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The Faithful Fifth and Fifth Manhattan Masonic District Purple Circle (a 501(c)3 charitable organization based in Manhattan, New York) is planning a State-wide fundraising event to raise $25,000 for our Masonic Charity for the Battle Within Foundation on Veteran’s Day on November 11, 2023.

This event will engage ROTC club com petitions in surrounding schools in New York City and culminate with a gala dinner and various fundraising opportunities.

The donation will focus on Supporting Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Research at the Masonic Medical Research Center (MMRAI); finding a way forward by sparking new research opportunities.

The Battle Within Foundation:

In the past 40+ years, since the end of the Vietnam War, we have lost more American heroes due to suicide than all foreign wars and conflicts in that time period combined. Despite the very best efforts of family, friends, the VA, and scores of highly dedicated veteran-based organizations, approximately 20 veterans each day are lost to us due to complications from wounds and injuries we cannot see.
That’s 7200 brave men and women a year who volunteered, stood on the yellow footprints and swore an oath to God to protect and defend our country. They proved this commitment, many seeing and experiencing the unimaginable in our name. Unfortunately, they made it through one war, only to come home to fight another.

The Brothers of Harmonie Lodge No. 699 O.M. had their Damascus Road moment when this ongoing tragedy personally touched them. A Masonic Brother, Captain Peter Schank took his life in 2017 at the age of 30 while battling depression and post-traumatic stress. A veteran of three deployments to Afghanistan, Brother Schank exemplified our Masonic ideals, dedicating his life to a balance of service and academic pursuits.

In the end, support offered by friends and family were not enough, as Peter chose to end his pain after several years of intense struggle. Nearing the end of his life, Peter most heavily relied on his Masonic Brothers, as he found himself, at times, without shelter, or his next meal. Those same Brothers have now come together to raise awareness of this national epidemic and begin efforts to de-stigmatize how psychological trauma is regarded in today’s society.

The Battle Within Foundation is a 100% volunteer-run

501(c)3 charitable organization based in Western, New York.


Founded in 1958, MMRI is an internationally recognized biomedical research institute located in Utica, New York. Their research, led by Dr. Maria Kontaridis, the Executive Director and Gordon K. Moe Professor and Chair of Biomedical Research and Translational Medicine, is primarily focused on understanding the mechanisms that
cause heart disease, brain functional anomalies, and autoimmune disease.

“As the scope of MMRI’s research on neurocognitive disorders continues to diversify, we will also focus our efforts on better understanding PTSD. In collaboration with numerous others in our region who are working tirelessly towards bettering this cause, we hope our efforts will help make a difference in the lives of all those suffering from this devastating disorder.”
– Dr. Maria Kontaridis

For more information about MMRI, please visit mmri.edu.

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