Oak Summit Assembly #128, located in Knights Ferry, recently attended the annual convention, known as Grand Assembly, virtually, for the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls. The organization is a service organization for girls between the ages of 11 and 20 and is sponsored by the local Masonic Lodge and Order of the Eastern Star. They teach leadership, public speaking, poise and dignity and service to others.
“This year’s Grand Assembly was quite exciting. The girls weren’t able to attend in person but our adult leaders assisted by our Grand Officers performed an outstanding virtual experience,” said Assembly Advisory board member Beverly Noe. “Starting us off was our Leading Lemur Grand Officers for 2020 and 2021. We did not hold Grand Assembly last year so these girls held their offices for two years.”
The Grand Worthy Advisor, Isabella Lynch, led a very fun filled and informative three days of events for the girls.
The local Assembly had three girls participate in the Sew and Show competition this year.
“Since we were unable to send the items for judging the girls held a virtual Fashion Show with Makena Mendonca, Brianna Clinkenbeard and Aubrey Mendonca participating,” Noe added. “In addition, there was an Arts and Crafts, and a Speech Contest. Those girls participating in the Arts and Crafts from Oak Summit Assembly were Makena and Aubrey Mendonca and Brianna Clinkenbeard. In the speech contest Makena knocked us out of the park with a fantastic speech where she placed first.”
The first day events included revealing of the Grand Officer dresses, flag tributes, Grand Representative reports to other jurisdictions, and the Opening and Closing of the Pledge Program. Pledge is designed for pre-Rainbow girls for those girls ages 8-11. The local organization’s own Taylor Witzke presided over the ceremony and did a phenomenal job. That afternoon the Grand Officers initiated 15 new girls into the order, two of which were local girls, Sky Hosker and Taylor Witzke, who are now members of Oak Summit Assembly.
Later that evening it was time to see what the new mascots were going to be for 2022 and hear the new officers announced who will be taking on quite a challenge this year as the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls will be celebrating its 100th anniversary.
“Oak Summit Assembly is so pleased to have announced Miss Makena Mendonca as Grand Faith and Grand Representative to Australia and the Orient Pacific. In addition, our Mother Advisor, Bonnie Witzke, will be serving on the Grand Executive Committee, Mother Advisor from the North, for the next three years,” said Noe. “The mascot for the year is a Meerkat and the Grand Officers will be known as Milestone Making Meerkats. Both will have a Grand year and we hope we will eventually be able to do some traveling. So far, the girls and adults have been able to attend various meetings virtually.”
On Sunday the virtual attendees heard more reports from the Grand Representatives. In addition new Public Relations Team members were announced. Locals were excited to hear Brianna Clinkenbeard, Past Worthy Advisor of Oak Summit Assembly, called to be part of this very exciting team. Brianna was also chosen as a member of the Service Court for 2022. To qualify the girl needs to write an essay about Service and why she should be chosen. Emmy Watson, also a Past Worthy Advisor of the assembly, was an outgoing Service Court member from Oak Summit Assembly who held the honor in 2020-21. Later that morning it was revealed how much Grand Assembly, girls and adults, raised for their Service Project these past two years for the Painted Turtle. The Grand Total was $102,120.
“Needless to say the representative from the Painted Turtle was quite taken aback by this amount and had quite the time speaking,” Noe explained. “This is a phenomenal amount of money raised for such a deserving charity. One of our adults, Laura Watson, was also honored with the Service to Rainbow award, which is a very prestigious award to be given to our adults.”
Later in the day college scholarships were awarded with Makena Mendonca being a recipient.
“That evening we were blessed to attend a drive-by celebration where cars could drive by the newly appointed and junior past grand officers and wish them well,” Noe said of the mask-wearing social distance event. “Monday afternoon was Installation where the new 2022 grand officers were installed. It was a beautiful ceremony done completely virtual. We would like to take this opportunity to not only congratulate all of the girls on the various appointment and awards, but also commend our great adults. Without them this probably would not have happened.”