Living Legacy Program


The “Living Legacy Progam” was the idea of Sovereign Grand Master Wilson D. Berkley, who in 1989 notice many dead trees in the jurisdictions that he was visiting which aroused his concern for global tree loss. He commissioned this most worthy project as “The Living Legacy Program” of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. His untimely passing in March, 1990 caused the program to become his own Living Memorial for his untiring work of Odd Fellowship.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a “Family Fraternity”. While it was first organized with only men in Odd Fellows Lodges in 1819 on the North American Continent, the Rebekah branch was organized in 1850 and women were admitted to Odd Fellowship, as were other units organized – Encampment, Ladies Encampment Auxiliary, Patriarchs Militant, Ladies Auxiliary Patriarchs Militant, Junior Odd Fellows, and Theta Rho Girls Clubs to complete the “Family Fraternity”. The branches of the family fraternity have planted over three million trees since the programs inception and we have only begun! This is our gift to future generations so please join Odd Fellows and Rebekahs worldwide in planting trees which will better the community in which we live while helping beautify the world.

Fighting global warming is universal concern and planting trees has been advocated by scientists for years due to the trees ability to absorb carbon dioxide, store carbon and release oxygen back into environment. The tree is man’s best environmental cleaner; so let us plant trees!

Make contacts in your communities of potential recipients of the trees such as libraries, schools, churches, retirement complexes, playgrounds, parks, cemeteries, etc. You will be amazed at how easy it is to donate and plant a tree.

Remember to notify the local media in your community to let them know where and when you will be doing this community service, whether you are a member of, or a working friend of the family of Odd Fellowship. In this endeavor, remember to request mayors, premieres and governors to make proclamations for the Living Legacy Program.

Living Legacy Program

Did You Know

  • Trees reduce the urban heat island effect through evaporative cooling and reducing the amount of sunlight that reaches parking lots and buildings. This is especially true in areas with large impervious surfaces, such as parking lots of stores and industrial complexes.
  • Trees improve our air quality by filtering harmful dust and pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide from the air we breathe
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Excelsior ♦ Minnetonka #102

Organized January 1,1885

Meeting Information

Meetings: 2nd & 4th Wednesday
(Jun-July, 1st & 3rd Weds)
Meeting Time: 7:00 PM
Address: PO Box 129

Contact Info

Ty Hodges, Secretary
10008 Quebed Ave. S.
Bloomington, MN. 55438
Phone: 612.638.7441

Excelsior, Minnesota ~ Minnetonka No.102

Past Grand Masters

  • Bernard Leach 1984-1985
  • Wesley Searles 1986-1987
  • Roland Schallberg 1999-2000
  • Allan P. Sauter 2003-2004
  • Bernard Leach 2005-2006
  • J. Douglas Plott 2008-2009
  • Rick Benesh 2015-2016

Charter Members

  • W.H. Le Van
  • J.T. Rawlings
  • Wm. F. Darver
  • Lewis Hanson
  • Wallace W. Wait
  • Osby V.W. Digafoos
  • W.E. Rawlings

Any inquiries regarding genealogy questions should only be in regards to individuals that were a member of a Minnesota Lodge. All other inquiries for other states will be answered with a referral to your states Grand Secretaries contact information.

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