South Bend Scottish Rite and the Orak Shrine Center of Michigan City are masters of fun and philanthropy. If you watch almost any parade in the Region you will see Shriners marching or darting around in their custom carts. Fewer are aware of the Shriners involvement running children’s hospitals or the Scottish Rite’s children’s learning center. On Saturday, the fraternities invited the community to join them for a Rolling Stones Tribute Show to raise funds and showcase what the organizations are about.
The two Masonic fraternities are no strangers to hosting concerts as they hosted a Beatles tribute back in 2017. This time they decided to bring in the Hot Rocks, a Rolling Stones tribute group recognized by the original, legendary band for their style and talent.
“The Stones actually gave these guys permission to use their official logo,” noted Eric Gutridge, former Most Wise Master at the South Bend Scottish Rite. “This is the music I grew up with, what most of us old guys grew up with. We’re just trying to show the community how we can combine partying and philanthropy.”
Masonic organizations like the Shriners and Scottish Rite the subjects of many myths and legends thanks to their rich histories. If you ask the members, the aura of mystery is part of the allure despite the reality being quite simple, they are men who like to party and make a difference.
“We’re pretty proud to own 22 hospitals throughout America,” said David Moss, Potentate at the Orak Shrine of Michigan City. “We take care of people regardless of their ability to pay, we never turn anyone away.”
Many of the attendees knew of the Scottish Rite and Shriners, but never had the chance to visit and see what they were all about. Laura Henson, a diehard lifelong Rolling Stones fan came out with a fellow fanatic and loved the performance.
“We’re having a blast, we know the words to every song which is totally cool,” she said. “The front man is so good, he’s got all of Mick’s moves. It’s fantastic that this is also, in a way, going to help out kids. We’re just enjoying ourselves and are happy to be here.”
Others meanwhile, were members of both organizations, such as Wayne Hodgetts. He loved the Stones back in their golden years and helped organize the tribute show.
“Going back as a younger man, I went to all kinds of concerts and checked out all the bands, it didn’t bother my ears then but now I’m feeling it. I’ll have to take my hearing aids out,” Hodgetts joked. “It’s great to have fun events like this, we just want the public to come out and learn more about us and have some fun.”
To learn more about the South Bend Scottish Rite, including their calendar of events and philanthropic efforts, visit www.southbendscottishrite.org.