Freemasons raise $100k for trust
A HUNDRED thousand dollars is a big ask for a country service club, even if it has a big organisation behind it.
Coffs Coast Freemasons took on the job of raising $100,000 to launch the CanDo Cancer Trust and stuck to the task of two years to do it.
On Friday, Freemasons Norm Standing, Geoff Greenaway and Brian Freakley were on hand to accept a certificate of appreciation from the North Coast Cancer Institute and see the hard work begin to yield results.
Four patients have already been assisted by the Trust.
Mr Standing is the past chairman of the Coffs Coast Freemasons Association, Mr Greenaway is the current chairman and Mr Freakley was the Freemason who said it was possible.
“It was a fairly enthusiastic idea from Brian and Norm,” Mr Greenaway said. “Brian comes from a background of hard charity work and he assured us we could raise that sort of funds – which was unheard of in our circles.
“They and a few key players worked their hearts out.”
Mr Greenaway said their original plan for an internet-based art union with a first prize of a vehicle and boat from Eastland Holden failed to reach its planned potential and they had to sell tickets manually and take the car around to events.
They also organised other fundraisers including an auction, deb ball and TV raffle, work which involved help from up to 30 Freemasons.
“Norm and I originally went into the Institute with thoughts of buying equipment but it cost $5-$6 million – a bit above our budget,” Brian Freakley said.
He said nurse unit manager Jill Harrington had talked to them about the need for direct help for patients and her smile ‘lit up the night sky’ when they said ‘you start the Trust and we’ll raise the $100,000’.
“Now it would be nice for other organisations to show their support,’ Mr Freakley said.