Meet the Queen: Samantha Hollenbeck
Albion girl is serving in role for Masonic Lodge in WNY
ALBION – Samantha Hollenbeck, 13, of Albion will spend at least the next year as “beloved queen” of the Triangle program, the youth component of the Masonic Lodge. She is the youngest queen ever for a district that includes about 50 lodges in Western New York.
She could continue in the role after this year if a successor isn’t chosen. Local residents can expect to see her in parades and community events, touting the Masonic Lodge, and its youth programs for boys and girls. She also has made raising money for breast cancer awareness and research, her chosen charity for the year.
“I know people affected by it,” she said Tuesday at her home on Ingersoll Street.
The seventh-grader will be selling popcorn and flowers, washing cars and participating in “Relay for Life” events to raise money for breast cancer research.
She will travel the state in her role as beloved queen, attending Masonic lodges and their events.
Samantha, a cheerleader and member of the National Junior Honor Society, also will lead meetings of the Triangle group sponsored by the Lockport lodge. (Albion doesn’t have a Triangle program.) The group meets every other Saturday at the Akron lodge.
“She is well-grounded and mature for her age,” said her father Brian Hollenbeck, a Mason in Albion the past 12 years. He and his wife Dawn are supervisors for the Triangle.
Samantha joined the Triangle three years ago and established friendships with the other girls, while memorizing the different rituals that are part of the meetings.
She wants to see the group work hard for the community, and also have fun. This summer she is planning social events with the Triangle girls and the DeMolays, the boys youth program. They will play laser tag, go to the aquarium in Niagara Falls and the zoo.
Samantha said the youth groups typically take the summer off, but she wants them to stay connected in July and August.
The Hollenbecks are active members of the Masons. Mr. Hollenbeck first joined in Albion. His wife recently became a member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a Masonic organization for women. The couple has 14 children.
Their son Matthew, 25, is a Mason in Albion. He is currently stationed in Seattle with the U.S. Army. Nicholas, 23, is a past leader of the DeMolays youth group, which is based in Albion. Andrew, 16, is currently in the DeMolays Charity Lodge.
Two of Samantha’s younger brothers – Thomas and Conner – will join the program next year.
“We’ve never forced any of our kids to do it,” Mr. Hollenbeck said. “They see the good we do and the fun we have and the friends we make. We’re trying to make a difference in the community and in ourselves.”