NORMAN — The Slaughterville Ladies’ Auxiliary efforts, matched by Hampton Noble Masonic Lodge No. 291, is benefiting the volunteer fire department.
The auxiliary received a matching-funds check in the amount of $4,123 from the lodge. The auxiliary’s funds were raised at the group’s spaghetti dinner in October.
The funds — a grand total of $8,246 — will directly benefit the Slaughterville Volunteer Fire Department.
The department obtains some funding through federal grants and town taxes, but relies heavily on the Ladies’ Auxilliary fundraising events for support.
“If it weren’t for the support of residents and merchants, the Volunteer Fire Department couldn’t survive,” Eureta Smith, member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary said. “It takes a combined effort.”
DeWayne Tolson, Slaughterville VFD firefighter and member of the Hampton Noble lodge, was instrumental in coordinating the two groups in an effort to obtain matching funds.
“The Ladies’ Auxilliary contacted our lodge and presented what they needed,” Tolson said. “Lodge members (thought they) must be involved with the event.”
The idea was brought up to the lodge’s Worshipful Master Jim Bollinger. Worshipful master is an old English term of respect used when addressing a person holding the position akin to president of any community club.
Members of the lodge voted and approved the matching funds as a community project.
Mike Marty, secretary for the lodge, said that in order to request funds from the Oklahoma Masonic Charity Foundation, local lodges must take pictures to document fundraising events and complete paperwork, which, in part, explains how the funds will be used.
Philanthropic efforts are common for members of the Hampton Noble Masonic Lodge, which is active with local schools, helping with the Relay for Life and Prevent Blindness programs. Last year, Masons raised more than $85,000 to help screen school children in Oklahoma.
Several members of the Hampton Noble lodge also are members of other area lodges.
Ashley Parker, vice president of the Ladies’ Auxilliary, along with her colleagues, Vonda Shepherd, treasurer, and Eureta Smith, member, were on hand to receive the check.
“This goes beyond any of our expectations,” Smith said. “It’s such a blessing to have this kind of support for our volunteer firefighters.”