An Obligation Fulfilled

It all began in 1965 when Brother Bill Woodbridge was raised a Master Mason in a Lodge in Cincinnati, Ohio. At the time, he took an oath and made a promise to aid and assist his fellow Masons, their widows and orphans. Little did he know that promise would be fulfilled some 53 years later for his widow, Kathy, and his orphan, Katy and her sweet son Georgie.

Bill’s widow, Kathy Woodbridge, provides support for her daughter and grandson, Georgie Glaros. Georgie Glaros is an exceptional little boy. He is intelligent, intuitive, creative and the most courageous little guy in the world. When he was only a few days old baby Georgie suffered a pediatric stroke. His condition left this sweet little baby with a traumatic brain injury and minimal use of the left side of his body. This young fellow has spent his entire life confined to a wheel chair. Surprisingly, the chair has not discouraged little Georgie or his family. Georgie’s mother works with unwavering diligence and dedication turning every new challenge into an opportunity to help Georgie and her family grow stronger. Mom and his big sister, Hope, are dedicated to protecting little Georgie and helping him to grow by stimulating him physically, mentally, and emotionally. Georgie’s family has remained steadfast through several hospital stays, surgeries, treatments and therapies.

Just this year, Georgie has spent over 60 days in the hospital and over 120 days house bound with his mother while he suffered through halo traction. In spite of these painful obstacles, Georgie found the strength to keep up with his peers and successfully complete all his school work in order to be promoted with his classmates.

While Georgie’s mother has always been a creative problem solver she found herself facing a huge obstacle; she needed reliable transportation for her brave little guy who cannot be transported without a mobility van.

In February, a friend of Mr. Woodbridge and member of the Valley of Cleveland learned of this urgent situation requiring immediate action. He immediately reached out to several members of the Fraternity across the state and country in addition to the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center. The call to action was established and many people got to work within hours. A call was made to the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction AASR Supreme Council Office who jumped into action. Contacts were made with Brother Woodbridge’s Cincinnati Brethren, including the Valley of Cincinnati Almoner’s Fund and local Lodges. Local Masonic organizations in the Cleveland area were also contacted. A private fundraiser was set up with Huntington Bank for the family. The Ohio Grand Lodge Charitable Foundation was made aware of this urgent situation. Staff of The Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center began to connect with existing resources to locate a mobility van for Georgie and took the lead on coordinating resources. In addition to those efforts, we dispatched a Resource Center Liaison to begin working with the family on addressing all possible other needs.

Over the next few days, a vehicle was located with MobilityWorks in Akron, Ohio who was an amazing partner in working with our Resource Center to recognize the situation and price the vehicle accordingly. MobilityWorks immediately got to work on a brand new vehicle customized to meet Georgie and his family’s needs, right down to Georgie’s favorite color, red. Our Resource Center Liaison began communications with the family by opening connections to future benefits for Georgie and providing a calming force through a challenging few weeks.

Over a short period of time, the family raised over $10,000 in their private fundraiser which is truly amazing, however about $35,000 short of their goal. At the same time, unbeknownst to Georgie and his family, the network of Brethren put together commitments and successfully raised over $35,000 in less than a week with the possibility of more to come for Georgie’s family.

On Friday, March 9, staff of the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center had the honor to represent the Home as well as many branches of Freemasonry in presenting a check for $35,000, combined with private funds raised, which gave Georgie a brand new red mobility van. Sixty-five years after Brother Woodbridge took that solemn obligation, his widow, his daughter and grandson received a life changing gift from those who did the same.

It was an honor to meet little Georgie, his smile is his best trait for sure. He loves to eat berries, he loves playing Pokemon and likes the Cincinnati Bengals. When we asked him why the Bengals? His response was because of the uniforms, but mostly the cheerleaders. Little Georgie is a charmer for sure. Georgie loves his big sister, Hope, who has an amazing and loving spirit of care for her little brother, is patient and kind. Georgie loves to learn and fix things. He wants to be a scientist and inventor when he grows up and he’s got the mind and grit to accomplish that goal. The fascinating, exceptionally intelligent, resilient young man will change the world some day and our beloved Fraternity working together with the Ohio Masonic Home Resource Center has made a difference in helping him along the way.

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