Helping Hometown Heros

Veterans who visit Providence’s VA Medical Center usually have to park a good distance from the front door entrance. For those with walking disabilities, this could mean a tough walk up hill or a long trek from the back parking lots. The VA has a shuttle service made up of two golf carts to look for and pick up Veterans to bring them to the entrance. Over the years the vehicles have worn down and faced many, many repairs to keep them going. Both are now in desperate need of replacement.


A call went out at the August 2015 meeting of the VA Voluntary Services Committee that the golf carts needed to be replaced and if any committee member would be able to help raise the much needed funds or pool their recourses together to purchase a new cart.

Present at the delivery were: L-R R∴W∴Wyman P. Hallstrom, Grand Secretary and PGM; R∴W∴Russell Kawa, MSA Representative for the Grand Lodge of RI; Donna Russillo, Chief of the VA Voluntary Services Group; M∴W∴Raymond E. Hassell, Grand Master; and Dr. Susan A. MacKenzie, Ph.D, Director of the Providence Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center.

After reading the notes from the August meeting, that’s when our Grand Master decided to get the Masons involved. He called on me to look into the matter and get some quotes for a new cart. In the meantime, a proposal was put before the Masonic Grand Lodge Charities Committee to procure the funds.


The Charities Committee met with the Investment Committee and funds were allocated for the next year’s budget, however it was decided that we currently had enough money in the fund to purchase a new cart.
The deal came together and the new golf cart was delivered just in time for the New Year.