What Is RARA?
Royal Arch Research Assistancem (RARA) is a not for profit 501 c-3 tax exempt organization incorporated in the state of Kentucky in 1974 initiated by the then General Grand High Priest, Edward Selby of Ohio. It has continued since that time to be governed by a Board of Directors. These are all Royal Arch Masons appointed by the General Grand High Priest of the General Grand Chapter, who is, by statute, its President. The Secretary of the Board receives all contributions, keeps records and sends out receipts, certificates and awards as appropriate. All functions of public relations, fund raising and/or communicative role between our grant awardees and the respective Royal Arch jurisdictions are handed by three Executive Officers as follows: in the East, George King, VP of Alcoa in New York City; in the Central area, Dr. John Siscel, an experienced specialist in not for profit activity, located in St. Louis; and in the West, Jerry Wohlfarth, a Past Grand High Priest of California, a retired business executive and a great proponent of the RARA program. These three will work with RARA representatives and the Ambassadors in each state to coordinate these activities with the local Grand Chapter. In this way the local Chapters will be given the opportunity to participate publicly to show their Royal Arch colors and provide opportunities for all to combine and demonstrate our community involvement. Through greater visibility to the public of our activities, we hope to generate greater commitment to this endeavor and greater contributions to RARA.
What is Central Auditory Processing Disorder?
Central Auditory Processing Disorder (or CAPD) is a hearing deficiency that usually affects younger people and does not allow them to distinguish sounds as would be heard by those with regular hearing. Background noises and other speakers disturb and confuse people with CAPD making it difficult to concentrate. This results in misunderstanding and/or frustrations leading to students being accused of being dysfunctional. Often students with satisfatory IQ’s produce substandard work because they cannot hear messages or a teacher’s delivery clearly. Research is developing paths of opportunity to correct this problem and RARA contributions support these research efforts. Our activities go back over 30 years and much progress has been achieved through these efforts. More needs to be done and that is why RARA has expanded their efforts.
What is Our Commitment?
So to summarize: RARA has gone from support of ONE research and ONE office to support of – Three organizations, all working on CAPD research with several direct researchers together with Autism Speaks and Hearing Health offering NATIONAL services and with opportunities for local envolvement. Our commitment is self evident and ground breaking. RARA is EXPANDING its research service to our country and indeed, the world. Why? Simply and directly because as Royal Arch Masons WE CARE!
What Does RARA DO?
Charity is, and in one way or another has always been, in the forefront of activities of the General Grand Chapter. Therefore it should come as no surprise when General Grand High Priest Selby started RARA. Its initial foray into this area was in research. He sought an area of medical research that needed funding. This research led to the selection of Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD), in which research was seriously underfunded. It remains so to this day. Royal Arch Masons have contributed over $9,000,000 to support it. Recently the Board of RARA made significant additions to and amplifications of its work with CAPD. Let us explain in some detail those new areas of research.
First, is work continuing through and enhanced research component in CAPD at the University of Connecticut. Dr. Frank E. Musiek, PhD, CCC-A, Director of Auditory Research, Professor of Audiology. The RARA Board gave Dr. Musiek a grant of $60,000 with which to conduct his program’s research. Although the UConn program has two students working toward their Doctorate, many others are in the classes taught by Dr. Musiek and these ultimately will contribute their talents to CAPD research. The UConn facility at Storrs, CT has more than ten sound rooms for CAPD study. Given the reputation of Dr. Musiek, great things can be expected. Dr. Musiek is coordinating a study of over 600 cases of CAPD for analysis to attempt to find correlations.
Second, Hearing Health Foundation, New York City. RARA’s Board awarded a grant of $100,000 to Hearing Health Foundation to be used in grants of $25,000 each to four students for CAPD research as it relates to the challenges of deafness and treatments related thereto. This foundation serves in two areas: First, to evaluate requests for grants by students in hearing related studies, award the grant of $25,000, monitor the progress and results so that these studies can be stepping stones to larger National Health grants to these students. Secondly, Hearing Health arranges tests to evaluate the causes of hearing loss especially in environmental situations. They are embarking on a test in NYC schools to try to educate children of dangers of damaging their hearing capacity with the many portable entertainment devices so readly available to children today. The researchers of Hearing Health have made some extraordinary advances in devising a cure for deafness and believe that with adequate funding, they might reach that goal in as soon as ten years! Hearing Health is committed to further research and ultimate cure in all forms of deafness related handcaps including CAPD. RARA is proud to support this extraordinary organization.
Third, and finally, Autism Speaks of New York City. RARA’s Board awarded a grant of $100,000 to work specially on and in their Toddlers Program, focusing on infants of 12 to 36 months of age and testing for both Autism and CAPD. Autism strikes 1 in 110 births and 1 in 70 boy births so it is a major problem in the world today. Autism Speaks has become very well known throughout the country as they strive to help the more and more children that are diagnosed with this problem. The challenge in this area goes much deeper than children and their parents who are provided with special training in dealing with this difficulty, but becomes increasingly difficult for parents as they become older and plans must be made for the days when those parents will no longer be able to provide the care and support needed. Our activity with this highly visible organization should benefit both immeasurably. Royal Arch Masons will be able to participate in the more than 90 “Walks” around the country, challenging greater contributions and making Royal Arch Masons visible doing good works in the community. This clearly shows that RARA continues to do what it does best, to support and fund research for its core charity and mission – CAPD! We are proud of that record and its consistent and continued commitment.
What Can You Do?
You can join our cause through your support of RARA’s activities throughout this nation and the world.
For further information please contact:
Royal Arch Research Assistance
PO Box 128
Greenfield, IN 46140-0128
If you want to contribute now, you may do it through Eureka Chapter No. 7, Orlando York Rite Bodies. Fill in the form below and our secretary will contact you with information.
[contact-form-7 id=”663″ title=”RARA Contact”]