“Hampshire Freemasons have helped raise £7.7million for a children’s charity.
Britain’s Got Talent star Jasmine Elcock, who announced the news, was among the 700-plus guests who attended a celebratory gala evening.
In total £7,746,319 was raised, over the course of six years, by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons who will be donating the money to the Royal Masonic Trust for Girls and Boys (RMTGB).
Jasmine, the 14-year-old who shot to fame in the final of ITV show Britain’s Got Talent, has been helped by the charity herself.
She performed at the event which was also attended by the Deputy Lieutenants of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the Mayor of Bournemouth and the New Forest District Council’s chairman.
The RMTGB works to help relieve poverty and advance the education of children of a Masonic family and, when funds permit, support other children in need.
The charity helps support causes such as the Welfare Support, Talent Aid for gifted young people and Lifelites – an independent charity which works in every children’s hospice across the country.
Mike Wilks, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Freemasons’ Provincial Grand Master, who headed up the six-year appeal, announced the total at the event at the Bournemouth International Centre.
He said: “The amount raised is staggering and will be enormously beneficial to the charity and the children and families which it supports.”
He added over the last six years, as well as their appeal for the RMTGB, they had also raised more than £1.2 million supporting causes across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Mr Wilks said: “As Freemasonry celebrates its Tercentenary in 2017, this support of local charities will continue and increase and I am immensely proud of the brethren’s achievement.””