The Queen City chapter of the Free Runners Masonic Order (FRMO) in Springfield has been actively involved in supporting local charities, with a special focus on the Springfield Public School Foundation’s Coats for Kids program. Their annual fundraiser, a vibrant event featuring live music, a silent auction, and a bike and car show, is typically held at American Legion Post 676 in late August.
Buckshot Forrest, the chapter treasurer of FRMO, explains that the funds raised are directly used to provide vouchers for winter coats to children in need. These vouchers are specifically designed to be used only for the purchase of winter coats, ensuring that the aid reaches its intended recipients. Local merchants participate in this initiative, accepting these vouchers for coats of varying prices.
In recent years, the impact of these fundraisers has been amplified through the matching of funds by the Masonic Home of Missouri, which contributes two dollars for every dollar raised by FRMO. This year, the donation amounted to approximately $12,500. Over the past decade, the Free Runners Queen City chapter has contributed over $60,000 to the Coats for Kids program and other initiatives, including a bus transportation program. This program assists students who do not qualify for free bus transportation, ensuring they can still attend school even if their families cannot afford the transportation costs. Additionally, funds are also allocated to the PTA Clothing Bank.
Natalie Murdock, Executive Director of the SPS Foundation, commends the FRMO for their increasing fundraising efforts over the years. The funds have enabled the expansion of support beyond the Coats for Kids program, significantly benefiting the students.
This initiative by the FRMO exemplifies community support and the positive impact of dedicated fundraising efforts on local education and welfare programs.