The Mid North Coast Cancer Institute at Port Macquarie had eight thousand reasons to thank Freemasons this week.
Representatives of Masonic Lodges throughout the Hastings and Macleay valleys visited the campus bearing a gift of $4000, which will help support the families of children going through cancer treatment. Their gift was matched, dollar for dollar, by the Freemasons' charity, Masonicare.
For the past seven years, the Freemasons have given their generous support to a cause close to the hearts of Masons and to the community who gets behind their fundraising efforts. This year's gift brings the donation total, since 2012, to $66,000.
Association spokesman Luke Kerin thanked Masonicare, and Freemasons from Wauchope, Port Macquarie, Laurieton, Kempsey and Trial Bay for working hard over the past year, selling raffle tickets - rain, hail or shine - in support of families with children who have cancer.
"It is a privilege for the Freemasons to return to the cancer centre each year in support of a cause that resonates with us all," Mr Kerin said.
"It's not hard to imagine the anguish and stress parents, grandparents, siblings and friends feel when a child has a cancer diagnosis.
"That's why this fundraiser is supported by our local communities every year. People just understand and have empathy for families who have a lot on their mind at this time, which can be even more stressful when the family involved also faces financial hardship.
"To our Masonic family, the businesses who donated the raffle items, in particular The Good Guys at Port Macquarie, and to every member of the community who bought a ticket, we say thank you on behalf of every local family who will be able to call on this special Trust when needed."
Director of Mental Health and Integrated Care Sara Shaughnessy said the Freemasons were considered part of the cancer centre's 'team'.
"We consider ourselves very lucky to have the support of our community, and in particular groups like the Freemasons who return each year to make sure we have the resources to help our patients and their families, well beyond the care and attention they receive in the treatment room," Ms Shaughnessy said.
"It is a privilege to be able to thank the Freemasons for their generosity and to regard them as partners in our cancer care efforts."
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