By Kathy L. Collins
Individuals travelling along U.S. Highway 30 in Riverview between Lake Saint Charles Blvd and Everhart Rd. will notice how clean the 2.2 mile section is thanks to the members of Riverview’s DeSoto Lodge #105, Free and Accepted Masons and members of the Walter Fishback Chapter of the DeMolay International Youth Organization. Members of the two groups spent Saturday, April 19 participating in their first Adopt-a-Highway project.
Troy DiVito, Worshipful Master with DeSoto Lodge #105, said, “Many participants underestimated the task that was at hand. Over 14 large bags, each weighing 25 lbs., were collected. The area has not been cleaned up in some time, so it may take a few more events to get the region fully into shape.” DiVito added, “The next time you see the sign on the side of U.S. Hwy. 301 that reads ‘DeSoto Lodge #105, Masons Supporting Our Community,’ please give us a honk and wave.”
Florida’s Adopt-A-Highway Program was established pursuant to Florida Statute 403.4131 (2008). Organizations that enter into the Adopt-a-Highway program are volunteers who agree to conduct litter removal at regularly scheduled intervals for a two year period.
The DeSoto Lodge #105 was established in 1889. Today, DeSoto Lodge has a membership of about 300 men who are dedicated to supporting not only the community, but local and national charities throughout the year.
DeVito said, “The brothers of DeSoto Lodge and the boys from the Walter Fishback DeMolay Chapter want to be viewed as active contributors in making our community a better place. The lodge does a lot of charitable events in our community, and this is just one of them.”
In addition to the Adopt-a-Highway Program, members of the DeSoto Lodge #105 have held fundraisers for Team Lorie, a local support group for a teen who was injured in a car accident. They also hold fundraisers for the Tampa Chapter of Lighthouse for the Blind. DiVito said, “We strive to support local organizations in need in order to support our local community, but we also support national organizations such as the American Cancer Society and Special Olympics.”
For more information on DeSoto Lodge #105, visit www.DeSoto105.org. For more information on the Adopt-a-Highway program, visit www.dot.state.fl.us/statemaintenanceoffice/aah.shtm.