Latham celebrates 20-year history with Masonic Angel Fund program

Warmest congratulations to the Masonic Angel Foundation on its 20th anniversary! Our friends at the Masonic Angel Fund invited Latham Centers to participate in the Foundation’s anniversary celebration last week, and our President and CEO Anne McManus shared her thoughts on the tremendous impact the organization has had on our students, their families, and our staff over the years.

“It has been a great partnership,” Masonic Angel Fund co-founder Robert Fellows said when introducing Anne at the November 8th celebration. The Masonic Angel Fund (MAF) program was established in 1998 at Universal Masonic Lodge in Orleans, and it has grown to a national program with some 165 chapters established in 14 different states. Devoted volunteers are the backbone of the Masonic Angel Fund, and their charitable endeavors include delivery of food packages, school supply kits, refurbished laptops, and other necessities for children and others in need on Cape Cod. In attendance at last week’s celebration were members of the Masons and several local organizations and schools who serve the countless beneficiaries of the Foundation.

“At Latham Centers, we were very blessed to find the Masonic Angel Foundation 20 years ago,” Anne said. “I came from a human services background (child welfare) and when I first came to Latham (20 years ago), it was a school for girls who were referred by the state; most of our students were involved in social services because of difficult situations. I heard about this Angel Fund when we had a child in need of eyeglasses. I got the number and spoke to a very nice man named Leroy Atkins.” Anne told the story of how amazed she was that there was no form to be filled out and no lengthy request process. “The donation check was delivered to us by the Masonic Angel Foundation the next day. As we have changed and grown over the years, the MAF has been with us every step of the way. No matter what the need has been, they’ve been there. Whether one of our students needed a coat, or someone’s glasses were broken, or a child who wanted to learn to play the violin – they always came through, and they came through fast. And they ‘get it’, too… because are they ever right – a kid doesn’t want to go to school with a used coat; they want something new, and the MAF always makes sure the kids, the families, and our Latham staff feel special. They are right there to help us — where the need is, when the need is.”

Anne said one of the treats for her during the year is helping assemble the Beehive School Tools school supply kits and getting to know the Masons at their annual school supplies event. “It has been a blessing to get to know the Masons; you are stellar people… and you really are angels. Thank you on behalf of everyone in this room, the kids at our school, and the kids whose lives you have changed because of your generosity. We’re looking forward to the next 20 years!”

After Anne spoke, Fellows presented her with the Masonic Angel Foundation’s Christopher Huntoon Award, named in honor of the former Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Masons who donated year-after-year to Latham Centers and who left a legacy gift to the MAF. Today at Latham School’s Community Meeting, Anne presented the award to our students and staff who enjoyed the designation as a “School Partner of Excellence” and applauded the honor. The award reads: “Masonic Angel Foundation, Inc. proudly presents the Christopher Huntoon Award to Latham Centers, a School Partner of Excellence for Twenty Years, With Deepest Appreciation.” Thank you to our friends at the Masonic Angel Foundation!

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