Order of the Eastern Star celebrates Autism Acceptance Month

Published 6:53 pm Friday, April 8, 2022

The 102nd chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star will be hosting its first annual black-tie gala on Saturday, April 16.

In honor of Autism Acceptance Month, the Suffolk organization will partner with the Autism Society of Tidewater on the gala to raise money for ensuring that everyone in the autism community has the support and resources they need to live fully.

The Order of the Eastern Star dates to the mid-19th century. It was founded by Dr. Rob Morris, a freemason who hoped to share the principles of masonry, which include trustworthiness, honesty and friendship, with women. The Suffolk chapter began operations in October 2021 under the direction of Andrea Scaces. The organization consists of mostly women who are descendants of Masons who wish to become part of an organization that values giving back and sisterhood.

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“We are a group of predominantly ladies and some gentlemen who are coming together to find unity, bring peace, love, understanding and provide sisterhood for one another,” said Andrea Scaces, the worthy matron for the Suffolk Chapter. “We are also about service and giving back to the community.”

As a new organization in the area, members are hoping to establish themselves in the community and offer a positive role model to young ladies.

“This is just our first event in the community, but we are hoping to plan even more events within the community. We just want to make sure that we are having a positive impact and being positive role models for the people in our area,” said Diane Evans, secretary for the Suffolk Chapter.

“Since April is Autism Acceptance Month, Andrea thought it would be nice to work with the Autism Society for our first big event, and we couldn’t agree more,” said Roz Frazier, the associate matron for the Suffolk Chapter.

The Autism Society of Tidewater was established in 1981 and is an affiliate of the Autism Society of America, which was founded in 1965. The organization operates with the help of fundraising, donations and a few grants.

“We are hoping to not just make a difference now but for the next 40 years so that people like my son and other families will have the support that they need,” said Nicole Miller, operations manager for the Autism Society of Tidewater, “And we also just do it out of love for the community. If there’s a program that we don’t offer, we will work to organize it to meet the needs of the family that requested it.”

The event will be held on April 16 at 7 p.m. at the Delta by Marriott in Chesapeake. The event will include a cocktail hour, dinner, door prizes and more. Tickets will be available for $75 each and proceeds of the event will go to the Autism Society of Tidewater. Additionally, during the event, the organization will honor teachers and support staff who work with students with autism from Nansemond River High School.

To purchase tickets or to learn more about the Order of the Eastern Star Suffolk Chapter, email oesadora102@gmail.com.

To learn more about the Autism Society of Tidewater visit tidewaterasa.org.