By Brandi Makuski
Local kids in crisis will get a little extra soothing during an emergency, thanks to the Stevens Point Masonic Lodge.
Members of the Evergreen Masonic Lodge No. 93, based in Stevens Point, donated a box of “Care Bears” to the Portage Co. Sheriff’s Office last week; the result of the Mason’s summer donation drive.
The bears will be distributed by deputies to children at traumatic scenes, to include car accidents and fires.
“Anything we can do to help the kids stay calm and feel a little extra love makes a lot of difference,” said Sheriff Mike Lukas.
John White, head of the lodge, said the money was raised through both an internal fundraiser and a donation drive during the group’s summertime brat fries at Trigs.
“We’ll continue to raise money so we can continue to replenish the bears as needed,” White said, adding the sheriff’s office was just the first in many donations they plan to make in the future.
“Next one will be at police department, then the fire department,” White said. “After that, we’ll go out to the women’s shelter and other places, then it’ll be trying to make sure everyone stays replenished.”
Mike Bredlau, secretary/treasurer of the lodge, said the bears cost $12 a piece, and the group is taking donations from the public to continue funding the Care Bear program.
“We collected enough money to be able to purchase 22 Care Bears, so that each of the 11 squads would have two in each vehicle,” Bredlau said. “We’re hoping to expand that to other departments as soon as possible.”
White said the program falls in line with some of the Mason’s tenants, which include friendship, morality and brotherly love.
“What better way to demonstrate that than by taking care of the kids?” White asked. “We’re really glad that we’re able to can show Masons care.”
White said anyone interested in making a donation should email firstname.lastname@example.org.