Four years ago, Western Reserve Masonic Community (WRMC) celebrated the Fourth of July with a small parade on campus. The parade was meant to be an opportunity for residents to show their patriotism, and for those with limited mobility to be able to enjoy the holiday without having to travel.
That first year, Neal Beck, a resident of WRMC, was recruited to help the executive assistant with the creation and organization of the parade. Since 2011, Neal has taken over as parade chairman, donating his time to make the day a success.
Participation is open to all residents who are encouraged to wear red, white and blue, decorate their scooters and walkers, walk their dogs and even create floats! Over the years many have joined in on the fun, including the area fire and police departments, Medina SeniorNet (an organization that teaches seniors to use computers), and the Knights Templar. The Western Reserve housekeeping department attends without fail, walking the ¾ mile parade route with the residents.
While a lot of work and planning is involved, Neal views the parade as a wonderful opportunity to give back and do something for his friends living at WRMC. Neal was raised a Mason in 1953 at the Theodore Breck Lodge 714 in Breckville, Ohio, and is now also a member of the local Medina Lodge 58. After 62 years in the Fraternity, Neal takes his commitment to Brotherly Love seriously, feeling that helping people enjoy the patriotic joy of the holiday is a great gift to give.