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Charity

“To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent on all men, but particularly on Freemasons, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. To soothe the unhappy, to sympathize with their misfortunes, to compassionate their miseries, and to restore their troubled minds, is the great aim we have in view.” 

 

– William Preston, Illustrations of Masonry 

 

Freemasonry is founded upon three grand principles: Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth. It is with the second of these grand principles – Relief – that the above quote is concerned. In simple terms our early brethren understood Relief to mean the alleviating of the suffering of a brother, or the dependents of a deceased brother, by giving money or sustenance until circumstances improved. In modern terms we see Relief in its wider context of Charity, in the service of our communities as a whole, and not just to our brethren and their dependents.

 

It is in this spirit that the Ronald J. Keel Fellowcraft Club holds two charity fundraisers each year, a Pool Tournament in February and a Charity Dinner in March. Past beneficiaries include the Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, Coalition to Support America’s Heroes, Hospice of Western New York, Gilda’s Club of Western New York, Second Chance Sheltering Network, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the Ward A. Peterson Benevolence Fund.