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August 24, 2015 @ 10:05 pm by admin

Bringing Joy to Children in Need

A team effort: Evergreen Lodge No. 259 partnered with Masonic affiliates and the local community for a successful toy drive and fundraiser.

Last month, Evergreen Lodge No. 259 held their second annual “Christmas in July” event – a toy drive and fundraiser for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Los Angeles.

Thanks to lodge members’ efforts to build strong partnerships with community groups and local Masonic organizations, what started as a small fundraiser in 2014 grew into a successful community-wide event. This year, Masonic groups gathered nearly $1,000 in monetary gifts and more than one thousand toys – a value of more than $7,300.

Rebecca Fierro-Acuna, and Sheryl Smiley of the Ladies of the Oriental Shrine were integral to the festivities’ success. Their efforts attracted the attention of Riverside Mayor Rusty Bailey, and Congressman Mark Takano, who both came with toys in hand. A local car group also brought their cars for display – filled with toy donations. And, the lodge partnered with a nearby blood bank, which sent a donation station to the event and collected more than 22 pints of blood from community participants.

Daniel Acuna, chaplain of Evergreen Lodge, reports, “Every concordant body was able to contribute – from the youth orders of Job’s Daughters, Rainbow for Girls, and DeMolay, to the Masons, Amaranth, Shriners, Eastern Star, and York and Scottish Rite bodies. Everyone gathered to make this event glorious.”

On the day of the toy delivery, brothers gathered early in the morning to load the truck. They were then escorted by eight motorcycles to the Shriners Hospital, where they were celebrated upon arrival. “The reception was beautiful,” recalls Acuna. “The children rushed out of the hospital clapping and filled with joy as we arrived.”

View more event photos on the Masons of Division 8 website.

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