The History of the
Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation
A Legacy of Giving
More than 100 years ago, the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Michigan recognized the need for a facility to care for senior Masons and their families. In 1891 the doors opened to the original Masonic Home at Reed’s Lake near Grand Rapids. In order to meet the financial responsibilities associated with maintaining the Masonic Home, the Masonic Foundation (now renamed the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation) was established and supported by dedicated Masons who were determined to give life to the term “brotherhood”.
While supporting Masonic Pathways remains a priority, the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation is now helping to support many amazing efforts throughout the Great Lake State.
Today, the MMCF ranks 7th out of the top 10 Michigan foundations (in total asset size). Perhaps more impressive is that four of the other foundations on this list were also started by Masons. This includes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kresge Foundation, the Charles Steward Mott Foundation, and the Ford Motor Company Fund.
It is with great pride and accomplishment that our Foundation has continued to grow and thrive in spite of challenging economic climates. This achievement illustrates the fundamental strength of giving through Masonry.
- 1885 – Michigan Masonic Home Association is formed to create a facility for senior citizens.
- 1891 – The first facility, the Home at Reed’s Lake, is opened near Grand Rapids.
- 1910 – Ammi W. Wright gifts the campus and building of the old Alma Sanitarium to the Grand Lodge of Michigan. The Home moves to this location.
- 1931 – Construction begins on a new, state-of-the-art facility.
- 1932 – Shriners begin showing new release movies to residents of the Home.
- 1948 – Past Grand Master Hazen Paul Cole develops the Deputy Grand Master’s annual appeal, which over the coming years raises millions of dollars to support the Pathways Home.
- 1979 – The Masonic Foundation is founded to provide financial support to the Masonic Museum and Library.
- 1985 – Grants for college scholarships and community charities begin being awarded.
- 1985 – The Masonic Model Student Assistance Program is founded.
- 1988 – The Masonic Village Estates opens on the campus of the Home.
- 1991 – The Masonic Health Center opens and is later renamed the Jack F. Sanders Health Care Center.
- 1996 – The Michigan Masonic Home Charitable Foundation is formed.
- 1996 – The John C. and Velma Doig Chapel and Education Center is opened.
- 1998 – The Michigan Masonic Museum and Library is relocated to Grand Rapids, a director is hired, and the doors are opened to the public.
- 1999 – The Masonic Outreach Program begins to expand services to seniors living at home.
- 2000 – The Masonic Home is renamed Masonic Pathways.
- 2000 – The Michigan Grand Lodge creates a way to honor donors with the Lewis Cass Society.
- 2003 – The John C. and Velma Doig Community Conference Center opens.
- 2004 – The Conference of Grand Masters of Masons in North America met in Washington, D.C., and launched the Masonic Chip Support Committee (this effort lead to the Michigan Child ID Program).
- 2005 – The Michigan Child ID Program begins.
- 2007 – The Masonic Home Charitable Foundation and the Masonic Foundation merge and is newly named the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation.
- 2012 – The Michigan Masonic Youth Foundation is merged into the Michigan Masonic Charitable Foundation.
- 2013 – The Almoner's Fund is created.