The Grotto was founded in 1889 in Hamilton Lodge No. 120 in New York as the brainchild of Bro. Leroy Fairchild. He and other Masons wanted a fun organization that could involve brothers from many lodges and work for the common good. To this day a special charity at Supreme Council is called "Leroy's Boys". The black fez sets us apart and is our trademark.
Samoor Grotto was granted their Charter on December 2, 1952 with a headquarters city of Sarasota. Legendary local Masons were the first principal officers: Maloy Turbeville, C. Allen Pattison and George Boston. Samoor has operated continuously since that founding while adapting to changing times in that there have been more or less members, we have owned buildings or rented space and had various units but we have never stopped our core mission, that is, to welcome Masons from all lodges, to have fun with Masons and their families and to do good work for the community.
The Grotto on a national level adpoted Cerebral Palsy as their flagship charity in 1949. The Grotto Humanitarian Foundation was established where donations are made (usually in the form of a $50 Enchanted Lantern) to the Foundation and interest gores to Cerebral Palsy research and centers. Since 1969 those funds are also used for Special Needs children that require dental wrok as such children usually require sedations which makes it all more expensive for the parents. Each Grotto has a Doctor of Smiles to administer the distribution of funds locally.
Samoor Grotto is proud to have active members from almost every lodge in teh Masonic District nad is regularly invoved in supporting hte United Cerebral Palsy Center in Bradenton and hosting "Toothbrush Give-aways" at local stores where donations are converted to Enchanted Lanterns for the Humanitarian Fund. We also support Special Needs Day at the county fair and circus. Our district-wide charity activities include donations to a church in Port Charlotte that provides clothes to Haitian children and kitchenware and clothes to Hope Family Services in Bradenton for the benefit of victims of domestic violence.
Once any man is a member of a Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons, we encourage you to consider joining Samoor Grotto. We need the support of our Prophets and their family members because we cannot do it alone. Our format is to have an Open Meeting with participation of all Grotto members, wives, children, best friends, candidates and even one canine mascot. After the Open Meeting we conclude with a short Closed Meeting of just Prophets. Throughout the month there are additional meetings of units to include Camping, Gaming, and the Motor Corps.
Samoor Grotto meets the third Thursday of every month at the Sahib Shrine Center at 600 North Beneva Road in Sarasota in the third floor club room. There is an elevator but it's hard to find. We start promtly at 7:00 P.M. and look forwar to seeing you there!