Free and Accepted Masons
SAMUEL GOMPERS - BENJAMIN FRANKLIN LODGE #45
District of Columbia
For over 35 years, Samuel Gompers-Benjamin Franklin Lodge #45 has donated food to needy families in the Washington, DC area in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Consisting of turkey, fixings, and sides, the lodge gives generously to those in our area identified by the Jewish Social Service Agency (JSSA) as being in need. Families have the option of requesting kosher turkeys, as well.
The program is named for three-time Past Master William D. "Billy" Boker (1966, 2000, 2004). Billy was integral in the early years of the Thanksgiving Baskets as the owner of the Chevy Chase Supermarket, where he organized and arranged for the food donations for the baskets. After Billy sold the supermarket, he remained the chairman of the Thanksgiving Baskets program. Though he remained an integral part of the committee until his death in 2015, Billy gave up the chairmanship of the committee in later years.
After his passing, the Lodge voted to honor Billy's years of dedication to the lodge and to the Thanksgiving Baskets program by renaming it in his memory.