Copyright 2004 Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Inc.
November 07, 2004 Sunday
Masons launch program to assist area's needy schoolchildren
Olive Branch Masonic Lodge recently launched a Masonic Angel Fund program. The MAF is a nationwide initiative started by the Massachusetts Masons designed to provide modest assistance to local schoolchildren in need.
The fund provides such help in the form of eyeglasses, tuition for school and summer camp, clothing, sports equipment and musical instruments, supplemental instruction, field trip fees and more. Olive Branch Lodge's MAF will work with Millbury Junior-Senior High School, R.E. Shaw Elementary, Elmwood Street School, and Sutton High, Middle and Elementary schools.
"I am absolutely thrilled that my friends at Olive Branch Masonic Lodge have founded a Masonic Angel Fund," said Robert Fellows, Masonic Angel Fund co-founder. "This program is yet another tremendous community program undertaken by the Masons, which will be a wonderful asset for the community, especially the children. It will give them the opportunity to have a happy, healthy and productive childhood, just like their more fortunate classmates."
"We are very excited about bringing this initiative to our children and those of our friends, neighbors and colleagues," said Bob Morton, chairman of Olive Branch's fund. "Over the years we have heard too many stories about children not being able to enjoy their childhood, and we hope to step in and fill that void to make their lives better through generosity and charity."
Founded in 1797, Olive Branch Masonic Lodge of Millbury is a vibrant, active and philanthropic member of its community. In addition to the Masonic Angel Fund, the lodge annually contributes to Child Identification Program events to provide free video and DNA identification kits for children and their families, in addition to student scholarships, support of kids' sports teams and more. For more information about Olive Branch Masonic Lodge, or to support its Masonic Angel Fund, please contact Bob Morton at (508) 865-7079 or the lodge at P.O. Box 202; Millbury, MA 01527.
One of the fastest-growing Masonic charities in the world, The Masonic Angel Fund was founded in 1998 by the members of Universal Masonic Lodge in Orleans, Mass., and has spread to 87 lodges in nine states. One of the fundamental principles of the MAF is that 100% of the money raised stays in the local community and goes to the kids. A cornerstone of the program is the close relationship that develops between the local school system and the sponsoring lodge, allowing the children to be served in a rapid, efficient manner, underscoring the image of Masons as the "can do" people in the community. Most MAF benevolence requests are fulfilled the same day they are received. By the end of this year, total gifts through the Masonic Angel Fund nationwide are expected to top $1 million.
The Masonic Angel Fund is only one of a number of community initiatives that the Masons are involved with, including programs focusing on education, blood donation, child identification and individual charity and support to those in need. The Masons are a worldwide social and charitable fraternal organization whose mission is to instill and encourage honesty, integrity and charity to benefit mankind while creating friendship and understanding between men without concern for race, creed, religion or national origin. The Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts is comprised of approximately 45,000 members of 270 lodges in nearly 200 communities across the Commonwealth. For more information about the Grand Lodge of Masons in Massachusetts, visit www.glmasons-mass.org or call (617) 426-6040.
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