Our Mission: Create Opportunities for People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their Families to Participate Fully in the Community
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Masonic Brothers Make an Impact for the BetterSeptember 1, 2021



Masons from Marquis de Lafayette Lodge #41 and Denver Lodge #5

The Masons’ tagline and guidepost is the value of “making good men better,” and striving to help make better communities too. On a late summer weekend, they came together to do just that while cultivating camaraderie among their members.

They worked shoulder to shoulder to cut, trim, pull, dig out and stack all kinds of overgrown plants and weeds of the DDRC Belmar apartments in Lakewood, currently serving 8 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

They painted a long stretch of privacy fence, trimmed trees, and cut bushes to create wider, easier walkways for residents. They spread new mulch to create a fresh look and pulled many dying bushes from the streetside to give the property a prouder, neat look. It was two days of work, creating heaping piles of debris and filling a big dumpster, and when they were done, they made the yard better - a lot better. In fact, they transformed the property!

Apartment residents and the Masons got together briefly in the yard to meet each other while sharing refreshments. ”Wow!” exclaimed Eric, one of the residents, “This looks so different and bigger! Now we can walk all the way around the pavilion. Thank you.” The other residents nodded in agreement, saying it looked so nice, and expressing thanks. Voni McDonald, DDRC Lead Counselor at Belmar said, “We are so grateful we can get back out here and enjoy the space more, especially with COVID, when other options have been limited. Thank you, Masons!” The get-together gave the Mason’s a firsthand idea of the people benefiting from their efforts and the impact they were making.

This would not have been possible were it not for the values of the Masons, and especially due to Grant Sanders, Mason, who helped to spearhead the initiative. Grant invited participants from his lodge, the Marquis de Lafayette Lodge #41, who came as a large contingent, as well as Masons from Denver Lodge #5. They all worked hard, were so congenial, and seemed truly gratified to see the impact of their efforts.

The Masons and the Marquis de Lafayette have been especially supportive and helpful to DDRC over the years. They have donated significant funds, provided holiday gift cards for people DDRC serves who have few other resources, and they have done other construction projects for DDRC too. With all that they can truly say they are fulfilling their mission while also making a difference for people with developmental disabilities!