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Grand Commandery Knights Templar Rhode Island & Massachusetts

Grand Commandery Charities

Knights Templar Educational Foundation
The Knight Templar Educational Foundation provides scholarships for students in the third and fourth years of college, thus enabling them to finish their degree work which might otherwise be threatened due to lack of funding. These scholarships are available to relatives of Sir Knights, and the applicant must reside within our jurisdiction. Any inquiries and requests for applications should be directed to the Grand Recorder.

Carrie E. Seitz Fund
The Carrie E. Seitz Fund is composed of monies left in trust by the widow of a Sir Knight, for the purpose of financially aiding college students. Unlike the Knight Templar Educational Foundation this is a onetime grant and is available regardless of the candidate’s year in college. Application is made by letter of petition to the Grand Commandery office, which is then forwarded to the Grand Commander, Deputy Grand Commander, and Grand Generalissimo for determination. At the present time these grants range between $1,000 and $1,500, dependent upon availability of funds. Any interested Sir Knight may make additions to the fund’s principal, thus enhancing our ability to issue grants.

Knights Templar Eye Foundation
Every Sir Knight should be made aware of the great demand for the services of the Knight Templar Eye Foundation, our great humanitarian project. It provides grants for research into eye disease in its many and varied forms. Go to the Grand Encampment Website and link to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation so that you can provide the latest and correct information. Over the last few years over $200,000 has been granted to research doctors in our jurisdiction to enable them to continue their work. This fact should be stressed when soliciting funds from constituent Commanderies. The Grand Generalissimo is appointed chairman of our Voluntary Campaign.

Put A Person In The Pulpit
This fund, which provides scholarships for seminary students, is a program of the Presiding Councils Club. To be eligible, the applicant must be an accepted student at an accredited seminary, be pursuing a career path in pastoral ministry, and be a resident of the jurisdiction. Grants are made from the principal earned on the fund. Individuals, as well as constituent Commanderies, may contribute to the fund.

Pilgrimage To The Holy Land
This program of the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States was adopted by this Grand Commandery in 1987. Its mission is to provide a trip to the Holy Land for a Christian minister who is in the middle of his career. The applicant must currently be ministering at a church within our jurisdiction, and due to financial considerations, would not otherwise be able to make such a trip. This Grand Commandery is responsible for providing funding to pay for those that we send. Constituent Commanderies are encouraged to make annual contributions to this fund. The Grand Generalissimo is appointed coordinator for the program and the Grand Prelate is chairman of a committee of Associate Grand Prelates who review the applications and make a recommendation to the Grand Commander.


Where are we today...
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, incorporated in 1956, is a charity sponsored by the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar. The Foundation is governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of the six elected officers of the Grand Encampment, all Past Grand Masters of the Grand Encampment, and six trustees-at-large elected from and by the membership for a term of nine years. It is exempt from federal income taxation under Section 501 (c) 3 of the Internal Revenue Code and contributions made to the Foundation are deductible by donors.

The original mission of the Foundation was "to provide assistance to those who face loss of sight due to the need for surgical treatment without regard to race, color, creed, age, sex or national origin provided they are unable to pay or receive adequate assistance from current government agencies or similar sources and to provide funds for research in curing diseases of the eye."

On December 31, 2010, the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., by direction of the board, shifted the Foundation's focus and adopted a new mission statement "to improve vision through research, education, and supporting access to care." The Foundation now only participates in direct patient care through the Seniors Eye Care Program in partnership with EyeCare America and the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. With this change, the Foundation is benefitting untold millions in generations to come through grants that support research and education. Our research dollars have helped develop new, nonsurgical, treatments for strabismus (crossed eyes) and ophthalmologists have told us that our efforts in funding pediatric ophthalmology research have been the primary reason that there are fewer and fewer surgeries for strabismus. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Inc., annually announces its call for research grant applications. The Foundation invites eligible investigators to submit applications for pediatric ophthalmology research grants for the award period which normally runs from July 1 to June 30. From the applications received, the Scientific Advisory Committee recommends to the Trustees which requests should be funded.

Since its inception, the Foundation has expended over $140 million on research, patient care, and education. Research grants totaling in excess of $23 million have been awarded to researchers working in the fields of pediatric ophthalmology and ophthalmic genetics.