For nearly a century, daughters of Masonic Lodge members have served their communities through their own youth organization known as the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.

According to Shawnee Rainbow Assembly Mother Advisor, Cherie Serre, the organization is meant for young girls and women who wish to serve God and their community.

"It's a community service organization for girls ages 11 to 20," Serre said.

The mother of two daughters explained Rainbow was formed in 1922 by Reverend W. Mark Sexson in McAlester.

"He saw a need for something for younger girls and teenage girls to belong to. He was a part of the Masonic Lodge so he made it a kind of a daughter organization to the Masons," Serre said. "Most of the idea is to encourage girls to not only participate in service activities and that kind of thing but just overall be a good religious person."

The Shawnee Assembly is the second oldest and Serre said the girls and parents participate in various service projects and fundraisers.

"We go to statewide events where there are state officers and they show what Rainbow is all about and we do some fun activities together...We also do community service activities...," Serre said.

The mother advisor said Shawnee Rainbow has helped senior citizens in the community as well as the Oklahoma City Food Bank and raised money for the Special Olympics.

"It's like a sorority. It's nondenominational but it's Christian based. We encourage girls to attend a church of their choice...," Serre said.

While the local assembly is Christian based, Serre said because the organization is international, it's adaptable to other religions in different countries.

Both of Serre's daughters, Cloe and Cami are members of Shawnee Rainbow and she said she loves being apart of the organization yet again.

"I was in Rainbow when I was a kid. I belonged to the El Reno Assembly, which no longer exists ... It's hard to find adults who are interested in supporting an assembly. It's not hard to find girls who are interested but it is hard to find adults who are interested in giving up time and usually money in order to do this," she said.

Though she went from being a member to playing a parent role, Serre said it wasn't too long before she took on more of a responsibility role.

"As soon as my daughter turned 11 and was able to join I actively looked for an assembly that was nearby so I started participating with her as a parent and then later on...I took over," Serre said.

For the last three and a half years Serre has served as the Mother Advisor to the girls in the Shawnee Assembly.

"I'm supposed to be someone who the girls can go to to confide in if something is going wrong or if something is bothering them. If they need someone to talk to...I'm like a troop leader in a way...," Serre said.

Serre also said she guides the girls' activities and gives them help when they need it.

"I guide them in the right direction and I drive them places," she said.

Shawnee Rainbow has two meetings every first and third Mondays of the month at the Masonic Lodge.

Serre explained the best aspect of being apart of Shawnee Rainbow is seeing how it changes these young women.

"I was a very shy girl when I first joined Rainbow and I met a lot of girls and adults who helped me change into someone who could speak in front of people and communicate well and I've seen that in other girls including my younger daughter...," Serre said.

In addition to helping the community and making new friends, girls in Shawnee Rainbow can receive scholarships for college which Serre said she plans on utilizing for her daughters.

As time goes on, the mother advisor said she hopes more girls want to join the Shawnee Rainbow Assembly.

"When I took over three and a half years ago we had two active members and now we have 30, so I hope it continues in that line because the more girls we have the more we can participate in community service activities and really have an affect on the community as a whole," Serre said.

Any girls interested in joining can contact Serre at (405) 585-1390.