Manning, Great Lakes and Gloucester Freemasons provide boost to Mid North Coast Cancer Institute Paediatric Cancer Trust

MNCCI Nurse Unit Manager Emily Saul accepts a $6000 donation from District Vice-president Tony Spouse of Taree Lodge. Also pictured are District Masonic Charities Secretary Ron Woodward of Forster Great Lakes Lodge (left), Regional Masonicare Manager Robert Drysdale (rear) and MNCCI Radiation Therapist, and Freemason, Luke Kerin.
MNCCI Nurse Unit Manager Emily Saul accepts a $6000 donation from District Vice-president Tony Spouse of Taree Lodge. Also pictured are District Masonic Charities Secretary Ron Woodward of Forster Great Lakes Lodge (left), Regional Masonicare Manager Robert Drysdale (rear) and MNCCI Radiation Therapist, and Freemason, Luke Kerin.

Children diagnosed with cancer, and their families, will receive a helping hand with their treatment expenses thanks to Freemasons from throughout the Manning, Great Lakes and Gloucester areas.

The Mid North Coast Cancer Institute at Port Macquarie received $3000 from Masonic Lodges at Taree, Wingham, Gloucester and Foster. Their generosity was matched, dollar for dollar, by the Freemasons' charity, Masonicare.

The district's vice-president, Tony Spouse said COVID-19 had disrupted fundraising efforts for the Hastings Macleay Freemasons, who each year help support families dealing with a paediatric cancer diagnosis.

Undeterred by the pandemic's disruption, Freemasons from the southern end of the district stepped in to ensure the Paediatric Cancer Trust received a much-needed boost this year.

"We are delighted to support the wonderful work that is done by the cancer team and we know that local families will benefit," Mr Spouse said.

Regional Masonicare manager Robert Drysdale was also present for the handover. He represented the masons' charity which has also been a long-time supporter of the Mid North Coast Cancer Institute.

The $6000 gift brings the total amount donated to the MNCCI by the Freemasons in the past eight years to an impressive $72,000.

MNCCI Nurse Unit Manager Emily Saul said her team was extremely grateful to the Freemasons for their ongoing support.

"Every year these generous people return to the cancer unit to ensure our youngest patients, and their families, are supported," Ms Saul said.

"Their kindness makes a huge difference to families, where mum or dad often have to take time away from work to ensure their child receives the treatment and support they need.

"It can be an emotional time, sometimes made much worse by the loss of an income.

"Our Freemasons understand the difficulties and give up an enormous amount of their own time to ensure they can help support our youngest patients and the people who love them most.

"It is a commitment we are very grateful for, and so too are our young patients' families."