Masonic bike sale on Saturday, April 21, in Eagle is a fundraiser for the Lodge’s Toy Store | VailDaily.com

Masonic bike sale on Saturday, April 21, in Eagle is a fundraiser for the Lodge’s Toy Store

EAGLE — It's never too early for some of Santa's favorite helpers to start work.

The local Masonic Lodge in Eagle collects bikes, toys and money all year long and then gives it all away around Christmas during its annual Toy Store. It's like a store, except all the toys are free for families in need — around 1,000 children every year.

Anyway, on Saturday morning, April 21, the Masons are selling as many bikes as possible. Every dime will be used to raise money for their Toy Store. Bikes will cost between $20 and $50 each.

"We find ways to raise money, so we can give it away," said Jon Asper, local Mason and retired Eagle fire chief. "We do all kinds of other things, too, and almost all of it's geared toward helping people who need it."

Asper has taken the lead on the Masonic Lodge's Toy Store for more years than anyone can remember, including him. He's an irresistible force of nature, and people ask him for all sorts of things, mostly help. Coming up with that help seems to be one of his spiritual gifts.

"They don't need charity. They just need a little help," Asper said.

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It's OK to ask for help

The Masons and Asper don't ask a lot of questions about why people need help. Folks just do, and that's enough.

"You'd be shocked about who needs help with food or toys but doesn't want to ask because they used to make good money and now they don't," Asper said.

The Masons added bicycles to the mix a few years back. They take used bikes in pretty good shape, repair them and tune them up.

Castle Lodge in Eagle is more than 100 years old, Eagle County's oldest civic/service organization. The good stuff lasts.

They do all this every year, quietly, or as quietly as they can when they're collecting tens of thousands of dollars worth of toys, food and cash.

Christmas will roll around again in 2018, and between now and then, the Masons have plenty of storage space for toys, gifts and more bikes. It all starts with this Saturday's bike sale.

Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and rwyrick@vaildaily.com.

If You Go …

What: Great Masonic Bike Sale.

When: 8 a.m. Saturday, April 21.

Where: Masonic Lodge, 130 Third St., Eagle (corner of Third and Capitol).

Cost: It’s free to attend. Bikes cost $20 to $50 each.

More information: All bikes have been repaired and refurbished. Lots of kids bikes and a large selection of adult bikes and parts. All the money goes to the Masons Toy Store, which provides Christmas presents for families in need. To help or for information, contact Jon Asper at 970-977-6234, or email Luke Causey at luke09@gmail.com.