Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. – click for more information
With the passage of the new Healthcare Reform Bill by Congress, the Trustees of the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc. have voted to move out of individual case processing and redirect the dollars allocated for treatment to research and education. So, beginning this year (2011) the K.T.E.F. will no longer be participating in direct patient care, except as is currently done with the Seniors Eye Care Program in partnership with Eye Care America and the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. This year, the Trustees have budgeted $250,000 to co-sponsor this wonderful program providing medical eye exams for eligible seniors at no out-of-pocket cost. Under the Seniors EyeCare Program, U.S.citizens or legal residents age 65 or older, who have not seen an ophthalmologist in the last three years or more, and who do not belong to an HMO or have Veterans’ vision care can call a toll-free number for the name of a volunteer ophthalmologist in their area. Volunteer ophthalmologists accept Medicare or other insurance as full payment with no additional payments required from the individual receiving services. If the individual doesn’t have insurance, the eye care is free. The greatest benefit of the Seniors EyeCare Program is that it encourages financially disadvantaged seniors to take care of vision problems before they worsen. Our support helps us to fulfill our mission of providing assistance to those who face loss of their eyesight while enhancing the visibility of Templary. We call upon each of you to spread the word about this program and encourage those you believe to be eligible to call 1-800-222-EYES (3937) to see if they qualify for a free exam.
Objectives of the Foundation
Further objectives of the Foundation are to provide Research Grants. These include funding for research into the correction of strabismus (crossed-eyes) in children up to the age of sixteen as was presented to the University of Michigan in 2009.
Source of Funds
Funds for the operation of the Foundation are obtained in part from the annual assessment of each Knight Templar, contributions from Masonic Organizations, fund raising activities, memorials, wills and bequests, donations, and from endowment funds or similar sources. In 2009, the Sir Knights of Michigan contributed $14,584.45 to the Eye Foundation.
Record as of this date
Since it’s inception in 1956, $101,204,458.51 71 has been spent on approved cases nationwide. Applications have been received from 88,664 people, and Research Grants to date total over $10 million across the United States. In Michigan there have been 583 cases treated, and $411,221.34 spent. Last year alone $9,389.00 was spent. Oakland University in Rochester was presented a Research Grant of $30,000 in August of 2000, and the Van Andel Institute in Grand Rapids received a similar Grant of $30,000 for Research in 2008 from our Knights Templar Eye Foundation.
The Trust Fund created by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America in 1922 is for the purpose of assisting worthy students to secure an education, thereby enabling them to become more useful members of our society and better citizens of the United States. The foundation of Michigan is administered by a Committee of five Sir Knights, under the direction of the Committee Chairman. The Grand Recorder receives donations, administers the loans, distributes and receives the scholarship applications and keeps all the records of the committee. The Foundation provides Scholarships for vocational, technical, undergraduate and postgraduate study in accordance with the regulations of the Foundation. Any and all information pertaining to Scholarship applications, existing loan amounts available, interest rates, repayment procedures, or any other information, may be obtained by writing to the Michigan Foundation Committee – SK Loren A. Winn, K.C.T., PGC, GR, Secretary/Treasurer, P.O. Box 822, Pinckney, MI 48169-0822
Holy Land Pilgrimage – click for more information
The purpose of this charity is to send Ordained Christian Ministers to the Holy Land on a Biblical study and historical / cultural immersion experience who would not otherwise have the opportunity. In February 2012, the Knights Templar will sponsor the 32st Pilgrimage of Christian Ministers.
Since 1977, the Knights Templar of Michigan has sponsored Holy Land Pilgrimages for 237 Ministers. A total of 2,032 Ministers have been sent from across the United States from a variety of denominations. The Holy Land Pilgrimage tour is a recent addition to the other philanthropic activities of the Grand Encampment.
It’s exciting to see the Ministers return from their Pilgrimage to the Holy Land and to share their experiences with their Congregations. Ask any Sir Knight how to nominate your Minister. Your Recorder will have the necessary application forms. Please be generous.