For more information, see:
The Grottoes of North America
The GROTTO is a great fraternal Order with an even greater charitable program. The organization started as a fun Order in 1892 and is a member of the 'Masonic Family' whose membership is strictly and exclusively limited to Master Masons. Its humanitarian project began in June 1949 when it adopted as its national objective the cause of Cerebral Palsy and to this day it continues support to find a cure for that dread disease. The Supreme Council has contributed over a half million dollars to the United Cerebral Research Foundation and these funds are used exclusively for research purposes.
The Grotto also sponsors an extensive program of Dentistry for Children with Special Needs. The image of a such a child evokes immediate sympathy and some of their needs are clearly obvious and easily met: wheel chairs, prostheses, and crutches. Other needs are not as obvious but are just as important. Dental care is one of these significant but often overlooked necessities for good health that is being provided by the Masons in the Grottoes of North America.
The Supreme Council, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm (to use the Grotto's formal name), saw a need and took the opportunity to meet it. Because of their obstacles, many children cannot receive traditional dental services. Their muscle control simply will not let them keep their mouths open for a dental exam and as a result, dentists with specific training are needed to provide this care. It is the goal of the Grottoes of North America to provide these special services to children who need it.
This dental care is available to any child under 18 years of age with the following conditions: cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, mentally challenged, and for organ transplant patients. The dentistry program is administered locally through a network of volunteer members known as Doctors of Smiles. Applicants must be sponsored by a local Grotto though in areas where no Grotto is convenient, parents can apply directly to the Grottoes' Humanitarian Foundation.
In addition, the Grottoes of North America have two National Regional Treatment Centers: one at the Illinois Masonic Medical Center in Chicago and the other at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. In either location, the Grottoes can supply the most advanced dental treatment possible to patients who are severely medically compromised. Also, dentists who have hospital privileges in their respective communities often utilize hospital facilities to serve children who would otherwise be untreatable in a regular office environment.
Whatever the service, the only return on their time and money expected by the Masons in the Grottoes is intangible - the smile of a child they helped.
We strongly encourage you to support this extraordinary program!
May, 2003: Our thanks to Dianna Bristle, Web Administrator and Administrative Assistant at the Grottoes of North America Humanitarian Foundation for updating our information and for noting the significant involvement Grotto now has with Special Olympics "Special Smiles Program". More examples of Freemasonry's outstanding charitable endeavors!
Special Olympics' information on this great program is here.
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