The first Autumn Day was held on Oct. 12, 1985, “as a means to make sure that each new generation of Masons will have the opportunity to visit, understand the mission and support one of our greatest of Masonic charities,” Joseph Murphy, then executive director, now chief executive officer, said in 1985.
As Masonic Villages has grown in size, so has Autumn Day, but the spirit of the event remains the same. We still serve hot dogs, sausage and ice cream (bean soup was added in 1988), provide entertainment and kids’ games and, of course, clowns. It’s a great opportunity for residents to showcase their home, visit with family and sell their handmade items (some count on sales from Autumn Day to support their group’s activities for the year). Masons, Eastern Star and members of other branches of the fraternity from across the state are able to reunite and see what is new with the fraternity and Masonic Villages.
Family and friends of staff and residents are encouraged to join us for a day of fellowship, to tour our campus, and maybe even decide to join us as employees, volunteers, residents or donors someday. Although no one is turned away, Autumn Day is not promoted as a public event as part of Masonic Villages’ commitment to fiscal responsibility.
Masonic Village at Elizabethtown opens its campus to the community in numerous ways, ranging from the Masonic Village Farm Market to its more than 9 miles of walking paths to its Sell Chapel. To read about all our efforts to support local communities, check out our Report to the Community online.
We greatly appreciate all those who work that day – whether for the Autumn Day festivities or their regularly scheduled shifts – as well as those who assist with behind-the-scenes preparations and clean up. Autumn Day takes a lot of work, but it’s a tradition thousands have enjoyed for more than 30 years!