A NEW $3000 custom-built carriage was presented to the Gympie Riding for the Disabled Association at Long Flat this week.
Funds for the project were raised by the Freemasons of Gympie and District through the local masonic fundraising committee headed by Kevin Ward.
Assistant grand superintendent of workings Adan Taylor officially presented the carriage to the RDA on Thursday and said the committee was supported by Freemasons from Gympie, Imbil, Kenilworth, Kin Kin, Kilkivan, Theebine, Woolooga and Tin Can Bay.
Accepting the carriage on behalf of the RDA, Bob McClay said volunteers made it possible to give their clients the weekly experience of getting on a horse or riding in a carriage.
For those who were unable to ride or get into a high-wheeled vehicle, the new custom-built vehicle was able to accommodate wheelchairs and was an important addition to the RDA, Mr McClay said.
Funding for the carriage was also provided by the Grand Lodge of Queensland, based in Brisbane, which draws funds from masons all over the state.
"Gympie freemasons have supported local community-based projects since freemasonry was established in Gympie in the 1880s," Mr Taylor said.
"We are a non-profit organisation which exists to strengthen our community by supporting one another.
"This project today would not have been possible without the hard work of the fundraising committee and all its helpers. This carriage will be an excellent addition to the RDA and we were more than happy to jump on board.
"Special mention must also go to Don LeClus, who, in addition to being a very well respected freemason has also devoted a large part of his life to the Riding for the Disabled Association here in Gympie.
"This project was his idea and we thank him and the RDA committee for giving us the opportunity to support this project."
RDA has 22 centres throughout Queensland with more than 1000 volunteers to help its riders achieve their personal goals through participation in sporting and therapeutic equestrian activities in a safe and supportive environment.