By Abby Burbary
The Mason Times
Chapter 150 Order of the Eastern Star of Mason had over 75 people attend their second fundraiser to benefit service dogs through Paws with A Cause on February 22, at the A & W on N Cedar St.
Pat Hall, member of the Order of the Eastern Star, said the fraternal organization has been in Mason for 121 years this year, and their membership consists of people affiliated with the Masonic Lodge.
Hall said their first fundraiser for Paws with a Cause in 2012 raised $1,000 dollars, and their grand chapter asked them to do a second one at a different location.
“The first one we had in 2012 was at our Masonic center,” Hall said.
Hall said the fundraiser that took place just a few days ago included a ham dinner provided by A & W, and anyone who made a personal donation also received a stuffed-animal dog.
“It’s a very good meal, for a very good cause,” Hall said.
Hall said it doesn’t matter if the fundraisers raise a large or small amount of money, because every little bit helps the cause.
“Charity is an important piece for the Order of the Eastern Star,” Hall said.
Deb Davis, community engagement manager at Paws with a Cause, said that the organization trains assistance dogs for people with disabilities.
Davis said the organization was born when a man lent a helping hand to his friend.
“There was someone that he knew who was hard of hearing and his wife was deaf, and they had just adopted a hearing-impaired child,” Davis said. “The gentlemen who was deaf knew our CEO and co-founder, and asked him if he had ever trained a dog to respond to sound,”
Davis said that the now CEO and co-founder Michael D. Sapp Sr. loved a challenge, so he started training the dog day after day, until the dog responded.
“Every week he would go back there, and there would be another deaf couple with their dog, asking him to do the same thing. The need formed the organization,” Davis said.
Davis said the biggest form of donation that Paws with a Cause receives is individual donations.
“87 percent of our funding comes from people with big hearts,” Davis said.
Jeff Haueter, store manager at the A & W in Mason, said the store makes Mondays available for nonprofits and charities such as the Order of the Eastern Star.
“The community supports us, so we wanted to do something to give back,” Haueter said.
Haueter said the fundraiser that took place at the store seemed like an overall success.
“There was over 75 people. A pretty decent turnout,” Haueter said.