(L-R Joe Sosa, Master; Alexis Winter; Steve Johnson, Chairman)
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge presented its annual Albert T. and Tupper MacMillan Scholarship, supported by the Ernest J. Freeman Jr. Memorial Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship was presented to Ms. Alexis Winter a graduating Senior at Hollins High School in St. Petersburg. Ms. Winter will be attending the University of Florida in the Fall where she will begin her studies in Psychology. Her future goal is to earn her degree in Psychiatry. Ms. Winter has volunteered over 161 hours in the community, including many service hours for Keep Pinellas Beautiful. Ms. Winter has been active several service clubs at Hollins High School, including being President of the Interact Club as well as belonging to the Book Club, Crochet Club (which crocheted baby hats and blankets for babies in Sierra Leone), Garden Club (which worked towards beautifying the school grounds), and the Academic Team.
Scholastically, Ms. Winter earned Valedictorian this year and was repeatedly on the Principal’s List and Honor Roll, graduating with a 4.697 weighted GPA. She earned a Cambridge Diploma and was recognized with an ‘Outstanding Cambridge Learner Award with Merit’ in 2022. Ms. Winter has been recognized with a ‘Rotary Youth Leadership Award’ and received a ‘Congress of Future Medial Leaders Award of Excellence’.
Ernest J. Freeman Jr., Master of Gulf Beach Lodge in 1984, had a vision. This vision was to create a scholarship program that would grant deserving local students funds to assist in their college tuition. It was also his vision to create a program which would be self-perpetuating thereby being a source of assistance well into the future. After the passing of Ernest Freeman the Scholarship program was renamed in his memory and has helped support four college students each year since its inception. The annual Scholarship winner receives $2,000.00 to assist in their College or University expenses.
Gulf Beach Masonic Lodge was chartered in 1950 and has been an active presence on the Gulf Beaches since that time. The Masonic Lodge has been a part of the Adopt-a-Highway program and is a strong supporter of many charitable organizations such as the American Heart Association, PARC, the American Lung Association, the St. Petersburg Free clinic, and many others.