Cornerstone Lodge donates wheelchairs to Flambouyant Gardens

St. Croix Cornerstone Lodge #176 PHC members represented in photo (L to R): Arthur Canaii, Junior Warden; Dino Fontaine, Senior Warden; Jonathan Small, Treasurer; Bryan Robinson, Secretary; Antonio Stevens, President; Juan Sanes, 1st Worshipful Master. Pictured from Lutheran Social Services of the V.I. (L to R): Judy Velasquez, Flambouyant Gardens Service Coordinator; and Emily Graci, Director of Public Relations and Development.

The Gentlemen of the St. Croix Cornerstone Lodge #176 PHA donated three brand-new wheelchairs to the Flambouyant Gardens housing community for seniors on Wednesday, August 28th, 2014.

The effort was initiated after several of the Gentlemen were performing a routine fire drill at Flambouyant Gardens in Barren Spot, in their capacity as professional firemen and fire supervisors.  During the fire drill, the Gentlemen noticed some of the older residents were having difficulties rapidly evacuating their apartments and the housing management staff was using a wheelchair to assist with the evacuations.  The Gentlemen decided additional wheelchairs could really benefit the residents and housing management staff, and they began raising funds to purchase the wheelchairs through a ball, bake sales, and raffles.

The Gentlemen have been very supportive of Flambouyant Gardens in recent years by donating food and gifts and hosting Thanksgiving and Christmas parties for the seniors.  Flambouyant Gardens opened in 1986 and is owned and managed by Lutheran Social Services of the Virgin Islands (LSSVI).  The housing community has 56 apartments that are subsidized through Housing & Urban Development for low-income seniors and adults with physical disabilities that can live independently.  LSSVI staff and AmeriCorps volunteers provide supplemental programs and services for the residents, such as transportation to medical appointments, shopping trips, guest speakers, workshops, and recreational activities.

The St. Croix Cornerstone Lodge #176 Prince Hall Affiliated is a non-profit organization which strives to cultivate brotherly love, to exercise charity in its best and broadest sense, to stimulate friendship and harmony, and to promote truth, relief, and happiness of mankind.  The local chapter of the fraternity was founded in 2011 and currently has 17 members.

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