John Gronek, a member of Cuyahoga Falls Lodge No. 918, Loyal Order of Moose, was 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 conferral took place in the House of God at Mooseheart, IL on June 4.
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, which traditionally takes place 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 this Degree are entitled to wear a 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. Gronek will receive his blazer at Crown Plaza Columbus North on Sept. 24. Also present will be leaders of the Ohio Association to offer their congratulations to Brother Gronek.