The marathon charity walk, hosted by Minnis Bay Lodge 8496, was extremely successful.

Members of Minnis Bay set out on their walk on a chilly January Morning

On a very cold morning at 7.30 the intrepid group who were attempting the full distance of almost twenty six miles set off from the Birchington Masonic Hall. The weather remained good for the first half and then it deteriorated resulting in an exposed walk on the sea wall from Minnis Bay to Reculver with a very strong head wind.

However, out of the twelve who took on the full challenge nine finished, all quicker than the anticipated eight hours. Six other walkers, feeling the full circuit was too much for them, joined in at different points along the way, and achieved their own personal targets.

Four actual members of Minnis Bay Lodge achieved the full distance. They were  Asa Finnigan,  Gary Foord, Graeme Law, and  John Matthews, who was Master at the time and celebrated his 73rd birthday the day before, in addition to organising the walk.

Members of Minnis Bay Lodge after their walk

After the event the walkers and their friends deservedly tucked into a wonderful buffet and enjoyed a social gathering for a few hours chatting about the experience.   After just seven days sponsorship monies, honoured pledges and donations are pouring in and already the walk looks set to raise in excess of £4000, which is really fantastic and shows the support available from the local community. Rectitude and Harmony Lodge No 9093 who share the same building also made a generous donation.

On the previous Saturday, a “Party Night” for the same charity was held in the Birchington Masonic Hall and that, separately, raised in excess of £1000.

About Louie’s Helping Hands:

The charity is “Louie’s Helping Hands” which supports children with multi-sensory, physical and complex medical conditions with weekly sensory therapies.

It was started by Sara Llewellyn, who was personally effected by the sudden closure of the “deaf” school in Margate when the trust that financed it failed. Immediately, her son and other similarly disabled children were left stranded for the specialist help and education they so desperately needed. Sara set up a small school in her own house that could accommodate six children, but they have out grown that small facility. When planning permission is granted the school hopes to build a larger school, for up to twenty four children, within Quex Park, a Country Estate in Birchington. The estate management has made a piece of ground available for them and helped enormously with the planning applications regarding the infrastructure such as roadways, services, etc. to the school.

This “Walk” and the “Party Night”, along with an earlier clay pigeon shoot were all held to raise funds towards the building costs. The original school helped children from all over Kent, and even as far as London. Clearly a facility that is desperately needed again, and hopefully soon to be restored!

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