Community rallies behind Kids Fund

TEAM EFFORT: Masonicare regional manager Brian Willis, Disability Trust Kids Fund manager Belinda Dawson and former Master of the Lodge Peter Conelius.

TEAM EFFORT: Masonicare regional manager Brian Willis, Disability Trust Kids Fund manager Belinda Dawson and former Master of the Lodge Peter Conelius.

The Kiama Masonic Lodge has donated $14,000 to Kids Fund for much needed aids and equipment for children living with a disability.

The lodge raised $8000 over a 12-month period, while Masonicare chimed-in with $6000.

Peter Conelius was Master of the Lodge throughout the fundraising period and chose Kids Fund to support.

“The majority of the money was raised with sausage sizzles at Bunnings and Masters. Every meeting we have, we run a raffle among our members and visitors, so that all went into it. A bit of money came out of the lodge’s funds as well, money our members put in to keep the lodge running, so it was the community plus our own members and visitors,” Mr Conelius said.

“I chose Kids Fund mainly because it’s a local organisation helping kids in the Illawarra, plus you can’t go wrong working for kids.”

Disability Trust Kids Fund manager Belinda Dawson said the money goes to children from the Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama Council areas.

“The things we buy tend to be expensive and where there’s no other funding source for the family, things like wheelchairs, which might be $10,000 to $12,000 and walkers which are $4000 or $5000 and orthotics, which children need every year or so, are up to $1000,” Mrs Dawson said.

“Often families have other medical needs for children with disabilities, so we like to think maybe we can ease some of that financial burden by purchasing that equipment for the children.

“They’re very appreciative, a lot of people feel very humbled that the Illawarra community, people they don’t even know, have donated to this charity and they’re able to receive the equipment.

“The equipment provides inclusion and independence, a family might have a power wheelchair which is fine for around the home, but it’s not something they can put in the car, so we might buy them a manual wheelchair they can fold-up, put in the car and suddenly the family is then able to go to the park.

“We’re really about getting children out there in the community to participate and be included.” 

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