Clintonville Masonic Lodge 197 presented $300 to Vernon Beall as part of its $1,000 pledge to support Free Wheeling, a program to give a bike to children from needy families at Christmas.
The check was presented by Worshipful Master Rusty Mitchell and Treasurer Dan Jesse.
Beall said the generosity of local Masons guarantees the program will continue in our area this year. It puts Masons’ pledge in action to be charitable to less fortunate neighbors. Beall donated bikes last year anonymously that were distributed by Goodfellows, a local charitable organization.
Beall gave thanks to Lodge members saying their generosity will guarantee that boys and girls in under privileged families will awake Christmas morning to find a bicycle waiting. Beall said he had wanted to keep the program private but agrees that getting the public involved will expand the program and make more bikes available.
“Do you remember your first bike – the wind in your face? It is a wonderful feeling to know a few boys and girls from disadvantaged homes will not be neglected Christmas,” Beall stated. “Bicycle riding builds strong bodies, reduces obesity, and gives a feeling of independence, and perhaps even freedom to a child. Recent medical studies also credit such activity as increasing brain function. Our Lord said we should love another person as ones self. I feel this command and the spirit of Christmas is alive and working in Clintonville’s Masonic community. Unfortunately a local boy who received a bicycle rode it to school only to have it stolen. It is the plan now to provide bikes with locks and safety helmets. The locks will cost $20 and a helmet $38. Bicycle repairs depend on condition but average costs run $35-$75. We would like to see as many bikes given as possible; however, the purpose of giving is to put smiling faces on as many boys and girls as practical.”
He added donations could be sent to Free Wheeling in care of Fox Communities Credit Union, Clintonville office. Art Tessmer, with sons Caleb and Ben, are helping with this project. A local Boy Scout group is also considering helping to repair bikes.
Bicycles in useable or repairable condition are needed. New bikes are also given.
Brother Tom Lederer has agreed Goodfellows will distribute the bikes to boys and girls again this year in time for Christmas. Beall holds dual Masonic membership in Clintonville,WI Lodge 197, and Door To Virtue No. 46, Westminster, MD.