The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Arthur Lodge #281, affectionately known as the Odd Fellows, have marked their final chapter by making a $35,000 gift to Sault Area Hospital Foundation (SAHF).
Established in 1891, this historic organization has upheld a steadfast commitment to community welfare and, in their final act of generosity, has directed their support towards the acquisition of three state-of-the-art Medical & Surgical Beds at our local hospital. The funds came from proceeds of the sale of their historic Odd Fellows Temple building on Dennis Street, and were divided among several community groups as part of the groups dissolution at the end of August 2023.
For over a century, the Odd Fellows embodied a commitment to alleviating the suffering of the sick and distressed. Their legacy of compassion and their primary directive to extend a helping hand to the community have left an indelible mark. Through their dedicated Humanitarian Services program, the Odd Fellows tirelessly collected, refurbished, and distributed vital assistive devices, such as wheelchairs, commodes, walkers, crutches, and hospital beds. This program, which once served over 1,300 local residents with more than 5,000 pieces of essential equipment, regrettably ceased operations in October 2020 due to a decline in volunteer numbers.
The ideals that guided the founding of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in 1891—to foster friendship, love, and truth, and to improve the well-being of humanity—have been upheld by Arthur Lodge #281. Dave Pitcher, one of the remaining members, humorously shared, "We weren't knights, or masons, or Rotarians; we were 'odd,' but we were united in our desire to make a positive impact as a brotherhood."
In the words of Bob Wooley, staunch supporter of the Odd Fellows and advocate for quality healthcare, "Our affiliation with the Odd Fellows was born from a shared belief in making a meaningful difference. We embrace the legacy of this remarkable organization and its commitment to healthcare."
Teresa Martone, Executive Director of the SAH Foundation, extends her heartfelt gratitude to the Odd Fellows for their unwavering dedication to local healthcare, commenting:
"After spending decades ensuring members of our community had access to medical equipment, their final gift will ensure those receiving care at Sault Area Hospital will as well. What a wonderful way to honour the legacy of their organization!"
On behalf of Sault Area Hospital Foundation's Board of Directors, staff, and the beneficiaries of this generous donation, thank you to every member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Arthur Lodge #281. As they conclude their journey, their legacy of benevolence, fellowship, and community support will continue to inspire and uplift generations to come.
Join your local community in making a difference at Sault Area Hospital!