International Family of The Year

2012 To Be a Patriot Awards

Established in 1985, the “To Be A Patriot” Award annually recognizes the three best patriotic programs conducted by Fourth Degree Assemblies each fraternal year. Local assemblies submit their entries to their district master, who select the best program in their district and forward that entry to their vice supreme master. Each vice supreme master forwards the winning entry from his province to the Supreme Master, who appoints a committee of judges to select the three international “To Be A Patriot” award winners.

The 2011-2012 “To Be A Patriot” award winners, selected from among the provincial winning entries, are:

Fr. Joseph T. O’Callahan Assembly 2652 in San Diego, California (Junipero Serra Province), Waves of Appreciation Tote Bag Giveaway – The Fr. O’Callahan Assembly partnered with the U.S.O. and Pepperdine University Alumni to provide 2,500 tote bags filled with food to service men and women leaving military bases in San Diego to fly home for the holidays. Among other areas of involvement, the assembly put up seed money to purchase the food and provided volunteers to distribute the bags. In the words of one recipient, “We don’t make a lot to do what we do. I won’t have to spend any money now for food on the airplane, so it’s going to help out a lot. They’re doing it out of the kindness of their heart – it makes you feel good.”

Our Lady of Fatima Assembly 3090 in Port St. Lucie, Florida (DeSoto Province), Support the Honor Flight – In a span of seven months, the Our Lady of Fatima Assembly raised $42,000 to provide a free flight for surviving World War II veterans to Washington, DC to visit the World War II Memorial there. They accomplished this not only by conducting their own fund raisers – such as wine and cheese parties and a golf tournament – but by involving the entire community, including the mayor’s office, police and fire departments. They even involved the New York Mets baseball team, who allowed them to operate a concession at a Spring training game, which generated a significant sum of money. Their efforts culminated on the morning that the veterans boarded their free charter flight to Washington, DC.

Msgr. John J. McMahon Assembly 2205 in Richmond, Virginia (Calvert Province), Military Appreciation Night at the Diamond – The Richmond Flying Squirrels minor league baseball team had scheduled a Military Appreciation Night, but the Msgr. McMahon Assembly took it to new heights. The assembly purchased tickets for 200 soldiers at nearby Fort Lee and 400 veterans at the Richmond Veteran’s Hospital. In addition, they purchased 5000 miniature American flags to distribute to all attendees and presented the colors prior to the game.