Odd Fellows in Chilliwack step up to help

Odd Fellows make a point of helping community members in need, organizing fundraisers and making donations to worthy causes.

Rick May (left) of the Odd Fellows Lodge #7 of Chilliwack shares a story about his friend Dale Switzer (centre) with fellow member Gary Ormerod at Switzer's home on Saturday. Switzer has multiple sclerosis which led to him becoming a quadriplegic. Thanks to his friend Rick May

Rick May (left) of the Odd Fellows Lodge #7 of Chilliwack shares a story about his friend Dale Switzer (centre) with fellow member Gary Ormerod at Switzer's home on Saturday. Switzer has multiple sclerosis which led to him becoming a quadriplegic. Thanks to his friend Rick May

A local friend was struggling they heard.

So an Odd Fellows Lodge in Chilliwack has stepped up to help.

Gary Ormerod, past Noble Grand of the Oddfellows Lodge #7 in Chilliwack, said they surveyed the membership at the December meeting to see if anyone could benefit from having their spirits lifted over the holidays.

Lodge member Rick May suggested the name of Dale Switzer, who is known for making beautiful wood carvings, and puppets, as well as being a former CSSS grad.

“Rick is a friend of Dale’s. They grew up together,” Ormerod said.

He definitely needed a little cheering up, and the Odd Fellows decided they were on it.

Switzer had been dealing with the debilitating and progressive effects of Multiple Sclerosis, and was confined to a wheelchair most of the time.

The Odd Fellows put together a Christmas care package full of treats for Switzer,  from potato chips and mints, to salsa and tortilla chips, and presented it around Christmas time.

“When we brought it to Dale, he just beamed. He was so appreciative and happy.”

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a global fraternity of men and women who seek ways to make the world a little brighter. They make a point of helping community members in need, organizing fundraisers and making donations to worthy causes.

“That’s what we’re about — helping people,” said Ormerod. “Unless someone goes to see Dale, he just sits there. He can’t answer the phone. So we did what we could to cheer him up a bit,” added Ormerod.

They also brought him to their annual Waffle Night and are looking into some future options to assist Switzer, such as getting meals on wheels service, and possibly a phone he can operate with his mouth to make communicating easier.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno