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Skaneateles Masons welcome visitors to Table Lodge

According to Widger, Gilbert is no longer on a respirator and doing well.

"He is now at our Masonic Home in Utica," he said.

Gilbert has been receiving therapy and has begun walking again.

"He seemed pleased to have visitors, especially Masons," Widger said. "I think he's in the best place he could be. People who go there have nothing but good things to say."

Several of the Masons in attendance at Table Lodge showed interest in organizing a bus trip for the district to visit Gilbert at the home in Utica.

A little later in the evening, Master Emeritus Jack Howard, who has served twice as the lodge's master, spoke about how the lodge has evolved during his time as a member.

"In 1995 [or] '96 our lodge was in great need of rehabilitation," Howard said.

Soon after the need to rehabilitation was realized, the village went through a revitalization period, of which the lodge became a focal point.

The Masons filed for 501(c)3 not-for-profit exemption and also rented the offices on the ground floor of the building, which is owned by the Masons, to taxable entities. The rent money collected helped begin needed rehabilitation.

According to Gannon, Howard received the Masons' Distinguished Service Award for the work he did to rehabilitate the Skaneateles Lodge 522 building.

At this time, the Skaneateles Lodge has annual expenses of between $30,000 and $35,000 and an annual income of between $60,000 and $65,000.

"Now we can put money into the community," Howard said, adding that last year the Masons donated approximately $23,000 to SAVES and also have donated to the Skaneateles Fire Department to aid their equipment purchases.

"We run our lodge as a business," he said. "I'd be happy to work with anybody who wants to try to do it with their lodge."

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