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Scottish Rite Masons donate 349 pairs of shoes to Hawkins students

STAFF REPORT • Dec 25, 2019 at 2:00 PM

ROGERSVILLE — Christmas came early for a group of Hawkins County students thanks to the Scottish Rite Masons, who delivered 349 pairs of shoes to deserving students at all 19 schools in Hawkins County.

The Scottish Rite Masons are part of the Mason’s Clay Lodge in Church Hill and Overton Lodge in Rogersville, and they have an annual tradition of contributing shoes to schools.

Hawkins County Coordinated School Health Director Erika Phillips noted that this year marks the eighth year that Hawkins County students in need have received shoes from the Scottish Rite Masons.

“The Hawkins County Scottish Rite Masons are an incredible community partner,” Phillips said. “We are so grateful for their generosity as well as all of the hard work they put into this project.”

After working with the school system to coordinate collecting needed shoe sizes, several members of the Hawkins County club delivered the shoes to the schools.

Hawkins County Scottish Rite coordinator Harvey Lafollette said he believes they made a lot of kids happy with their donations.

“Several students put their new shoes on right away and wore them back to class,” Lafollett said. “It tickled us and the students.”

Mount Carmel Elementary Principal, Amy Glass, agreed.

“Our students and families are so appreciative of the Scottish Rite Masons,” Glass said. “The faces of the little ones who received shoes were priceless. Three girls received matching Disney Princess shoes. One said, “Mrs. Glass, these are the exact shoes I have always wished for.”

According to Lafollette, the Scottish Rite Masons reach out to approximately 15 business in Northeast Tennessee each fall to solicit donations for the shoe program. If it wasn’t for these local businesses, Lafollette said, the Masons wouldn’t be able to provide this service.

Lafollette said the Masons are thankful for all of the businesses who saw the value of this project and made contributions.

“I want to personally thank the Masons for their efforts to purchase, donate and deliver shoes for 349 students this year,” said director of schools Matt Hixson.  “What an amazing blessing to see children within our school system receive such critical items at this time of year. Thank you for the many years of dedication to our community and especially for meeting such a worthy need.”