Masonic lodge donates money to good causes

(L-r) Lee Pannell, Alicia Pannell, Master of Rowner Lodge Pete Howton and Mayor of Gosport Councillor Keith Gill at the cheque presentation
(L-r) Lee Pannell, Alicia Pannell, Master of Rowner Lodge Pete Howton and Mayor of Gosport Councillor Keith Gill at the cheque presentation
Picture: Fareham Fire Station/Twitter

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Working hard to raise money for charity saw a masonic lodge donate thousands of pounds.

Charities and schools throughout the area were given much-needed donations at a special event organised by members of the Gosport Masonic Lodge.

Charity steward for the Solent area Ray Bezani says: ‘It was a lovely afternoon, everyone enjoyed themselves and we were able to hear about the work that they carry out.’

Throughout the afternoon cheques were presented by members from various lodges to 16 selected organisations.

‘All of the organisations for Gosport were chosen by various members of the group and then supported by another member,’ said Ray.

The charities included Stars in the Sky, St Johns C of E Primary School in Gosport, Macmillan Nurses and the Rainbow Centre, Fareham.

Cash was also given to Alicia Pannell from Gosport, who has cerebral palsy and whose family are fundraising to convert their home to care for her.

Headteacher Joyce Squibb from St John’s C of E Primary School says: ‘I wasn’t expecting so much of the money.

‘It was a humbling afternoon to see so many good causes from different parts of our community.’

The afternoon was attended by then mayor of Gosport Cllr Keith Gill and then mayor of Fareham Councillor David Norris, accompanied by their wives.

The special guests presented cheques to the charities and heard many stories.

With over £1m given to groups in the past, the lodges aim to help charities in their area through fundraising.

‘We run social functions and hold raffles to raise the money, all our fundraising is done internally,’ says Ray.

‘Each lodge normally presents cheques to charities quietly, but we decided to organise this so everyone could listen other people’s stories.’