Scholarship Committee Chairman Jeremy Maguire, Recipient Annalise Reitsma, Recipient Connor Johnson (Big Lake), Recipient Francis Freeman, Recipient Abbie Siirila (Her Mother Cheryl Standing In), Senior Warden Terrance M Schaffer. (Submitted photo.)

Johnson receives Masonic Lodge scholarship

Submitted Article
It wasn’t so long ago that the mention of the group of Masons living and working out of our community up here was an unusual thing to see or hear. When the Masonic Lodge was built in Elk River at the Intersection of Upland and Hwy 10 in 1972 it wasn’t a surprise to anyone really, as the Masons of Sherburne Lodge had been in existence here since 1872. Many of the members of the lodge being pillars of the local area, not only including its namesake, Moses Sherburne, who was Grand Master of Minnesota in 1855 or Oliver H. Kelley. In the 1980’s there were many articles written about all the good works done by the lodge and it’s members, as well as the rest of the Masonic Family, including the Order of the Eastern Star, Whittemore Chapter #283. (The women’s side of the Masons) 
The lodge has gone through some transitions in the past few years and may not have been as visible in the community, though they have still done things to show their support for its neighbors, some of which include shoveling out fire hydrants in the winter, bell ringing for the salvation army or participating in the Relay for Life each year. Having moved this past year from the lodge building in Elk River, they have now set up residence just over the river at the Riverwood Inn & Conference Center in Otsego. Though their ties to the communities here, in Big Lake, Elk River, Otsego and more have not changed, and as they continue to regrow and establish themselves they seek to show how much it means for them to be a part of these great cities and towns.
With that in mind the Members of Sherburne Lodge #95 have reignited the James LaRock Scholarship Award and on June 3rd gave out 4 Scholarships to students from the area. Applications were sent out to all the local schools and after sorting through those submitted to the lodge by those students wishing to participate, the finalists were chosen and invited to attend a dinner in their honor, and along with their families come out to Riverwood Inn to be presented the awards. In conjunction with matching funds from Minnesota Masonic charities, $2500 dollars were given out that night.
James LaRock was a member of Sherburne Lodge and a Teacher and later a Counselor and he believed in the education of our youth and giving back to the communities in a positive and constructive way. It was around 1985 when this Scholarship was first given out to the Students of Elk River and though in recent years it had fallen to the wayside, the events of June 3rd show that it is not forgotten and with hope and help will continue to assist those students in need.


Jacqueline Faye Tingelstad

Darlene "Dar" Trovall

BIG LAKE FIRE CHIEF Paul Nemes and Big Lake Chief of Police Joel Scharf address the chamber membership at their monthly lunch meeting Tuesday at Saron Lutheran Church. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

DANCING TO THE MUSIC IN THE PARK has been a popular summer pastime for the young and the young at heart in Big Lake all summer long, thanks to the efforts of the Big Lake Legacy Foundation. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).