The support will keep coming! That was the message from Freemasons members when they visited on Thursday 19 October to present IOE with yet another cheque in support of the Sibling program. This takes their total financial contribution for the Sibling Program over the past eight years to an incredible $200,000.00.  As the program receives no other funding, it has only been through these ongoing generous donations that the IOE Sibs Program has been able to continue operating.

Miles King, the Grand Director of Ceremonies from the Freemasons Foundation, joined Lionel May, District Coordinator, Freemasons Victoria Monash Gully District and other members to present the cheque.

Prior to the presentation, sibling Kaeli Farrelly told the gathering of how much the Sibs Program has meant to her. How it gave her a break from her sibling with a disability and other family members, of how good it was to be with others who understood her situation, of the friends, including her ‘bestie’, she had made and the self-esteem she had gained through being a part of the program. Kaeli’s mother, Carla told the all too familiar story of how parents’ attention is, of necessity, focused on the child with the disability, so siblings often come in second best. She said she had seen the difference the program had made for her daughter’s confidence and to her overall quality of life.

Miles King spoke of the value of members being able to see such positive results from their fundraising efforts. He thanked the members present for their hard work and commended them on their dedication to raising funds enabling the support of such a valuable program as the IOE Sibs Program. Freemasons’ continued support of Sibs for the coming year was then re-affirmed.

Member Keith Thornton has been an integral part of building such a strong support relationship with IOE Sibs and Freemasons. At the gathering it was IOE’s turn to reciprocate with the unveiling of The Keith Thornton Room (formerly IOE training/meeting room) in appreciation of the difference that Keith has made and the way he has paved the way for this partnership that has enriched the lives of so many siblings and families.

Thank you to Freemasons Foundation Victoria and Freemasons Monash Gully for sharing our vision and value for the Sibs program. We are incredibly grateful for your support!

Unveiling ‘The Keith Thornton Room”