How the Freemasons of Cary-Grove help the community

Cary-Grove Masonic Lodge No. 1157, committed to the mission of Freemasonry, has a 93-year legacy of serving the Cary-Grove community. Men who believe in a life filled with honor, integrity, learning and service to mankind seek to become Freemasons. These Brothers enjoy many valuable experiences as members of this worldwide fraternity.

Through their connection as friends and Brothers, they value the experience of connecting with like-minded good men in an organization that transcends all religious, ethnic, cultural, social, economic and educational differences.

How? By teaching the great Masonic principles of “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth,” and by the outward expression of these foundational beliefs through a genuine fellowship with a broad combination of men who sincerely find ways to serve God, family, country, neighbors and themselves.

In October 1927, the Lodge was chartered from the Grand Lodge of Illinois Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. It is a point of pride for members that they will be celebrating 100 years of serving the Cary-Grove community in less than seven years.

In addition to enjoying social activities together and several learning opportunities focused at self-improvement, the Brothers dedicate their time, talents and resources toward community service. The Lodge has supported many local nonprofit charitable organizations: Cary-Grove Food Pantry, Heartland Blood Centers, WINGS, and Cary-Grove Jaycees, as well as distributing Christmas meals and trees to needy families.

Cary-Grove Freemasons Lodge 1157 members James Kell, Andrew Oxford and Leonard Huff participate in the 2019 Pack the Pantry drive during Masonic Community Days. Courtesy of Cary-Grove Freemasons Lodge 1157

Many of the Lodge's community service activities are financially supported by the members and also through fundraising efforts including working the Fox River Grove fireworks festival selling refreshments and hosting an annual car show. Additionally, public donations help to expand the good work that the Lodge accomplishes to support the Cary-Grove community.

Family ID program

Supporting the families in the community is a focus of the Lodge's community service efforts. In particular, we conduct an Illinois Masonic Family Identification Program event annually which can help families identify loved ones (children or adults) who go missing. This program is usually held in conjunction with the community's National Night Out event, held the first Tuesday in August. The lodge teams up with the State Farm Agent in Cary for a storefront location to conduct this event. This statewide Illinois Masonic Charities program was developed in cooperation with the Illinois State Police Amber Alert program.

At these events, family members receive an identification package which includes fingerprints, a DNA sample, and a CD containing a still photo and a short video for each child or adult. All of the materials are provided at no cost to the family. Originally, this program focused on providing identification for children; however, the program's scope has expanded to include typically elderly adults who can also go missing in the community. Together with other Masonic Lodges across the state, the Cary-Grove Lodge No. 1157 is proud that this identification program has helped parents and law enforcement professionals identify and locate thousands of missing children throughout Illinois. Importantly, all materials are given to parents for safekeeping and no information is kept by the lodge (except for a permission form).

Academic bowl

The Grand Lodge of Illinois A.F. & A.M. champions academic excellence and provides financial support for the education of young people throughout Illinois. The Illinois Masonic Academic Bowl is one of the Illinois Masonic Charities that highlights the talents, hard work and dedication demonstrated by students through the participation in this annual scholastic tournament event. During this academic bowl, high school teams compete through a series of timed quiz-based verbal tests on a variety of academic subjects taught within Illinois high schools.

For more than 30 years, this statewide academic competition has consistently grown, and now it includes participation from more than 300 schools across the state. Each school participating in the tournament is sponsored by a local Masonic Lodge. The schools, students, coaches and parents are not charged a cost to participate in the more than 30 sectional events held across the state in February and the final event which typically occurs in Bloomington during early March. The tournament winners are provided with financial awards which support the scholastic bowl activities at the school and provides funds to the students. Locally, the lodge sponsors Cary-Grove High School in this academic bowl event.

The Cary-Grove Lodge No. 1157 is located at 28 S. Northwest Hwy. in Cary. Visit or

If you would like to learn more about Illinois Freemasonry, visit the Grand Lodge website at

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