Most Viewed Stories
Highest honor: Yuma man receives Pilgrim Degree of Merit
A longtime member of the Loyal Order of Moose Yuma Lodge No. 1627 has received the most prestigious award available from the service organization.
Richard McIntire Sr. was summoned to the House of God at Mooseheart, Illinois in June to receive the Pilgrim Degree of Merit, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a member of the Loyal Order of Moose.
The Pilgrim Degree ceremony was held inside Mooseheart's House of God, a multi-denominational cathedral built in 1950.
“It was a pretty exciting day,” McIntire said.
As a Pilgrim, McIntire was made eligible to receive a much coveted gold blazer commemorating his honor. The blazer was formally presented to him during a special ceremony attended by other Pilgrims, family, friends, community leaders, and other members of the Order in mid-August at the Yuma Lodge.
“It made me feel real good because there are only a few people that get it,” McIntire said. “It made me feel pretty special.”
He will wear the blazer at all formal Moose functions, and said he is honored to be among the small group of Moose who have earned the right to don it.
“We've got about 1.4 million members and there are only 3,000 of us that have the gold jacket.”
The Pilgrim Degree, currently held by less than one-half of one percent of the members of the organization, is the Order's ultimate reward to its members who have displayed exceptional devotion to the group's principles and ideals. Recipients such as McIntire must have given years of dedicated service to the Loyal Order of Moose to be considered.
McIntire moved to the Yuma area from Indiana in 1976 and purchased a few trailer parks with his wife. He became a Moose in 1993, and during the last 19 years has served as a trustee, assistant secretary, vice chairman, Sgt. at Arms, president, Jr. Governor, Governor, and Legion Ambassador.
“That is one of the best decisions I have ever made,” McIntire said about becoming a Moose. “It is a nice organization to belong to because you don't get no pressure from nobody. It is a family fraternity, and we do quite a bit for the community.”
According to their mission statement, the Loyal Order of Moose is an international organization of men and women dedicated to caring for children and seniors, bringing communities closer together, and celebrating life.
The group's principle philanthropic endeavors include supporting Mooseheart and Moosehaven. Mooseheart is a city for children in need located forty miles west of Chicago. Moosehaven is a retirement community for senior members in Orange Park, Florida.
The organization operates over 1,600 Moose Centers throughout North America, Great Britain, and Bermuda.
To learn more about the organization log onto www.mooseintl.org or call 630/966-2229.