Alan LaKamp, Ppresident of the Butler County Challenger Baseball league, is happy his league is being honored by the Washington Lodge #17 F&AM Freemasons. GREG LYNCH / STAFF

Masonic Lodge to honor 2 Hamilton groups

Hope’s Closet, a group that supports foster families and children in their most critical hour of need, is being honored for its dedicated service to families that are impacted by children’s services. Through its clothing closet, foster parent support groups, prayer partners, training, and mentoring program, the agency helps broken families.​

“This group supports foster families and children in their most critical hour of need. The efforts of the ladies of this organization and their volunteers have an immediate and rippling effect throughout the community even though the efforts often go unnoticed,” said Jeremy Spangenberg, deputy warden of the Washington Lodge#17.

Sarah Coleman, of Hope’s Closet, said her organization “is happy to serve the community, and the award is a nice honor.”

The Challenger League, which helps disabled children in the Hamilton area by bringing the sport of baseball to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to play, is the other group being honored.

“The Challenger League baseball and its founder Alan LaKamp and their contributions to the disabled children of the Hamilton area by bringing the sport of baseball to those who might otherwise not have the opportunity to play America’s greatest past-time deserves to be recognized for its efforts,” Spangenberg said.

LaKamp told the Journal-News that it is an honor to be recognized by the lodge, and the league is looking forward to its Opening Day on May 7.

“We are really appreciative of receiving this award and for all of the support we have received from the community,” LaKamp said.

Spangenberg said the Community Builder award recognizes the contributions to the community primarily in Hamilton but also in the Butler County region.

“We focus on the person or group who is behind the scenes having a significant impact on the community but typically is not recognized or in many cases a completely unknown group to the majority of the community,” he said. “Both of these organizations are unsung heroes in our community and we feel it is important to recognize their contributions.”

The awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m., May 10 at the lodge, 724 High St., Hamilton, starting with dinner at 6 p.m.

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