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Moose bestows highest honor on local member

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 11:48 a.m. CST • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2013 11:49 a.m. CST

John Burr Jr. of Newton, a member of Newton Lodge No. 923, Loyal Order of Moose, has been summoned to receive the Pilgrim Degree of Merit, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member of the Loyal Order of Moose.

The degree — currently held by less than one-half of one percent of the members of the fraternity throughout the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Bermuda — is the order’s ultimate reward for exceptional devotion to the principles and ideals of caring for children and senior members and is earned only by members who have given years of “above-the-call-of-duty” service to the Loyal Order of Moose and its principle philanthropic endeavors of Mooseheart, a city for children in need, located 40 miles west of Chicago, and Moosehaven, a retirement community for senior members, located on the banks of the St. Johns River in Orange Park, Fla.

The Pilgrim Degree ceremony, traditionally held on the same day as the commencement exercises for Mooseheart High School, is conferred only inside Mooseheart’s House of God, the multi-denominational cathedral built in 1950.

Members receiving the degree are entitled to wear a much-coveted gold blazer, which is formally presented to the honoree during a special ceremony attended by other Pilgrims, members of the higher degrees of both the Loyal Order of Moose and Women of the Moose, family, friends, community leaders and other members of the order. Burr will receive his blazer at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Newton Lodge 923. Also present will be leaders of the Iowa-E. Nebraska Association to offer their congratulations to Brother Burr.

The Moose is an international organization of men and women, dedicated to caring for children and seniors, bringing communities closer together, and celebrating life. Jointly, these members volunteer their time and talent to assist people in need and make our communities better places to live and raise families.

The organization operates more than 1,600 Moose centers throughout North America, Great Britain and Bermuda, providing members with wholesome family, social and sports activities. To learn more, visit www.mooseintl.org or call (630) 966-2229.

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