Following the success of the seventh Sheerness Freemasons’ Summer Spectacular on 1st July, the time had come to share out the proceeds. On Friday 15th September a record number of local and International charities and other worthy causes gathered for a presentation evening.
The event was held at the United Masonic Club in Sheerness and opened by the chairman of the fete’s organising committee, Dean Faulkner BEM. Dean, a member of the Isle of Sheppey Lodge No 6769, explained that thanks to the support of their local community, this year’s event had surpassed all expectations. Over 4,500 people attended the fete and raised a record-breaking £13,500. Every penny raised would be given back to those groups that supported the event together with some brilliant local charities that needed a helping hand. He also thanked all the sponsors of the event; over forty local businesses helped to achieve this magnificent amount.
Dean invited Roger Odd to present the cheques. Roger is a former Deputy Provincial Grand Master of East Kent Freemasons and the local coordinator of the events celebrating Freemasonry’s 300th Anniversary. Roger congratulated and thanked all that took part and hoped that these donations would support the excellent work undertaken by so many volunteers in our County.
There are two reasons why Sheerness Freemasons hold this event. Firstly it is to offer everyone the opportunity of a great family day out with some amazing entertainment. Secondly it is to help others in the work they do within our community. “This was the seventh summer fete which has enabled us to provide a total of more than £50,000 of support”, explained Dean.
Vice-Chairman Paul Pavitt confirmed that over twenty charities and organisations benefited on the night, with donations ranging from £100 to £1500.
This year’s recipients were:-
2nd & 8th Sheppey Scouts, Range Rovers Football Club, Sheerness Sea Cadets, Sheerness Air Cadets, St John Ambulance First Aid, Emu’s Marshalling and Sheppey’s local radio stations: BRFM, Sheppey FM and Hospital Radio.
Local community projects:- Sheerness Town Team, Queenborough Community Centre, Bluetown Heritage Centre, Abbey Gatehouse, Cats Protection, Hedgehogs Trust, Knights of St Columba, Royal British Legion, Young lives Foundation, Hopscotch Dance Troupe, St John Band, Sheppey Pirates and Harmony Therapy trust.
National and Masonic Charities:- Cancer Research, Sheppey RNLI, Teddies for Loving Care, Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons’ Charity and Marula Kids Kenya.
The largest presentation was made to the Sheppey Rugby Club who provided the venue and support for the event.
The next fete will be in 2019, so if you’re interested in taking part the date will be released very soon.
Report by Dean Faulkner, photos by Richard Wingett.