Big hearted Masonic bikers have been revving support for a number of Yorkshire charities.
Members of the Widows Sons ‘Ridings Chapter’ – Freemasons with a passion for motorbikes – have donated a total of £1,250 to six good causes across the region.
The funds have been raised mostly through the sale of merchandise to members and supporters and one member participating in the ‘Distinguished Gentleman Riders’ solo ride, a worldwide event to raise money for Men’s Cancer Charities.
Those to benefit are Connaught Court care home, York; Martin House Children’s Hospice in Boston Spa, near Wetherby; POPI (Pass On Pre Loved Items), Keighley; Follifoot Disabled Riders Group, Harrogate; PACT (The Parents Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia), Sheffield, who received donations of between £100 and £500.
Ridings Chapter President Matthew Duffy said: “Widows Sons are all Freemasons with a passion for motorcycles, meeting regularly at various haunts across the region when we can, and riding out, again when we can.
“One of the three great principles of Freemasonry is charity, and as well as enjoying biking, we have also been raising money when we can for a variety of different organisations across the region.”
Candidacy of the Widows Sons is open to all Masons who own a road worthy motorbike and hold a full licence.
The Ridings Chapter meet at Squires Café Bar, in Sherburn in Elmet, on a Wednesday evening, and Strawberry Fields, York, on a Friday night, both during the summer months. Rideout’s usually take place on a weekend.
Further information about the Windows Sons Ridings Chapter is available from its website, http://www.ridingschapter.co.uk/ or by emailing the Secretary at email@example.com
Freemasons from across Leeds have answered a call to ensure hundreds of children across the city will receive at least one present this festive season.
In previous years, members of lodges and side orders who meet in Headingley’s Castle Grove Masonic Hall have been asked to donate a present or money to buy gifts, which were then donated to a number of local charities.
The organisations who received gifts over the last two years include Leeds Children’s Hospital, Martin House Hospice Care for Children and Young People, Leeds Children’s Charity, and Leeds Jewish Welfare Board and Barnardo’s.
However, because the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced the closure of Castle Grove, toy appeal co-ordinator organiser Graham Shiers has asked for monetary contributions instead, resulting in an avalanche of cash donations totalling in excess of £2,700 plus donations of brand new toys and clothing.
Graham said: “The generosity of my fellow Freemasons is just overwhelming, and because of this we are able to increase the list of recipients this year from five charities to six, with Leeds Baby Bank, PhysCap Children's Charity and Homeless Street Angels now benefitting.
“I’ve been blown away by the donations to date. In addition to toys and gifts we are also buying more practical presents including pyjamas and winter clothing.
“It has also enabled us to provide other items including nappies, nappy sacks, baby wipes, baby shampoo and wash, plus other essentials that the Leeds Baby Bank will distribute to families in need over the festive period.
“We are also now helping four families via Homeless Street Angels, including a single dad whose partner killed herself two years ago. He lost his job due to struggling with child care - he has a ten year old daughter and has nothing for her so we'll make sure she has a good Christmas.
“And with many Jewish Freemasons meeting at Castle Grove, I’m once again delighted that Leeds Jewish Welfare Board will again receive Chanukah gifts for the 24 children under its care.”
Graham - a member of Loyalty Lodge and the Lodge of Fidelity who started the toy appeal two years ago - said: “Never in all my years of being a Freemason have I been prouder of being a member of this wonderful fraternity.
“Despite all the hardships that Covid has inflicted, not only has the local membership risen to the occasion, it has done so to the power of ten, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
“I would like to personally thank everyone who has donated to this cause. Charity is one of the three great pillars that Freemasonry is founded on - and charity is very dear to our hearts.”
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