AGAWAM, Mass. (WWLP) – The Melha Shriners, a philanthropic organization founded in 1872 that is based on fun, fellowship, and Masonic principles, announced their 113th president, Randy Wessels, and his executive board.

Wessels will serve as the number one Shriner in western Massachusetts. This year marks 126 years that the Melha Shriners serviced the community, through public events for the clubs and units within its organization.

The New Hampshire native was raised in Worcester, Massachusetts. Randy obtained his associate degree at New Hampshire Technical College. He later attended EMT school and the US Army Infantry where he was honorably discharged in 2004.

He now lives in Southwick with his wife Carla Lavigne Wessels, who works at Shriners Children’s New England in Springfield. She is also actively involved and supportive of Masonic practices. The Masonic core values that the two support include truth, relief, and brotherly love.

Melha’s First Lady, Carla, is working on a project to raise funds to provide items that are not usually distributed in a hospital budget, to improve the patient’s experience. The project fundraiser will include a ‘Purses for Pediatrics’ raffle, Shriner’s Children New England limited edition glassware and other support opportunities.

Details for this year’s events are unknown at the moment but will be accessible on the Melha Shriners website,

“We hope to see everyone out there at our public appearances, parades, and events,” states Wessels. “We love to see and hear stories from past patients or their families on how their lives have been enhanced by their relationship with Shriners.”