On Wednesday morning July 23, Master Mason Larry Hawthorne and Senior Warden Jim Crockett from Fort Crook Lodge 250 F&AM gave beautiful new backpacks filled with school supplies to 93 children at Fall River and Burney elementary schools.
Each backpack contained a ruler, notebook paper, pencils, crayons, and erasers. The school supplies were donated by Patty Williams, owner of Intermountain Carpet and past Honorary Mayor of Burney.
Hawthorne and Crockett handed out 40 backpacks in Fall River Mills and 53 in Burney. This is the 15th year that Fort Crook Lodge 250 has done this program. The Lodge gives backpacks to all second-grade students from Burney to Alturas.
Lodge secretary Bob Boyce said that 3 years ago when much of Weed was destroyed by fire, the young students in Alturas asked that their packs be donated to the children in Weed.
Before handing out the packs, Hawthorne and Crockett gave a short talk to the students about the role that Masons had played in United States history. Hawthorne told them that many of the Founding Fathers and several U.S. Presidents were Masons. He also explained that the Masons had helped in the development of and continued to support public education.
Crockett asked the children if they had heard of Mount Rushmore. Many children raised their hands. He then explained how several Masons had helped to create that national monument.
After the brief talk, the children lined up by class to receive their new backpacks. They were extremely well-behaved and polite, and also, very eager to try on and show off their new packs.
It was a very enjoyable experience for all.