You probably know him as “The Onion Man” but his real name is Ronnie Gay and he just received one of the highest honors a Freemason can get.
Gay was recently given the 33rd degree as a Scottish Rites Mason. There are more than 255,000 Scottish Rite Masons in the United States and only 450 received the honor this year.
Gay, a retired coal miner, received his white hat on November 16th signifying him in the prestigious group.
The degree is conferred on members who have made major contributions to society or to Masonry in general.
Gay has raised thousands of dollars for charitable causes through the sale of onions.
In 2010, the local Masonic Lodge only sold 6,000 lbs. of onions. The following year, Gay sold over 17,000 lbs. himself and the numbers keep rising.
The money from the onion sales goes to the Leslie County Shrine Club to transport local youth to and from area Shriners’ Hospitals.
The club also helps children with transportation that live in surrounding counties such as Clay, Owsley and Jackson to name a few.