Sunday, November 20, 2011

Masons Award Family for Heartfelt Work

The Masons of San Jacinto Masonic Lodge 1330 surprised Judy and Barry Lynch Saturday with the Community Builder Award.

Six years ago, the Lynches had a son. Thomas Lynch was born with mental retardation and other birth defects. As many parents of special children do, the Lynches kept asking 'why?' Why was Thomas born to be different? How were they going to get by? Could they give their little boy the care he needed? But soon, the question of 'why?' was gone. And the Lynches decided to put together a fundraiser that would help their son and other children like him. The root of their idea?...

When Thomas was in the hospital as a baby, his father would run more than four miles round-trip to visit him. And as Barry, who then weighed more than the healthy average for his height, began to shed the pounds, an idea sparked in his head. Why not get people to sponsor him to run in triathlons? He did just that, and people traveled hours to watch him run in a triathlon in Dallas. Barry then decided that instead of people driving to see him, he would put together an event in Amarillo. Hence the Lake Tanglewood TRI To Make A Difference Triathlon was founded. The event raises money for children like Thomas through the Children's Miracle Network.

"I think, for us, it's really just turned into a celebration of Thomas' life and just how God brings good from every circumstance and He works through people," Judy Lynch said. Thanks to the support of their family and friends, the Lynches were able to take some good out of a bad situation to help other people- something that is sometimes rarely seen in today's world. "We feel like Thomas' life and his condition, it is with purpose," Barry Lynch stated. "I think in the beginning you struggle with the 'why?' When you can move past the 'why?' and focus on the purpose, things just seem to start to fall into place."

The devotion of the Lynches did not go unnoticed. They were given the Community Builder Award, a once-a-year recognition given by the Masons of Amarillo. And according to one Mason, rewarding people for heartfelt work is what Masonry is all about. "It's helping people without the hope of reward, and that's what I saw in the Lynches," 10-Year Mason Gary Freedman said. "I've watched them every year. I've seen them grow this thing to beyond their imagination, beyond anybody's imagination. Raising hundreds of thousands of dollars is amazing, especially for such a good cause."

The Masons also presented the Children's Miracle Network with donations taken up from all the lodges. The Lynches walked into the Masonic Lodge Saturday morning thinking they were there simply to give a speech. They walked out with honored recognition and support from even more people in the Amarillo community- support for their hard work, warm hearts and unconditional love for their special son.

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