This past week members of the Order of the Eastern Star from across the state came to the UK Markey Cancer Foundation to present a check to for $6,727.40 to CEO Mike Delzotti. Over the past several years the Order of the Eastern Star has been making donations annually, and this year’s gift brings their total to more than $10,000.
The catalyst for the group’s efforts stems from their collective brushes with the disease. Marilyn K Watson, who is currently serving her term as the Worthy Grand Matron of the organization and chose supporting cancer research and treatment as her cause of choice for 2018, lost her brother to cancer in 2002, just eight months after his diagnosis. Then, in 2016 both her brother-in-law and her niece were diagnosed with the disease. While both received treatment and are currently cancer-free, the multi-faceted ordeal made a significant impression on Watson.
“It seems like in the past few years, cancer has affected so many of my friends or member of a friend’s family. Cancer does not discriminate,” said Watson. “No matter what age, it attacks.”
Watson said the response by her fellow Eastern Star members was heartwarming. Many of them have similar stories, having had friends and family battle cancer, or even themselves.
The group has made donations annually to the UK Markey Cancer Foundations, as well as to other cancer-related charitable causes.
Founded in 1850 by lawyer and educator Rob Morris, the Order of the Eastern Star is a masonic organization open to both men and women who reflect the spirit of fraternal love and the desire to work together for good.