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Shrine Club seeks families in need

Since 1987, the Marietta Shrine Club has used approximately $500,000 of the Maud A. and Charles C. Hale Endowment Trust Fund to help area children.

They are looking for aid requests to help Washington County children who have disabilities with another $20,000.

Belpre residents Charles and Maud Hale didn’t have children of their own, but they loved to help children in their community. They weren’t involved with the Shriners, but learned how the club helped the handicapped youth.

The trust helps pay for hospital and doctor visits, prescriptions, medical supplies and equipment. Often, Medicaid or insurance will not pay for things they don’t deem “medically necessary.”

“(The trust) ensures children in our area will not be denied medical care they need,” said Ed Flanders, head of the Hale Trust.

Through the trust, an average of $20,000 per year is given out. Flanders said the child doesn’t need to visit a Shriners hospital to get help.

“When families are seeking help for their children, they don’t have to be affiliated with the Shriners,” he added.

He said there is a simple application to find out the child’s condition and why they are seeking funding. There are no income requirements.

“Income is not that important,” said board member Ernie “Tag” Wetz.

Flanders added they only want to help enhance the quality of the child’s life.

“(It could be) something as simple as a ramp so they can get out of the house,” Wetz noted.

On a broader scale, funds from the trust are used to help with community projects, such as making the grandstand at the Washington County Fairgrounds handicap accessible.

“We’re a well-kept secret here in Marietta,” Flanders said. “It’s surprising people don’t send in more requests.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the fundraising group hasn’t met in months, and requests are on hold until after July 12.

“There are dozens of things (they can request) to help in some way,” Flanders said. “The only thing in common is they are handicapped.”

To apply, contact Flanders at 740-373-1345.

Michele Newbanks can be reached at mnewbanks@mariettatimes.com.

At a glance:

• The Marietta Shrine Club is seeking requests for aid for Washington County children.

• Funding for the aid will come from the Maud A. and Charles C. Hale Endowment Trust Fund.

•About $20,000 in funding is available for a variety of things, including hospital stays, equipment or prescriptions.

•Requests will start being reviewed after July 12.

•Applications can be requested through the Marietta Shrine Club. Contact Ed Flanders at 740-373-1345.

Source: Marietta Shrine Club.

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