Full house and empty pockets

It was a full house and empty pockets at Blackpool Group’s annual charity ‘Giving Night’ when the group’s lodges and chapters distributed almost £56,000 to a plethora of local charities.

Pictured left: Brian Jackson (left) and Steve Smith (right) present a cheque to Marguerite Smith of the Haemochromatosis Society. Pictured right: Bob Hogarth (right) cheerily hands over a donation to Cheshire Homes of Garstang.

After receiving their donation, representatives of the recipient charities gave a brief description of the work of their respective causes and the likely application of the award. A total of 38 charities benefitted from the generosity of the Freemasons, receiving amounts ranging between £100 and £25,000.

Local MP Paul Maynard was on hand to celebrate the evening with members of the group as Chairman of Blackpool Group John Turpin announced each recipient, the sum and the lodges and chapters that had raised the donation.

Joining Paul Maynard and John Turpin at the top table were Assistant Provincial Grand Master Harry Cox and his wife Carol, Assistant to the Provincial Grand Principals David Randerson, Provincial Charity Steward Ted Rhodes, Secretary of Blackpool Group Steve Jelly and Blackpool Group Charity Steward Ian Stirling.

Pictured left: Tilly the golden labrador seeks everyone’s attention. Pictured right: John Turpin (right) presents a cheque to Laura Cooper of the Ashley Foundation.

A full house of Masons, their families and friends and representatives of the charities enthusiastically greeted each announcement and the unanimous verdict at the end of the evening was that it had been a major success. Stealing the limelight and gaining most attention was Tilly, a gorgeous golden labrador guide dog for the blind who was more than pleased to receive her donation. As is generally the case on such occasions, dogs are the ‘stars’ of the evening with the public queueing to stroke and pet them.

Each charity expressed their gratitude to the group members for their generosity and, as the evening drew on, the sums donated got greater and greater, culminating in an award of £25,000 to the Ashley Foundation, a Blackpool charity that provides accommodation and support to homeless individuals in need. Little wonder that Freemasons dig so deep into their pockets when they consider the hardships that those less fortunate than themselves endure.

Representatives of the charities with lodge and chapter members.