Valentine's Day. Always a lot of pressure to arrange the perfect evening on the most romantic day of year. You try to find the perfect restaurant, hope you can get a reservation. In the end, you get rushed through dinner to make room for the next seating. And of course, it's expensive.
The Scottish Rite has, of course, found the perfect alternative! Ladies Night at the 'Rite, the annual Valentine's Dinner, held this year on February 15th. 120 guests enjoyed a fantastic dinner of chicken marsala, roasted potatoes, steamed fresh vegetable, salad, and rolls prepared by the Culinary Masters.
And what better way to begin the evening than with the Scottish Rite's Ethics program. This night, State Senator Bill Kintner debated Anne Marie Kudlacz of the Refugee Empowerment Center on the issue of immigration. Anne Marie took the position that we can welcome refugees, offer them services, help them find benefits and jobs, and enrich the culture with refugees who become engaged and productive citizens. Senator Kintner did not disagree with the goals of the Refugee Empowerment Center, but wanted stricter controls to guarantee that dangerous or radical elements were not coming to Nebraska or taking advantage of social services at the expense of Americans. Chris Carter, 32° KCCH moderated the evening and those attending asked challenging questions afterward. Lee Terry, Sr., 33° arranged the two debaters. 43 Scottish Rite Masons, spouses, and guests were in attendance.
Afterward, guests enjoyed music from Omaha's own Vintage Vocalist Michael Walker, who takes us back to the time when the Rat Pack ruled Las Vegas and crooning was cool. Singing Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, and classic standards, Michael Walker has been our Ladies Night entertainment for several years with great popularity.
The evening culminated with the DeMolay Flower Speech, the message emphasizing the abiding devotion a young man has for his mother. The speech was given by Ian Barchus, and was considered by all to be delivered with absolute perfection. In this beautiful lecture, the new Demolay is reminded that while he "may rise to positions of great influence in commercial, political or professional life, but you can never reach the heights of your mother's secret hopes for you. You may sink into the lowest depths of infamy and degradation but never below the reach of her love. The memory of it will always stir your heart. There is no man so entirely base, so completely vile, so utterly low that he does not hold in his heart a shrine sacred and a part for the memory of his mother's love. Were I to draw you a picture of love divine, it would not be that of
A stately angel
With a form that is full of grace,
But a tired and toil-worn mother
With a grave and tender face.
No one in attendance was unmoved by the beautiful words. Afterward, Scottish Rite Lodge officers presented ladies with boxes of chocolates in appreciation for all they do for us.
Ladies Night at the 'Rite may not be quite as romantic as an expensive dinner, but for a close second, it has become one of the best attended, most popular evenings of the year as Scottish Rite Masons honor the women we love. Next year's Ladies Night at the 'Rite will be on Monday, February 20, 2017. Don't miss out on a Scottish Rite tradition!