Tracy Press - Tracy California
Rainbow great experience
August 13, 2005
Letter to the EDITOR,
I am 18 years old and a member of Tracy Assembly of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, which has existed 71 years in Tracy. At a time when youths were complaining about not having anything to do in Tracy, this organization has kept me and my friends involved in the community and having fun since we were 11.
In spite of being such a good organization, we have had a lot of trouble bringing in new members because of various misconceptions people have about the organization. The biggest misconception is that we are associated with the Rainbow Alliance, which is an organization that supports gay and lesbian lifestyles. We are in no way connected with this organization.
The second misconception is that Rainbow and its sponsoring body, the Freemasons, are a religious cult. Freemasonry and Rainbow are fraternities dedicated to the welfare of those in need. While we encourage our members to be religious, we are not connected with any specific church and welcome members of all denominations.
Some also mistakenly sees us as a secret society. A secret society is one that conceals its membership or has secret meeting places of which the public has no knowledge, either as to its organization, its aims or its principles. While our meetings are only open to members and their families, the purposes, ideals and principles of Rainbow may be shared with anyone who cares to inquire.
Meeting times, dates and places are readily available and even published in this newspaper.
Many people also believe that Rainbow is the same as organizations like Girl Scouts. We have members who belong to both groups, and find that the two compliment each other. The main difference is that Rainbow emphasizes community service and offers opportunities for public speaking and leadership training.
Because of these issues, we find that people do not even consider our organization when looking for an activity for their kids.
They fail to look at what we really do, which is community service, leadership training and provide a safe environment for girls to have fun and make life-long friends.
I hate to see the Tracy assembly struggle for members because I know how much I have grown through this organization. If I should have a daughter some day, I would love for her to enjoy the same experiences that I have had.
Christina Abbitt, Tracy