By: Abigail R., Chico Assembly
The girls of Chico-Paradise Assembly stayed active during the shutdown. Our Worthy Advisor planned different themes for virtual business meetings such as pajamas, Disney©, Hawaiian, and camping. We also did fun activities each month. A few of the activities included All About Me collages, and a Netflix© Party where we watched Chicken Little and ate popcorn/snacks.
We had the opportunity to work with the girls of Red Bluff Assembly to plan our virtual Official Visit. Our theme was “Welcome to Jumanji” which included costumes, music, a video skit, and a Kahoot game. Over 200 people attended our Official Visit! Chico-Paradise made a Grand Service donation to The Painted Turtle.
We welcomed our newest member, London Victorino, on August 15th at the state Virtual Initiation. She loved her yard sign and welcome gifts from our Assembly. The shutdown gave us a chance to get to know Alyssa Kiffer, Grand Representative to California, Washington, and Idaho and Grand Christian Flag Bearer in Virginia. She participated in our meetings and
activities and our assembly participated in her virtual 5K fundraiser.
Our largest Grand Service project fundraiser is the Paradise Chocolate Fest. This year, it was held virtually on September 12th. Our Worthy Associate Advisor created a Facebook© post about our organization and how we support the Paradise community. The post was shared with hundreds of people on social media. We were honored to receive a grant as a youth beneficiary. The grant money will go towards the Grand Service Project.
We look forward to a Beauty and the Beast© themed virtual Installation on October 4th. We enjoy seeing each other online, but can’t wait to get back together in person soon!
By: Sara O., Sunshine Assembly
As I think back over the past six or seven months, I am trying to remember and put into words some of my thoughts and feelings. A worldwide pandemic had hit and it seemed to be spreading fast. We are only in our teen years, but most of us understood what this meant, however, we could never have realized the effect it would have for many months to come.
In March, suddenly our schools were closed and we were finishing the school year at home. OK, so maybe this wasn’t so bad. I was just finishing my freshman year, so things like prom and graduation didn’t affect me. I know it did many of my Rainbow friends, and although I felt bad for them, it wasn’t as personal for me. We could still see and talk to our friends on social media for a little while. I’m pretty sure I thought that most of life would still go on as normal, but when even Grand Assembly was canceled, I
was shocked. At first, it was possibly just postponed, so we went on with plans for Ritual Competition, making our dresses, doing our usual things to prepare for our annual convention – but it didn’t happen.
Summer came, and that too seemed ok for a while. We could talk to our friends all night and into the morning because we could sleep all day. I don’t know about everyone else, but I was kind of ok with that. Maybe it got old after a while, but now that I’m back getting up every day for virtual school, I might want those days back.
The next thing to be canceled as an in-person event was Supreme Assembly. This one was harder since I had never been to one and was really looking forward to it. It was now July, and the pandemic was still going strong. Everything was still closed down, and going places with friends was not allowed. Wow! It had already been four months! I never could have imagined something like this could happen.
Rainbow girls were all meeting virtually – on zoom calls through our phones, tablets or computers. A zoom call? Something so many had never even heard of or realized would become a very real part of our lives – for even longer than we imagined. As we try to navigate this virtual world, and try to figure out things we could still do, to not only see our friends, but we also wanted to find ways to help others and to be of service. We have found that little things like calling people who were alone, sending cards, and writing letters, all became a part of our everyday life. Even helping siblings
with their school work, and taking on extra chores at home while our parents also struggled through a virtual world – while considered acts of service, were just part of our ‘new normal’ – at least for the time being.
Sunshine Assembly was very happy to have one of the girls who were virtually initiated during the summer as our new member. We welcome Ngaire and look forward to seeing her again in person, hopefully in the near future. We also hope we can continue to grow.
While doing everything from home, or social distancing and wearing a mask hasn’t always been easy, it has also taught us about our own strengths, creativity, and our ability to accept challenges as they come our way. Sunshine Assembly thanks you, California Rainbow for helping us to find ways to be together, to have fun, and to serve – until we meet again.
By: Kenneth Quick, Lemon Grove Assembly Adult
Hello friends, brace yourself, this has the potential of being a long read, but I wanted to share a part of me with you all, please take the time to read it ….
So many girls and adult ladies have shared their “Rainbow Story” and #whytheyrainbow with you. I do not often hear the dads sharing their #whyirainbow. Well, I have my “Rainbow Story,” which a few within Rainbow have had the opportunity to learn, and yet, so many have not, including many of my friends and family who are not associated directly with Rainbow, CAIORG. I promise to do my best to keep it brief, however, that is a hard task when you become passionate about something, or an organization, and the work they do. . . .
Once upon a time, a man meets a lady; they giggle together, and smile at one another for seven months and decide to get married. In their search for a reception venue, the El Cajon Masonic Lodge is discovered and secured for the event. Immediately, the young groom begins to be told stories of Rainbow Girls (Girls Youth Group), DeMolay (Boys Youth Group), and their Sponsoring Head called the Masons. The groom inquiries, “Are these the Masons I have heard about that perform occult rituals, secret meetings, and mysterious acts?”
Sure enough, the groom learns this is that very group that he had been told about, however, they were rumors, and lies, and could not have been further from the truth. As you have probably figured out, that groom was me, and my beautiful bride is Lisa.
After our marriage, as we began to build a life together, her twin sister Pam, continued to discuss this group called the “International Order of the Rainbow for Girls” (IORG). Which she and her husband, Tim, were members of the executive board. I also learned, she and Lisa were members of the youth order, as teenagers.
Still a bit unfamiliar, you can imagine my intrigue and curiosity to learn what this was about, what they stand for, why it was important to her, etc. After all, until now, all I had heard were rumors. The longer we were married the more this organization crept into daily conversations.
As soon as we found out Lisa was pregnant with a girl, Pam made it clear that our daughter would be eligible to join on her 11th birthday, and the planning to have her initiated was put into motion. Many of you have stated your memories of her being carried to events as an infant, carrying the bible for Installations, being present at events and functions long before becoming a member, etc. All of this, giving me more exposure to the group, their adult supporters, and what they really stood for.
The time came for TaylorAnn to be initiated in the summer of 2010, and I still did not know much of the Rainbow practices, rituals, traditions, etc, all I knew is that the girls loved to have fun, and often participated in community service projects. I have a vivid memory of a non-Rainbow event in our home that many Rainbow Girls just happened to be at, as friends, I noted a comradery and sense of belonging among the girls, and
when clean up time came, it was done in a flash. I looked at Lisa and said, “These Rainbow Girls are invited to any and all events in the future.” What dad would not want his shy, timid, daughter involved in something like that, right?
It was now Initiation, and I had no idea what to expect, I was nervous, excited, and curious all at the same time. As the meeting went on, the lessons and traditions were made known. I was at the edge of my seat with excitement of the journey our daughter, and inherently, we, as her parents were about to embark on.
I mentioned that TaylorAnn was shy and timid, characteristics that some of you, meeting her more recently, may not have seen in her. Why, you ask? Because of her journey. As she slowly (very slowly) but surely began to open up, embrace the lessons taught to her in Rainbow, Girl Scouts, Church, school and home, and being exposed to new opportunities, she became more confident, aware, and mature, leaving her shyness behind, so that she could put others first, time and time again.
So yes, this dad, reluctant to allow his shy and timid daughter join a group because of rumors I had been told, could not be more proud of her and this organization. And let me say this . . .like any group of humans, it is not always about rainbows, butterflies and unicorns. There are difficult times and situations, there are adults both in and of the organization that will spread rumors like what I had been told about untruths. I can tell you, they are just that … Untruths! CA IORG stands for love and service, while
promoting business management, public speaking, event planning, and more.
We are not a religious group; however we do teach lessons of free public education, religion, nature, immortality, fidelity, and patriotism, and the importance they hold while answering the call of love and service. Notice the shift, as I spoke about a third-party organization, to including myself in first person! Remember what I said above? What father would not want their shy daughter involved in such a group? Well, I am here to testify, and shout it from the mountain tops, I am glad I did not listen to the rumors. I am blessed to be a part of this organization and have made so many of my friends here.
Thank you for letting me share my story, and our journey, this is #whyirainbow. Our journey includes a “how” we got here and “why” we stayed. I got here in spite of the lies, and stayed because of the truth!
By: The Girls and Adults of Helen G. McCallum Assembly
October of 2019 was our Halloween in Hawaii Installation of Officers; we had so much fun and installed four girls into new positions. Congratulations!
In November, Brooklyn represented Helen G. McCallum at the Riverside National Cemetery by helping to post flags to honor our Veterans for Veterans Day.
Following our December meeting, we took our annual fun trip to the Mission Inn in downtown Riverside. This is where we ride rides, eat churros, and have some hot chocolate. Mr. and Mrs. Padilla always make sure we get something special to remember the evening, thank you and Merry Christmas!
January is the Last OV and there was a lot to do. We had props to build, ritual to memorize, flag tributes to learn and practices. For most of us, this was our very first ritual Official Visit. We got together with the other assemblies in our district and area to practice. We visited their meetings and filled in whenever we could. We wanted to be ready. The theme was “Journey with the Goddesses of Rainbow”. The day started early, we had to be at Yucaipa High School by seven am to help setup, practice, and be ready. There were a lot of things happening all at once. Our adults said we did an amazing job, some of them cried. It was fun, a lot of hard work, and scary at times because there were over 300 people there.
We were busy in February with dinner servings, meetings, our Installation, a fun trip to Color Me Mine©, and delivering sweet treats to our local firehouse. At Color Me Mine©, we all picked something special to paint, then we walked through the mall for a while. We went back to Mrs. Padilla’s house for snacks and played some games. Riverside Fire Station 3 is always happy to see us when we show up. This time they showed us
their new engine and even extended the ladder. They asked if anyone wanted to go on it; no one did! LOL.
March is always busy for us because this is Grand Assembly prep month. We started out with a dinner serving and two youth presentation events. We were asked to speak about Rainbow to the men of Temescal Palms Lodge in Corona and to our own men at Riverside Lodge. We did the Rainbow Flag Tribute that we did at the OV and Connor spoke about Rainbow. It was after that when the Covid-19 virus shut everything down.
We were sad to learn that Grand Assembly had been postponed. We held our first virtual meeting on the 25th of March. That was different.
In April, we found out the Grand Assembly, parts of it, were going virtual. It was kind of cool. It was nice to see the Grand Officers and watch them showing us stuff. We are still hoping that we will get to go to Grand Assembly, somehow. We have had two more virtual meetings and even a virtual BINGO©. We have sent cards to the Masonic Homes since we couldn’t do our Easter egg project this year.
We are having fun, but sure do miss getting together.
By: Madison M. and Ireland P., Heart of the Valley Assembly
We all missed you in Fresno during our usual Grand Assembly time, but that did not stop us from honoring all of the girls during the week. Our Mother Advisor called out girls each day for special recognition. We especially want to thank our own Grand Officer, Rhiannon, for her year as a Leading Lemur!! She certainly showed us the way and we are glad to have her back as our reigning Worthy Advisor. Alexis, Gwen, Linnea, and Maddie, we hope that when we get to have Grand Assembly that you will have fun fulfilling your chosen roles as Confidential Observer Helper, Grand Page and Grand Choir.
The girls have been staying busy making masks, tying blankets, and helping out their families and neighbors during this time of quarantine. We are especially excited to begin working on neighborhood community library boxes for the Reading Heart program here in Fresno. We will be sanding and painting boxes that will become a “leave one/take one” library box for areas here in town.
We want to congratulate Ireland who won first place in her poetry category for Grand Assembly. She is someone who loves to write, so we know she will be entering more into the future.
We are also checking on different members of our Eastern Star, Shriner, Scottish Rite, Masonic, and Nile supporters. We also are sending cards to our own Past Supreme Deputy Mrs. Dyck. We miss our times with our adult orders.
We are anxiously awaiting a time when we can have meetings as we also have three initiates in waiting. In the meantime, our Zoom© meetings are including them, our Pledge group, and members. It’s a good way to keep in touch and to be able to see each other.
We can’t wait to be able to see you all again when we can see you in person! Until then, your assembly in Fresno wishes all of you good health, sunshine times, and to find a small way each day to give back to someone in need!!
By: Sophia B., Natasha H., Ava J., Jeanine R., Golden Arch Assembly
(Sung to the tune of “It’s the End of the World as We Know It”)
It’s the end of Rainbow as we know it,
It’s the end of service as we know it,
It’s the end of laughter and joy as we know it, and we feel sad!
Trio Installation. Blast. Dance party.
Get caught in laughter and smiles
Mother Advisor’s phone, goofy selfies, hidden
Bella’s Reception, Grandie family, final travels
Covid-19 attacks, Quarantine activated
Started Zoom© meetings, Virtual games, movie nights
Virtual Grand Assembly began, our district Devotional,
Tik Tok© dances were made, virtual food trucks, poetry contest
Heart beats were invested!
Hoop challenges accepted!
Announcements made, we LOVE our Acting Supreme Love!
It’s the end of Rainbow as we know it,
It’s the end of service as we know it,
It’s the end of laughter and joy as we know it, and we feel sad!
By: Sierra H., Concord Assembly
Hello California Rainbow! As I’m sure you all know, we are living in an uncertain and frightening time. There seems to be bad news and more things to fear everywhere we look. For those of us who struggle with anxiety or depression or even those who don’t, the isolation and atmosphere of panic can be overwhelming. That’s why I believe this is
the perfect time to speak about the positive, happy happenings that still exist. It can be hard to hold onto joy when you’re alone, so let’s do it together CA Rainbow!
Concord Assembly has been hosting a weekly book club and movie night on Zoom©! We are currently reading “Five Feet Apart” and we watched Frozen© Two on Friday. This has helped me immensely. I miss my friends, especially my Rainbow people, and these meetings help me feel more connected. Maybe you and your assembly can implement some kind of events like these! Remember to reach out to those around you,
even if you can’t see them in person. You aren’t alone and all of this is temporary.
It’s also helpful to remember that over 150,000 people have recovered from COVID-19. There have been 103-year-olds who recovered. There is hope! Just stay at home and limit your contact with the public. Hold onto joy and your quarantine buddies, and this will be over soon. Don’t forget to wash your hands!