Article by Brother Thomas LeBlanc
Hiram Lodge No. 9 awards Denise Mathews with a Community Builders Award at their Annual Christmas Party.
Denise has been a teacher for the Claremont School district for many years and in that time has always worked with and for children with special needs. Denise came to our lodge some time ago with a request of support for the summer program in which she is involved called Camp Imagine. This summer camp is designed specifically around the needs of children who may have Autism or some other form of disability which would prevent them from attending a traditional summer camp.
At Camp Imagine, these children learn skills that may help them cope with the normal life as well as discover that they are special not for their lacking but in what they have to offer the community in which they belong. The lodge has helped her organize the funding needed for this program to operate and has done so for the last 4 years with the help of other Masonic organizations as well as the International Order of Odd Fellows.
Denise’s efforts don’t stop there. She has organized the first Relay For Life held in Claremont many years ago and it still runs today. She now goes across the state helping other communities organize and run their relays. She has dedicated her life to the growth of the community and the betterment of those less fortunate.
We the members of Hiram Lodge voted and decided she is deserving of this award.
When asked if she had any words her response was simply, “I love my job.”