The DeMolay & Pine Tree Youth Foundation was founded in 1970 to assist graduating high school seniors throughout the state of Maine pursue future educational plans. The Foundation awards scholarships annually in amounts that vary from between $500 to $1,500, which the student can apply towards any accredited college, university or trade school. In 2005, the total amount of these scholarships came to $14,000.
Although the scholarship funds themselves come from Masonic donations, scholarship recipients need not be members of the Order of DeMolay or in any way associated with Freemasonry. Scholarship criteria include civic achievement, an essay, and a demonstration of financial need.
The Order of DeMolay
The Order of DeMolay is an international youth organization for boys between the ages of 12 and 21, sponsored by the Freemasons. Founded in Kansas City, Missouri in 1919 by a businessman named Frank S. Land, today the fraternity has over 1,000 chapters the world over and 18,000 members in the United States and Canada. Many of the organization’s alumni have gone on to be very successful in adult life, among them Walt Disney, Walter Cronkite, John Steinbeck, John Wayne, Red Barber, Mel Blanc, Paul Harvey, and President William Jefferson Clinton.
The Order is named for Jacques DeMolay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templar, who was executed by order of King Philip IV of France in 1312 along with 53 of his fellow Templars. DeMolay refused to denounce his fellow Templars even if the action would buy him his life, and thus became a testimonial to loyalty and friendship.
In deference to the memory of its founder Frank S. Land who acted as a father figure for the Order’s earliest members (many of whom had lost their fathers in World War I,) the adult Mason who supervises each DeMolay Chapter is referred to as “Dad.”
The Order of DeMolay instructs its members to adhere to seven Cardinal Virtues: filial love, reverence for the sacred, courtesy, comradeship, fidelity, cleanliness and patriotism. The organization’s internal hierarchy is modeled after the Freemasons: local organizations are called Chapters and are headed by a Master Councilor, elected by that Chapter’s members; state level officers are called State Master Councilors or Jurisdictional Master Councilors, while the lead officer at the national level is called an Executive Officer, and at the international level a Grand Master. Occasionally Master Councilors are women in which case they are referred to by the honorific “Mom.” Executive Officers and Grand Masters are always Master Masons and members of the Supreme Council.
The Order of DeMolay has over 40 local chapters in Maine sponsoring many youth-oriented events and programs throughout the state including a Winterfest, a State Sweetheart pageant, a Congress and a Conclave.
The DeMolay & Pine Tree Youth Foundation
The DeMolay & Pine Tree Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization under both Maine and federal tax laws whose Board of Trustees are chosen from an elected membership that includes the heads of Masonic organizations throughout Maine. Since its inception, the Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in scholarship funds.
In 2010, for the very first time, a scholarship will be awarded to a student hoping to pursue graduate level studies. The scholarship will be awarded to a graduate of a Maine high school, regardless of where he or she is pursuing graduate studies. The scholarship is in the amount of $2,000 a year for up to three years of graduate studies, and the recipient will begin receiving funds his or her second year of study. The scholarship will be forfeited if its recipient fails to maintain passing marks. Prior DeMolay and Pine Tree Foundation scholarship recipients will be given preference in awarding this scholarship.