TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW)- As a celebration of the past and the future, Kansas Masons gathered Friday at the Statehouse.
The Grand Lodge of Kansas took to the steps of the Statehouse to rededicate the cornerstone of the building. Masons placed the original cornerstone in 1866.
The event was a part of the 150th anniversary celebration of the Masons and the work they do to help all Kansans.
“The importance of this is remembering our past as we look to the future,” said Daren Kellerman, Grand Master of Kansas. “Things that we did today could not have been possible 150 years ago. The importance of having the Freemasons involved both then and now is a statement to society values then and now.”
Governor Sam Brownback also proclaimed Friday as Kansas Masons Day.
The Masons began in 1856, five years before Kansas became a state, as a brotherhood fraternity representing fellowship, integrity, leadership and philanthropy. Today nearly 19,000 members make up 230 lodges across the state.
For the 50th anniversary campaign of the Kansas Mason Foundation, the group has developed five goals to help make the lives of Kansans better. They include leadership, programs, funding, communications and the craft. Accomplishments of the Foundation include donating to scholarship programs, Kansas University Cancer Research and youth programs.
On Friday, the Masons announced they would be donating $2.5 million to the Kansas State University programs, Kansas PRIDE, the Center for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship and the Office of Military and Veterans Affairs.