandria lodge Monday, park committee members Gabe Pipo and Russ Oorlog said they were overwhelmed by the Freemasons’ support.
Pipo noted the donation will put their fundraising efforts over the $600,000 mark — two-thirds of the way toward their $900,000 goal.
“We were absolutely thrilled,” Pipo told the Freemasons. “Thank you so much. We’re proud of how the community has supported this.”
There has always been a deep connection between the Freemasons and those who serve in the military, said Brion Golde, the leader of…