Outreach Helps to Pave the Road
Tyler Heckendorn

Tyler Heckendorn enjoys being outdoors now that he can move around on the newly paved driveway leading from his home.

Nothing is more tragic than when a child is stricken with a terminal disease.

Here's an example of how Masons reach out to those who need help. In early April, Outreach received a call from a person who knew someone in the community "needing help." As John Suchanec, Outreach Director, explained, Tyler Heckendorn, a seven-year-old boy, had been stricken with cancer. Paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair, this young boy nevertheless is still full of hope and life. Their home is along a short, unpaved country road. Both parents took time from their employment to take care of their son. Finances and the stress of caring for their son was taking a toll. They had no choice but to look to the community for help and the community responded!

An admissions counselor, representing the Masonic Homes, visited the home to assess the family's needs. The counselor determined that this young boy needed a way to get outside and enjoy his surroundings. If the driveway were paved he would be able to move around outside, collect the mail for his mom and dad, visit with the neighbors' animals, and get some much needed fresh air.

Friends in the community, Masonic lodges, and some celebrities came together to find a way to help. Local contractors donated time, money, material, and labor to reduce the original cost of the project by 75 percent. Funds were collected by local lodges and increased by Matching Masonic Charity Grants, and various private individuals. By May, the driveway was built.