Masons Helping Children has just completed two fall festivals. Mint Hill Madness and Midland Magic.

Mint Hill Madness….. was a new arrangement this year as we were  down town instead of the park. We had our choice space and with the ingenuity of Gary Eisenhower and Scott Carriker, our booth was arranged for festival visitor to come THROUGH our booth instead of the usual walking up to speak with us. Another plus was we knew a lot of the people and most of the town officials came by to see us and to tell us Mint Hill residents are more aware of what Masons do because of our presence at Mint Hill Madness  over the past few years. Illustrious Sir Wayne King has been very
supportive of us this year and made it part of his busy day to spend some time with us.  Another special guest was Miss Mollie Carlson,  Shriner’s International Patient Success Story of 2009-2010.  They created a video of her life’s journey with The Shriners Hospitals.
As usual when our effervescent hospital coordinator, Jan Garmon, walks up, thing begin to get more aggressive. She is a top notch supporter of Oasis and it shows. Max Walker decided in Blowing Rock that Shrine color books and crayons were going to be a gift to the children this years at our festivals so we gave away a lot of them. We asked the parent to read the message to the child on fire safety and we asked the child to color between the lines… best they could. Obvious success stories for this festival were;
Two parents wanting to know more about RiteCare, at least two teachers asked Jan Garmon for color books for their schools. One young Mint Hill man said he had been thinking about joining Masonry but just had not taken the time to peruse membership.  Mint Hill 742 has this man’s name and will following up.

We did receive a few small donations, which we did not solicit and will be given to the proper charity. Mid morning on Sunday the rains came down and Mint Hill Madness was history at that point.
Participants at this festival were Dick and Jan Garmon and grandson, Max Walker, Mack Archer, Brad Orr,  Joe Killough,  Kent Schevlin, Gary Isenhour, Scott Carriker,  Zeph Wester, Jr. Harward and Don Wilson.

Midland Magic…. was greeted with cool weather on Saturday and Sunday.Oct. 2nd and 3rd.   This is truly a family festival and again our booth was under two large Bradford Pear trees beside the trailer selling both raffle and ride tickets.  We again had the Arena Racing Cars with us and as usual they draw lots of attention for fathers and children.  Our space was great and we were allowed to spread out  our WOW statements.  I must admit they did not get the response I had hoped, but, all was not lost as we used them when we could.  RiteCare got attention again with interested  parents.  The coloring books and crayons were a big hit and anytime Mack Archer is working there is always candy for the kids and needless to say that always goes over big. We were able to direct one mother to more information on Shrine Hospitals.

Sometimes it breaks your heart when you listen to stories about children who need help.  This particular time we talked to a mother who’s child has a brain tumor and obviously that does not fit into The Shrine Hospital’s  menu of services. The child is in a hospital in Houston, we never say no because after the tumor is removed the child may need orthopedic help and our doctors will make that
call.  I had a long talk with a lady who works for the state of North Carolina as a consultant with DSS and works closely with child placements.  I can’t help being encouraged when I talked to someone like that, however, often I come away disappointed, but I will continue to try as I will again peruse this avenue for our Masonic Home for Children.  Participants this time were Max Walker, Mack Archer, Kent Schevlin, Gary Isenhour, Scott Carriker,  Zeph Wester, Jr. Harward, Henry Kirk and Don Wilson.

It has been fun having Dennis the Menace along with us this year and our thanks to Cartoonist Marcus Hamilton.

Next week is Waxhaw Autumn Treasurers – Saturday and Sunday, October 9 -10.  From there we will meet and discuss our effort this year and how to proceed from here.  If you have a suggestion, please pass it along as we continue to look for new ideas.  You know as well as I do that the life blood of any organization is it’s members and that is especially true with our Masonic Fraternity. We are men who together identify with Children who do not have a safe home and good meals to come home to, children who can’t get it together in a learning environment, but should not be left behind. Children who have spinal disorders, Cleft Palest and the Crippled and Burned children have been identifies as OUR KIDS

Don Wilson

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