By: Isabella L., Jr. Past Grand Worthy Advisor 2020 & 2021
Each Grand Assembly is unique by design, and boy was that true for Grand Assembly 2021. The journey of the Leading Lemurs’ began when we were appointed as Grand Officers in Ontario CA in 2019. Fast forward through a phenomenal year to March of 2020, where right before heading to Fresno for sessions, the COVID pandemic changed everything and we needed to establish a new normal. From zoom calls, fun videos, and much more, California Rainbow worked hard to stay connected as we faced unprecedented times. Our hope was to reunite in Ontario, CA for Grand Assembly 2021 but we soon realized that this simply was not the safest choice for our members. However, ready or not, two incredible grand years were going to come to a close for the Leading Lemurs. It was finally time to enter The Enchanted Forest: Dream ~ Lead ~ Believe on March 27th through the 29th.
After a thorough COVID-19 training, we were prepared to move forward as a team. The attention to detail ensured our continual safety by taking precautions like getting tested prior to arrival, wearing masks, socially distancing, daily health questionnaires, temperature checks, and many already being vaccinated. I arrived on-site at Heart of the Valley’s lodge in Fresno CA on March 26th, 2021, and was ushered straight into the dining hall, which was the viewing room for our onsite team so they could watch on a projection screen. I was extremely eager to see the lodge room because that’s where all filming for the live stream would take place which meant…decorations!! It’s an understatement to say that I was blown away! Mrs. Regier guided me into the lodge room with my eyes closed and I opened them to see a breathtaking castle tower. There was even a floating lantern! Tears instantly began to stream from my eyes as I was surrounded by beautiful backdrops, an enormous sparkly blue moon, to a dreamy lantern-guided canoe.
The next day, it was finally time to enter The Enchanted Forest! What an exciting day that was. My parents and our viewers finally saw the beautiful light blue Grand Officer dresses for the first time as the Leading Lemurs passed a lantern to one another during our informal opening. Meanwhile, I was crouching down behind the tower ready to pop up and catch and release my lantern! In addition to the decorations, the technology was incredible. What we experienced was very different from what everyone else saw at home. Next to the video camera and lights was a TV monitor that showed those who were backstage virtually, my video feed, and the pre-edited videos that you all saw. Miss Rosenthal was at the Recorder’s desk watching the live feed and keeping us in touch with the tech team in Chicago, plus she monitored the chat to make sure you were all having a wonderful experience. Larry was one of the awesome tech people in Chicago who would cue me in by saying “Back to Bella in 5…4…3…2…” and thanks to Mr. Zahlis and others, anytime there were “technical difficulties” he would ensure that they would be quickly resolved.
It was amazing to have our wonderful state parents by my side and my grandie Hannah there to support me and to help out as our unofficial onsite page. She was nicknamed the “Lady in the Lake” after lying on her stomach behind my canoe having only her hand pop into camera view to hand me props during my GWA report. Thankfully, my new grandie Katie lived close enough that we were able to arrange a safe meeting so I could congratulate her before installing her and the new corps of Grand Officers on Monday. It was amazing to hand her the gavel and to give her the Grand Worthy Advisor pin… you know… after I found it! While Katie was onscreen, I was offscreen jumping up and down trying to find it as Miss Rosenthal belly-crawled and Hannah frantically searched for it. There were definitely a handful of behind-the-scenes moments like these that made the weekend truly memorable.
“Dream, Lead, Believe” was a phrase that I created quickly after being appointed in 2019 because I was inspired by individuals who conquer their circumstances with passion and determination. Little did I know that our theme would be the very instructions on how to make our virtual sessions come to life. Virtual Grand Assembly came with its share of challenges both in preparation and in execution, as would an in-person Grand, but rather than focusing on what we couldn’t do, we made the choice to fix our eyes on all that was possible. The time, labor, and the love that was invested into every fiber of creating a memorable Grand Assembly was a success because we all worked together to dream, lead, and believe.
With all of my Leading Mickey Love,
Isabella L., Jr. Past Grand Worthy Advisor 2020 & 2021
Are you interested in joining the Grand Assembly Ensemble to play with the Grand Choir at Grand Assembly? The deadline to apply is July 31st! Click the link below to fill out the application.
Have you dreamed of playing the piano or some other instrument at Grand Assembly during sessions? Now is your opportunity to apply to be the Assistant Grand Musician for Grand Assembly 2022!
2023 Grand Officers
Registration for Grand Assembly 2021 is now open! Everyone will use the same link to register and the cost to attend is $10 per person. Click on the link below to register:
When the world is upside down, how do we keep service in our hearts and hands? This year, California Rainbow is looking for girls to think outside of the box. The girls selected to serve on this team will be in charge of planning and executing a Statewide Service Project during the 2021 Grand Year!
See the flyer for more information on this exciting new opportunity!
By: Rhiannon C., Member of the Grand Executive Committee, Color Bearer and Rep. to CO/NV
This is Rhiannon C., Member of the Grand Executive Committee, Color Bearer and Rep. to Colorado and Nevada. Lots of us California girls had a “nifty” time at the “Cruisin’ Through the Fifties With Nevada Rainbow” Grand Sessions back in June 2019. We surely represented California well as a delegation, and showed up with spirit and enthusiasm for Nevada Rainbow! I was invited to be seated in the East with our Supreme Worthy Advisor Joanie Jacka! I also got to sit with other counterparts to Nevada from various jurisdictions, and other members of the Nevada grand family. It was fun to be up in the East and see Nevada Grand Assembly from a new perspective. I also had an amazing view of the guests from California, which resembled a sea of green!
It was a blast to get the chance to attend and speak on behalf of Mrs. Regier and Isabella! I told the Nevada girls all about our Grand Service Project and all about the teams and initiatives that we are working on here in California.
Grand Assembly was held in the same exact place that Supreme Assembly 2020 will be held, so becoming more familiar with the Peppermill Resort and where things are located there in Reno was helpful. One of my favorite parts of Nevada’s Grand Assembly was the assembly entertainment, where each assembly had a chance to display their talents. The girls sung and danced in their special outfits and made us laugh a lot! Other notable aspects of the sessions were the parents ceremony, the glowing alter, Maddie’s Mash House, the lighter side of majority, and the crowning ceremony between the retiring and incoming Grand Worthy Advisor. Speaking of Nevada’s Jr. Past Grand Worthy Advisor , Maddison J., she was appointed to serve another year as Grand Recorder and Representative to California and Florida! It was pretty cool to be down on the floor during announcements when her name was called! She got her very own lemur that I dressed up myself.The stuffed animal lemur went along well with her brand new mascot for Nevada, which ended up being the Marvelously Mischievous Monkeys!
The Monkeys have kept very busy this year preparing for Supreme Assembly this summer. However, they have found time to come and visit us during the year. They brought quite the marvelous and mischievous disposition to a couple of events, Southern Camp in August and more recently, the last Official Visit in January. I was so excited to see them at both of these events. At Southern Camp, some of the members of the Jr. Grand Executive Committee attended with the help of a little Nevada “pixie dust”! They also bid on me in the Grand Officer Auction and got to dress me up for dinner. It was so much fun, and the girls made me very beautiful by filling my eyebrows in with black mascara and letting me wear their special letterman jackets and Crocs. It was hilarious! The Nevada girls surprised me when they came to the Last OV! My mom – Chandra Blasquez, Grand Deputy and Past Grand Officer from Nevada kept this a secret from me until I saw them there. I was so happy, and they also got to sit right behind me during the Official Visit. Savannah L., Nevada’s Grand Worthy Advisor, even joined the Spirit Team and set off a confetti cannon during our presentation! I have had so much fun hanging out with the Nevada girls throughout the year!
Our Grand Worthy Advisor Isabella put together a video to walk down memory lane with the Leading Lemurs that is followed by an announcement about Grand Assembly 2020.
By: Shalyn M., Grand Executive Committee, California Flag Bearer, Circulation Manager and Rep. to Michigan
In June I had the privilege of attending Michigan’s Grand Assembly along with my Past Grand Deputy Mrs.Angie Thomas. I was welcomed by the Grand Worthy Advisor, Samantha, along with the Supreme Inspector. I met some of the girls at their first session of Grand Assembly. Their session consisted of the opening of a regular meeting along with a business meeting after that. I had the pleasure of spending some time getting to know the girls over multiple lunches and dinners together. We bonded over playing games back at the hotel room along with a deep conversation over the different foods they have in Michigan to California. I even had the pleasure of touring the Masonic Pathway Retirement Home. During this time we got to bring cards to the Seniors that are staying in the retirement home. I even had the pleasure of attending their Saturday night party which consisted of an Indoor Water Park! Although, I didn’t have a swimsuit where I could join in the fun I did enjoy getting to talk to the young ladies who also weren’t participating about their amazing state. I learned so much about how our states are different as well as similar, like how their Grand Officers are chosen, how many assemblies there are in Michigan, how old the girls that are Grand Officers usually are, and so much more. That night ended with me getting to go to my favorite place on earth, Olive Garden. This trip taught me so much about Michigan Rainbow. From the moment that I arrived, to the second that I left the girls and adults of Michigan Rainbow made me feel so welcomed and excited to be there. I will cherish those memories for a lifetime and hope to attend their Grand Assembly again in the future. Thank you!