The response to the online raffle developed by members of Heysham Lodge No 4108 in 2016, is gaining momentum. The online raffle has recently raised £840 to support the Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC), a charity close to the heart of the brethren of Heysham Lodge, together with a further £120 donated in cash.
Harley, the godson of one of the members, has been involved in a very serious accident which has left him with a perforated bowel and he has had to have an artificial stoma fitted. He was cared for in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, Liverpool, where the RMHC, on initial diagnosis, gave his family free accommodation for over two weeks, allowing his parents to be with him continually. The family have received return accommodation a number of times since as well.
The following letter from Harley’s grandmother is indicative of the impact this charity has on families:
“The Ronald McDonald House was a godsend to our family, it meant both mum and dad could stay with him 24/7 taking it in turns to sleep there. It also meant I could take his baby brother and six-year-old sister for a sleepover so they could see mummy and daddy as they stayed with me until Harley came out of the hospital. It is a fantastic charity and after witnessing all the families who used the house I know it helped them cope with their child’s illness as it took the pressure off finding somewhere to stay or having to travel each day. Harley has just come home from having another week’s stay, again at Alder Hey Hospital, to have his stoma reversal operation, which I can say was a great success and now hopefully will be fully recovered by Christmas; mummy and daddy stayed again at the Ronald McDonald House.”
The raffle for this particular fund-raising event was opened up to friends and family, as well as to Masons, and has proved a great success as it allowed the lodge to raise more money for this very worthy cause. There were three prizes, a £100 gift voucher, a gallon of vodka (remarkably won by Harley’s grandmother) and a hamper, all donated by Lee Taylor-Craddock, WM of Heysham Lodge and his wife Scarlett. The winning numbers were drawn automatically at a set time, which in this case was the evening of Heysham Lodge’s Ladies’ Evening.
When the first online raffle was introduced it raised £350 and the money was donated to Macmillan Cancer Care who cared for the late Sally Crankshaw, the wife of one of the lodge members, Rick Crankshaw.
The second online raffle raised the sum of £300, which was donated to St John’s Hospice, who cared for the late Les Yates, the father of Ben and Max Yates, past masters of Heysham Lodge and Morecambe Lodge No 1561, respectively, together with many other family members connected to Heysham Lodge.
The development of this software has proved a really good way to raise charitable funds and is so easy to use. All that is needed is to type in;- www.ldm500club.co.uk and it connects directly to the site. Those wishing to contribute then register and follow the simple instructions, clicking on how many tickets are required (only £1 each) and then continue to checkout and click PayPal. Following payment, an email with the ticket number/s and receipt are forwarded to the subscriber. It is as simple as that. The real innovation about the software is that any lodge can use it to raise money for the charity of its choice.
Article by Paul Thompson.
Photographs courtesy of Ben Yates.