• 55°

Eastern Star donates to community

Recently, members of Unity Chapter No. 29, Order of the Eastern Star, presented their annual donation checks to several area organizations.

Each year chapter members contribute over $2,000 within the community, as well as other donations to state projects.

Arnie Earl, center, accepts a check for the Mower County Veterans Council from Neil Hanson, from left, Otto Volkert, Dean Johnson and Mary Hanson.

With one exception, all donations were matched dollar-for-dollar by Minnesota Masonic Charities. This year, checks were given to the Hormel Historic Home ($400) for the summer program for autistic children, the Mower County Veterans Council ($400), Discover Austin ($200) for the Merry TubaChristmas, and the Austin High School choral program ($200). The Mower County Humane Society received $100 as well. Also, an annual scholarship of $1,000 was presented to an Austin High School graduating senior, which when matched totaled $2,000.

Accepting the check for the Hormel Historic Home is Holly Johnson, center with Neil Hanson, from left, Mary Hanson, Betty Volkert and Otto Volkert.

“People might wonder how we do this,” said Mary Hanson, Worthy Matron of Unity Chapter. “Actually the community helps us raise funds when they attend our annual Election Day Salad Luncheon and our spaghetti dinner on Super Bowl Sunday, plus our tip night at the Austin Pizza Ranch. These funds are used to support the donations we make.”

On the state level, the local chapter contributes to three scholarship programs, which have benefitted quite a few Austin applicants over the years.

A check for $100 was presented to the Mower County Humane Society. Shown at the presentation Betty Volkert, from left, John Fair, Neil Hanson, Mary Hanson, Steve Neiswanger, Barry Rush of the humane society, Brad Stout and Otto Volkert.