The Provincial Grand Lodge of Armagh has donated £2,750 to the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust (NICLT) — a charity that takes 100 deserving children to Lapland every Christmas.
Most of this amount was raised at the Provincial Grand Lodge of Armagh’s yearly golf competition in Portadown. With additional funding provided by the Province’s charity fund it was possible to donate a total of almost £5,000 to NICLT and Young Lives Vs Cancer.
Both organisations were presented with the cheques at the Provincial Grand Lodge’s October meeting in Brownlow House in Lurgan.
The £30,000 generated by the Masonic Order over the last decade has supported NICLT’s drive to send 100 children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions to Lapland — Rovaniemi, Finland — every Christmas.
For two years the Northern Ireland Children to Lapland and Days to Remember Trust was forced to suspend that annual trip due to the pandemic but it will resume once again this month, albeit with added costs brought about by the cost of living crisis and energy price surges.
Speaking about the support the charity has received from the Masonic, Chair of NICLT Colin Barkley said: “Every year we fill an aeroplane with children with very particular needs, their families and healthcare professionals as well as a host of equipment to make dreams come true for 100 very deserved children.
“It’s no easy feat and comes at a cost, an increasing cost, and it is organisations like the Masonic Order that have been instrumental in allowing us to continue to make this trip a reality.
“The Masonic Order has been extremely generous to us for almost a decade and we never underestimate the support we receive from them. When they continue, year after year to choose us as their charity, especially at a time when many other households, businesses and organisations are also trying to survive in a challenging economic climate, it means so much to us. We wish to thank the Order for its continued support.”
The Armagh Provincial Assistant Grand Master and Golf Committee Chair John Richardson said “We are delighted to support NICLT in the really admirable work it does to bring such happiness to children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. We are grateful to those who support our golf competition, and to Portadown Golf Club for allowing us use of their course and premises for the day.”