Masonic Angel Fund News Articles

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September 21, 2003 - Masonic Angel Foundation Update 



MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN ATHOL
One of our founders recently spoke at the Star-Athol Lodge in Athol, Massachusetts. During that session, Charles Montalbano of the Star-Athol MAF presented a thank-you note from a local mother. 

You may recall from an earlier newsletter that Star-Athol MAF received a request from a school physical therapist regarding a young boy with autism. The child was in need of additional gross motor skill therapy in his home. The therapist requested MAF assistance in acquiring a "jungle gym" that had specific components that would assist the youngster in developing his gross motor skills by having his Mom help him through a series of climbing and balancing exercises each day. 

The Star-Athol MAF was able to afford half the cost of the necessary equipment. The St. Andrew Fund was generous in covering the remaining portion.

At the Star-Athol meeting of September 11th, Bro. Montalbano passed around photos of the equipment and also the following thank-you letter (edited for content) from the mother:

Dear Mr. Montalbano and fellow Masons, I cannot thank you enough for purchasing (equipment) for my son; our family is so grateful. My son is thrilled (as you can tell from the enclosed pictures). He has more smiles now than ever before. Physically, he is becoming stronger; his physical therapist says that the equipment is a big plus. A special thank you to Mr. Montalbano; without your thoughtfulness, persistence and follow-through, this project would never have gotten off the ground. Thanks again [name omitted]

We must also acknowledge that Star-Athol is the home of "magic coin canisters". Star-Athol happened to have launched their Coins for Kids campaign that night and there were many Lodges in attendance. During Bob Fellows' talk in the Lodge dining room, Charlie Montalbano passed out some of Star-Athol's new coin canisters to show them to the audience. When Charlie was cleaning up after the meeting he found money in every single canister - quite a lot of it, actually.

It was especially moving when a member of Star-Athol Lodge presented their Masonic Angel Fund with a $450 contribution. While this Brother was ill recently, a member of the Lodge performed some necessary work at the ailing Mason's home and would not take any money for the job. This was a way of thanking that Brother for his work. It was very moving!

Star-Athol Lodge is a prime example of a thriving Masonic Angel Fund in an economically-depressed community. Charlie Montalbano, Loristan Barnes and Fran Foster consistently "pull rabbits out of their hats" on behalf of local kids. There is little money in Athol but they always find a way to help.

You can read the newspaper article about Star-Athol Lodge at newsitem110.htm


NAUSET LIGHT BRINGS MUSIC TO LATHAM SCHOOL
This past week the Nauset Light Lodge Masonic Angel Fund made a difference for many of the young women at the Latham School in Brewster, MA. In cooperation with the St. Andrew Fund, NLLMAF provided a total of $2,000 to fund 30 weeks of music instruction for several of the students at this very special school.

NEEDHAM MASONIC ANGEL FUND FEEDS FAMILY
On Monday of last week, the Needham Masonic Angel Fund sent us one of the saddest stories we have seen - along with a happy ending.

Here we have four students in one family - a boy in grade eight, a boy in grade six, a girl in grade five and a girl in grade three. We will quote the narrative as it came to us from Bro. Lawrence Trecartin.

The father in this situation had been incarcerated. The mother is working two jobs to try to hold the family together. The mother, within the last year, has gone through cancer surgery. This past weekend one of the boys tried to commit suicide and inflicted enough damage to himself that he will be in the hospital for at least two weeks. The mother has been utilizing our local food pantry for sustenance. Because she will be at the hospital with her son during his stay, the two jobs she has will not continue her salary. This request is for help for food for the family. After discussing this situation with the school guidance counselor, it was determined that a $300 grocery certificate would help tremendously this family in need.

Bro. Trecartin went to Sudbury Farms grocery store and spoke with the manager, who offered to contribute $100. The NMAF picked up the other $200 and Bro. Trecartin delivered $300 in grocery gift certificates to the guidance counselor.

As always, the Needham MAF has done an outstanding job!

MEMORIAL DONATIONS
Recent weeks have seen a number of Lodges mentioning Masonic obituaries that requested memorial donations to the local MAF in lieu of flowers. Within the bounds of good taste, we encourage our constituent Masonic Angel Funds to pursue such donations. If you happen to have a widow or other donor who wishes to make a "major" contribution (i.e. $500 or more) please feel free to contact the Foundation about passing it through our 501(c)(3) so the donor can maximize their tax benefits.

Aside from the obvious financial benefits of such "obituary requests", these are another source of excellent Masonic Awareness.

JOHN H. HOCKMAN MEMORIAL GOLF OUTING
Sylvester Baxter Royal Arch Chapter is proud to sponsor the fourth annual John H. Hockman Memorial Golf Outing will be held on October 18, 2003 at Chequessett Yacht & Country Club, Wellfleet, MA. A scramble format will begin at 12:00 with a shotgun start. We're looking for players ($80.00 each), sponsors for tees and greens ($100.00 for a sign) and patrons (suggested $35, but any amount will be recognized). 
Fees include greens fee, carts, dinner and awards. Players of all abilities and skill levels are encouraged to participate in this good time fund raising event.

The proceeds from this golf tournament provides the Masonic Angel Foundation with funds to be dispersed as "Matching Grants" to Masonic Angel Funds established by Masonic Lodges and bodies within the 21st Masonic District (Lower Cape Cod area) of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.

For more information contact:
Chris Whichard at 508-240-2262 or
Don Haden at 508-896-7040.


20th MASONIC DISTRICT FUND-RAISER
The Lodges in the upper-Cape 20th Masonic District are sponsoring a Charity Ball and Auction on October 25, 2003 at the Sea Crest Resort in North Falmouth. The event will split its proceeds 50/50 between the Masonic Angel Funds of the 20th District and the Shriner's Hospitals of Massachusetts.

More information is available from DDGM R.W. Thomas Hickey via thomasrhickey@aol.com


BECOME A MEMBER OF THE MASONIC ANGEL FOUNDATION, INC.
As of a recent by-law revision, any member in good standing of a Lodge that holds a Masonic Angel Fund License may apply for membership in the Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. Annual dues are $25. Members are entitled to participate in meetings of the corporation and to attend meetings of the Board of Directors.

If you would like to become a member, please send an email to info@masonicangelfund.org - we will email you an application form in MS Word format. Generally, new applications for membership will be acted upon at the next meeting of the membership held after the application is received. New members must pass a unanimous ballot of the Foundation members present.