140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Friday, December 28, 2007

$10M given for burn center

Posted by Susan Daker, Staff Reporter December 27, 2007 3:40 PM

A Semmes woman bequeathed more than $10 million to the Shriners Hospital for Children to open a burn unit in Mobile, the group announced today.

Dorothy Morris, heir to her late-husband's vast timber estate, left the money to the charity when she died in March, said John Tyson Sr., a member of a local Shrine. Morris did not have any children and wanted to leave her money to the Shriners since her husband was a member.

Plans for the center are still in flux, Tyson said in making the announcement at Government Plaza in downtown Mobile, where his son works as Mobile County's district attorney.

So far the idea is to open a Shriners-operated burn treatment center for children at the University of South Alabama Medical Center, Tyson said. The Shriners unit would be in addition to the regional burn center USA presently operates, Tyson said.

Shriners hospitals are located across the country and specialize in orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury care. They provide free medical care to children, through donations. The organization does not take government grants, Tyson said.

The proposed burn center still needs approval from USA and officials on the national level of the Shriners organization, which is based in Tampa, Fla., Tyson said. Tyson said he will meet with both soon.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Haake buys California agency

Thursday, December 27, 2007 - 1:07 PM CST Kansas City Business Journal

Haake Cos. announced Thursday that it has acquired Thompkins & co. a California property and casualty insurance provider for an undisclosed amount.

Thompkins & Co., based in Alameda, Calif., specializes in property and casualty insurance for Masonic lodges and shrines. The program is available in all 50 states.

Thompkins has about nine employees who now work for Kansas City-based Haake Cos.

Haake CEO Jeff Cox said the man who established the Masonic insurance program at Thompkins died a few years ago. About 95 percent of the firm was owned by his wife, who wasn't very active in the business.

"So they really needed somebody who had experience running an agency to take it over," Cox said. "Mostly, it was just an opportunity to pick up a business that we understood and saw an opportunity to grow."

Cox said Thompkins wrote nearly a third of the premium available in the whole Masonic insurance area. He said Haake can double that in the next three to five years.

"A program like this has a lot of affinity with members," Cox said. "You get to design coverages that are unique. If you do a great job with them, they have a longer longevity and are less susceptible to competition than just one-off businesses."

Tom Klug, Haake managing director, will oversee the business development and expansion of the Thompkins Masonic Insurance Program from the Haake office in Kansas City.

The company has brought in people who had books of business, Cox said, but as far as he is aware, Haake never acquired a company before.

"This is an opportunity for Haake to get into more program business," Cox said. "We'll continue to look for these niche plays that we feel have something unique or different about them and provide a better opportunity than just opening a retail office in California."

Haake Cos. ranks fourth on the Kansas City Business Journal's list of Top Area Independent Insurance Agencies, based on property and casualty premium volume

Friday, December 21, 2007


DEC.21'07 1:30PM
Racer Who Care spokesracer, champion National Hot Rod Association
speedster, Fast Jack Beckman, will share his personalized Quick Tips on
Winning in Life, based on his own life/career experiences, with young
patients at Shriners Hospital for Children,Los Angeles.

A cancer survivor, Beckman won the National Hot Rod Association's
Division 7,Person of the Year award for the 2004 racing season
during which he was undergoing chemotherapy treatment.

Beckman currently races the Don Schumacher Racing Mail Terminal
Services Dodge Charger R/T Fuel Funny Car. Presently, Chief
Instructor at Pomona?s Frank Hawley NHRA Drag Racing School, he has
taught nearly 6,500 racing students. His fastest speed is 333.33 mph.
Beckman was 2003 NHRA Super Comp Champion.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Toys stolen from Shriners kids

Toys stolen from Shriners kids
Reported by: Buddy Blankenfeld NBC4 Uath

A smash and grab thief has taken Christmas away from some sick children. Bags of toys on their way to Shriners Hospital were stolen. It happened early Wednesday morning in a Holladay neighborhood, the result of weeks of collecting donated toys from generous people—Gone!

“The first thing I thought of were the kids,” said Jeff Crockett. Crockett’s office at Henderson Wheel & Warehouse is packed with bags of toys, they represent weeks of hard work from the company’s 18 independent auto repair shops, from Springville to Logan, and their generous customers who gave. “They can barely afford to fix cars yet they are bringing in toys for these kids,” said Pyle Wheel & Brake owner, Brett Finklea. Now a good portion of those toys are in the hands of a thief. “Some were in bags that said they were going to Shriners Childrens Hospital so as they were taking these toys and seeing… they knew they were going there.”

“These children are in the hospital for Christmas, worst time of the year to be in the hospital, we were excited to give them a toy and they were stolen,” Jeff Crockett said. Five to six bags of toys were taken from Crockett's car after he made a collection run last night. He says normally the toys are brought inside but it was raining. “I got lazy so I just pushed them all down made sure you couldn't see any toys,” he said.
Crockett’s car was part of a rash of smash-n-grabs in his neighborhood. “I woke up and they were all gone,” he said. All that was left were shards of glass from Crockett’s rear window. “I just feel bad. It would be like going to the hospital and stealing something from a little boy in the hospital.” The theft has left Henderson Wheel and Warehouse short of its goal. “We're hoping we can find a way to replace them so we can give some kids a merry Christmas,” he said. Toys, clothes and games are needed, anything for a child one to 18 years old.

For drop-off locations to one of Henderson’s 18 independent auto repair shops go to: http://www.800autotalk.com/ or call Jeff Crockett at: 486-4916. They will be accepting toys until the end of December.

Helping Others: Upcoming events

Helping Others: Upcoming events
By Gloria Glyer -Sac.Bee
Published 12:00 am PST Thursday, December 20, 2007
Story appeared in SCENE section, Page E3

Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California. The Sacramento Debutante Gala will be from 6:30 to 11 p.m. Dec. 22 at the Del Paso Country Club. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Shriners hospitals. Community service remains a major goal of the honorees, who have participated in two parties for the patients. At the "unbirthday party," which was held for family members as well as patients, the debutantes dressed as characters from "Alice in Wonderland." The second party was Christmas in July for all the patients.

The gala is a multigenerational holiday party attended by the honorees, their families and friends. This year's debutantes are Alexandra DeMartini-Anapolsky, Courtney Ankrim, Makinzie Clark, Grace Gardner, Dianna George, Dana Graves, Anastasia Hardin, Nicole Hoffelt, Megan Ingemanson, Courtney Jensen, Alanna Jonsson, Katie Anne Mills, Annie Mowlds, Holly Newell, Camille Niello, Alexandra Russo and Stephanie Street.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Pedaling for Presents

(Photo By Pico Van Houtryve/THE PRESS-TRIBUNE) Mike Brown of Granite Bay navigates his way through the toys he collected in response his 400-mile trek to his Los Angeles office.With contributions still coming in, the WALK for charity has netted more than $5,000 and lots of toys and other items for the hospitalized youngsters.

Pedaling for presents
Granite Bay man takes 400-mile bike ride for charity

By: Bob Magnetti, The Press-Tribune www.granitebaypt.com/articles/2007/12/15/news/top_stories/04brown.txt
Tuesday, December 18, 2007

For Granite Bay resident Mike Brown, 2007 was a landmark year - one in which he celebrated his 50th birthday, his 25th wedding anniversary and took a long walk-bike ride to his office for charity.

That last event might not seem memorable, but Brown's office is located about 400 miles away - just north of Los Angeles.

"I woke up Monday morning (Nov. 19) and felt I had to do something," Brown said of his spontaneous decision. "I told my wife, Patti, that I was going to walk to the office. She thought I was crazy, but she knows that when I decide to do something, I do it. So she went along (with the idea)."

The goal was to raise funds for the UC Davis Children's Hospital, affiliated with the Children's Miracle Network, and the Northern California Shriners Hospitals for Children.

"I'm the type of person that feeds off the giving," Brown said. "I'm a feel-good person and just needed to do something (to help others)."

"It's just tremendous, what's he's done," said Catherine Curran, public information officer for the Shriners Hospitals. "He has raised a tremendous amount of public awareness. Mike Brown just epitomizes the spirit of giving."

Brown's company, PAX, make labels and tags for apparel. A native of Chicago, he came to California in 1980 and settled in Los Angeles, where he was working as sales manager for the Los Angeles Clippers pro basketball team.

Brown and his family moved to Granite Bay a little more than six years ago. The couple has three daughters, Heather, 24, Courtney, 18, and Mackenzie, 7.

Starting off on his long trek, Brown took nothing with him but the clothes he was wearing. Walking out of Granite Bay, Brown spotted a shiny quarter along the street and picked it up, vowing to turn over all the coins found along the way as part of his contribution. The pennies and nickels found outside of Granite Bay amounted to $1.19. "I took nothing with me. I adjusted as I went. I didn't even have good walking shoes," he said. Making his way to Elk Grove on the first day, he found his feet were so blistered and sore and swollen, he knew there was no way he could continue walking.

Brown stopped in a small coffee shop and told some of the customers of his journey. A waitress there commented she had planned a similar journey by bicycle with a church group, but never made it.

"It was like a light going off," Brown said. "I asked where I could by a bike and they sent me to a nearby Wal-Mart. I saw a Schwin bike hanging there and said, 'That's the one; that's the one I want.

"I also went and bought a change of clothes, good walking shoes and lots and lots of Epsom Salts for my sore feet," he said.

Naming his journey WALK - We All Love Kids - Brown experienced the "real" people of California as his route along country roads paralleled Highway 99.

"I rode about 500 miles to travel 400 miles," he said.

"Going through all those little towns," Brown said, "gives you a whole new outlook on people."

He cited the kindliness of the many people with whom he came in contact on his journey.

His first flat tire - one of four along the way - came outside of Lodi. The bike shop, when they found out the reason for the ride, fixed the tire for free. The next day was Thanksgiving, and Brown's family joined him for dinner at a fine restaurant. That made the day a very special one.

A second flat near Turlock necessitated a taxi ride back to Modesto at a cost to Brown of $37 dollars, paid up front. On the trip back, Brown told his story to the driver and when they reached their Turlock destination, the driver said, "Just give me $10 for the gas." A woman in Fresno saw Brown stop and pick up a penny from along the roadside, called him over to her car parked in front of a church.

After hearing of his journey, she gave him money, took his hands and said, "Would you pray with me?"

"That was easily a 10- or 15-minute prayer," Brown said.

One of the most emotional moments along the way came when Brown met a grandmother who had tried for months to get help for her seriously ill granddaughter, only to be turned away by the public agencies.

Brown contacted UCD Children's Hospital and that evening received a call back from the hospital, saying "Don't worry. We're working on it." And they took care of it, he said.

The hotel in Merced in which Brown was staying raised $21 from guests just by putting a collection can in the lobby overnight.

The worst part of the trip - dogs - came between Chowchilla and Delano.

"There's nothing but isolated farms along there," Brown said. "The dogs just seem to line up along the road. You spot a dog coming out of a yard, you just peddle as fast as you can."

Brown's journey ended at his office on Dec. 3, as his staff had a big spread waiting for him.

Even his youngest daughter, Mackenzie, got into the act. She approached Peter Towne, principal at her Greenhills Elementary School, to allow a booth outside the entry to a school function. The booth for charity raised $165.

Brown, an avid Chicago Bears and White Sox fan, said he won't do another bike ride again, but would like to do something creative annually. Brown's newest endeavor is Capitol Dawg, an old-fashioned hot dog stand in midtown Sacramento that will open soon.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shriner's Promise Fulfilled

Las Vegas Shriner’s Promise to the Children of Shriners Hospital is Fulfilled by his Widow

Los Angeles, CA – December 2007 –
Ralph Rickhoff, a member of the Zelzah Shrine Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, would come into the High Maintenance Sports Pub every week with one goal in mind. He wanted to win the big screen television set that was being raffled off and donate it to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Los Angeles.
The drawing was held in early November, but unfortunately, Ralph was not there to see it.
He had quietly passed away the week before. When she heard the news, bar owner Becky White thought, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Ralph’s name was drawn and we could fulfill his last wish.”
Well, in Las Vegas dreams come true and when the winning ticket was pulled, sure enough, it had Ralph Richoff’s name on it.

His widow Vivian Rickhoff immediately called William “Swannie” Swenson, Potentate of the Zelzah Shrine Center to inform him of the good news. “She was so excited, I couldn’t even understand what she was saying!” says Swannie. After finally making sense of her call, Swannie quickly arranged for a hospital van to drive out to Los Angeles to deliver the television.
Upon hearing the news, Becky White and her husband Artie decided that they needed to pitch in as well. In addition to the television, they also provided a DVD player and several boxes of movies for the children at the hospital.

The trip from Las Vegas occurred on December 12th. Accompanying the donations were Vivian Rickhoff, Becky White and her parents, “Swannie” Swenson and members of the Divan from the Zelzah Shrine Center. They were warmly welcomed by hospital administrator Terry Cunningham who said, “This donation is a great addition to the hospital. It will be placed in our outpatient department waiting area so that all of our patients and family members can enjoy.”
As they left to go home, the new television was already hooked up and showing one of the videos brought from Las Vegas. Surrounding the show were several hospital patients with eyes frimly glued to the TV.

On her Own 2 feet

Sithan Leam, right, thanked Shriners Hospital Nurse Care Coordinator Bonnie Paulsen yesterday for taking care of her during her recuperation from surgery at Shriners in the past year. The Cambodian girl bade farewell to her supporters at a party at Central Union Church in Makiki.(Photo By Jamm Aquino)

Sithan Leam thanked donors who helped her receive treatment

By Craig Gima

Dressed in blue jeans and standing on her own two feet, a Cambodian girl who came to Hawaii for surgery to allow her to walk said goodbye last night to supporters in the local Cambodian community.

In the benediction before the farewell dinner for 15-year-old Sithan Leam, the Rev. Larry Corbett, Central Union Church senior minister, noted, "Sometimes it takes a whole village of people to heal a child."

Star-Bulletin readers and Cambodian community members contributed thousands of dollars to pay for Sithan's travel to Hawaii for treatment and a fund that will help pay for her continued schooling in Cambodia.

Sithan suffered severe burns on her left leg as an infant, and her foot was fused to her thigh by scar tissue.

She hopped on her right leg, instead of walking, until doctors, nurses and therapists at Shriners Hospital for Children in Honolulu were able to separate the scar tissue and outfit her with a prosthetic leg.

She was able to walk for the first time a couple of months ago after undergoing several surgeries, skin grafts and physical therapy.

"It's kind of amazing to see her now as when I first met her at the airport in February," said Anthony Deth, who, along with the charity Medicorps, helped coordinate Sithan's stay in Hawaii.

At that time, Deth said Sithan weighed only about 80 pounds and appeared scared after her first plane trip. She ate only rice on the flight because everything else was too strange.

"Now look at her," he said. "She's smiling, and she's walking on her own two feet."

Sithan's treatment at Shriners is nearly complete. She will likely return to Cambodia next month.

"She's going to be missed very much, especially at Shriners," said nurse Bonnie Paulsen. "When I first met Sithan, she was absolutely frightened. Now she's totally come out of her shell. She's been an absolute inspiration."

Cambodian community member Patrick Keo said Sithan's story reminds him of his own struggles when he first immigrated to the United States.

"We connect with her. We identify with what she's gone through -- coming to a new country without knowing anybody or knowing the language, and how she misses her family," he said.

Sithan said she will miss Rinou Kong and Sary Phean, the couple that has taken care of her in Honolulu, but is looking forward to seeing her own family again in Cambodia.

She also thanked the doctors and nurses at Shriners for helping her.

Sithan's story is especially appropriate at this time of year, Corbett said. "To see a child's life change is always inspiring."

© Honolulu Star-Bulletin -- http://starbulletin.com

Monday, December 17, 2007

Guam Shriners

Shriner's Medical Team Will Make Semi-Annual Trip To Guam
Pacific News Center Staff Reporter 17

Guam - A medical team from the Shriners Hospital for Children in Hawaii will be on Guam next month to provide free clinical services to children who have special orthopedic care needs. The service will run from Jan. 7 to 10 at the Mangilao clinic of the Department of Public Health and Social Services.

Since patients will be seen by appointment only, they can call Arlean Kloppenburg at 735-7117.

Kloppenburg said there are currently around 400 families on Guam with children who are in need of such care. She is urging them to take advantage of the team's visit next month, noting that when the Shriner medical team was on the island back in June, only 23 families showed up.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Another Shriner Kid makes Good

Can't slow her down: Paralyzed from an injury, student wants to change minds

Kristina Shepard poses for a portrait on Wednesday with her companion dog, Chevy, and her truck, which sports her nickname — Hot Wheels.

(Photo by Robin Michener Nathan,The Times)

By Debbie Gilbert

It’s safe to assume that anyone with the nickname "Hot Wheels" isn’t afraid of attracting attention.

Kristina Shepard figured out a long time ago that she can’t avoid drawing curious stares everywhere she goes, so she uses it as an opportunity to educate people.

Shepard, 24, is a senior at Brenau University, majoring in mass communications. By any measure, she would be an exceptional student. But around the Gainesville campus, she’s known as the woman who has a wheelchair. And a big dog. And a crazy truck.

Shepard has been paralyzed from the waist down since she was 10 months old, when she was injured in a car accident. Yet she considers herself lucky.

"I was a patient at a Shriners Hospital for Children in Northern California, and I saw a lot of older kids come in who’d just been injured and had to learn how to live again," she said. "It’s easier for me because I’ve always been this way. This is how I’m supposed to be."

Shepard credits her mom, who at the time was a single parent, for refusing to treat her differently from other children.

"She is my hero," Shepard said. "She never allowed me to say, ‘I can’t.’ I owe so much to her."

Shepard also could always count on support from Jacob Rhoades, her best friend since middle school. And in 2002, she got another "best friend," of the canine variety.

"Chevy," whose name reflects Shepard’s love of cars, came to her as a 7-week-old Dutch shepherd puppy. He now weighs 97 pounds.

"I sometimes get shoulder pain from pushing the wheelchair," she said. "My doctor suggested that I get a power chair, but I didn’t want to do that. So Chevy pulls the chair when I get tired. I take him everywhere with me, including on airplanes."

Shepard drives a big, red GMC Sonoma with flames and a "Hot Wheels" logo painted on it. Most wheelchair-dependent drivers use minivans, but Shepard refused to drive such a stodgy vehicle. Instead, she found a unique type of hydraulic lift that can be installed on pickup trucks.

When she was 21, Shepard’s life took another unusual turn. She was working in a medical supply store in Sacramento when her boss mentioned something called the Miss Wheelchair contest and urged her to sign up.

"It’s not a beauty pageant," she said. "Not that there would be anything wrong with a pageant, because there are a lot of beautiful women who are in wheelchairs. But I had to go before a panel of judges and talk about how I could represent women with disabilities in California."

The judges apparently found her convincing. Shepard was crowned Miss Wheelchair California for 2005.

"It was so rewarding to me, because I was able to visit kids at the Shriners hospitals and serve as an inspiration to them," she said.

Shepard competed in the Miss Wheelchair America contest in New York, but wasn’t discouraged when she didn’t win. She spent the year attending conferences, rallies and other California events related to people with disabilities, and met with politicians about proposed legislation.

Every now and then, Shepard found time to visit an uncle in Oakwood, who had a house on Lake Lanier. Then her mom and stepfather retired and also bought a house on the lake.

In the summer of 2006, Shepard and Rhoades, who was by then her boyfriend, decided that they, too, would move to Georgia. They bought a house in Dawsonville, and Shepard, who had attended the two-year Shasta College in Redding, Calif., enrolled at Brenau University.

She quickly immersed herself in school life, becoming managing editor of Brenau’s online newspaper The Alchemist. She also hosts a live radio show from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturdays on WBCX-FM 89.1, the college’s radio station.

"I do the ‘Soul Track,’ which is kind of Motown stuff. But I love all kinds of music," she said. "I also do ‘Voices of Brenau,’ which is short interview segments with faculty and staff. It airs at 9 a.m. weekdays."

Apparently all these endeavors weren’t quite enough to keep her busy. This semester, Shepard was hired as an intern in the public relations department at Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

"We were very impressed with her resume on paper, and when you meet her in person, she just blows you away," said Katie Dubnik, a member of the hospital’s public relations staff.

"Her enthusiasm and her maturity are just amazing. And she never lets herself be limited by her disability. It opens your eyes to the things you take for granted every day."

Shepard said regulations mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act have made it easier for handicapped people to get around.

"But access is still difficult in some places," she said. "In California, most buildings are new. At Brenau, a lot of the buildings are old, and it would be hard to retrofit them (with elevators, for example)."

She said there’s also a long way to go on changing people’s attitudes, and she considers that part of her mission in life.

"I hope I can make a difference in how people perceive those with disabilities," she said. "Everywhere I go, I get questions: How do you drive? How do you go to the bathroom? How did you get injured?"

Shepard doesn’t mind answering such questions, because information leads to better understanding. But she does observe some inexplicable behavior.

"I’ve had people say the strangest things," she said. "Some think I’m faking, because they say I’m ‘too young and pretty’ to be in a wheelchair. I’ve had people pray over me in the supermarket, asking God to heal me. A homeless guy in New York told me I was in a wheelchair because I don’t believe in God, which was weird because I’m a Christian."

She hopes people, even those who mean well, will stop trying to "fix" her and instead accept her as she is. She knows that other disabled people feel the same way. And she plans to use her communications skills to get that message out.

She’s already doing volunteer work for Endeavor Freedom, a Winder-based nonprofit that advocates for the disabled.

"I want to pursue a masters in organizational leadership at Brenau (after graduating next spring)," she said.

Meanwhile, Shepard is preparing for other big changes in her life. On Christmas morning 2006, Rhoades proposed to her by hiding an engagement ring in her holiday stocking. They plan to marry at Lake Lanier Islands in June 2008.

"The doctors say I will be able to have children, and we’re really excited about that," Shepard said. "We’ve known each other for so long that it’s like Jacob is already part of the family, so we can’t wait to start a family of our own."

Raising a child from a wheelchair will be a challenge, but there’s never been an obstacle Shepard hasn’t been able to overcome. She sees life as a series of adventures.

"This summer we got a wakeboard with a seat on it, and I water-skied for the first time," she said. "It’s awesome. It’s a sense of total freedom. And I wondered why, having grown up in California, I never tried it until now."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Zelzah Christmas for Kids

Over 300 children turned up to watch Monte Carlo headliner Lance Burton and his showbiz friends entertain at his annual Las Vegas Shriners Temple holiday season show—a tradition that began here in the early 50’s with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

Photo co: Monte Carlo

Comedy juggler Michael Goudeau, who has performed with Lance since premiering at the Monte Carlo in 1996, opened the show, followed by Lance’s girlfriend, showgirl singer Gabriella Versace who starred at the Rio. Fellow magician Fielding West also performed his comedy conjuring routine. The Shriners here use funds raised to transport seriously ill children to their Shriners Hospital for Children in Los Angeles for free treatment.

East/ West Coaches Both From California!

The East West Shrine Game is Jan.19 2008 Get Your Tickets Now!!


One of the most distinguished head coaches in the history of both professional and college football, Vermeil spent 19 seasons as a head coach in the NFL and two years at UCLA. Vermeil is the only head coach to lead teams to victories in both the Super Bowl and the Rose Bowl. He finished his professional career with an overall mark of 126-114 and was 15-5-3 in his two seasons with the Bruins.

A former color analyst for NFL and college football broadcasts from 1983-96, Vermeil returned to the sidelines in 1998, eventually leading the St. Louis Rams to a franchise-best 13-3 mark in 1999 and a victory in Super Bowl XXXIV over Tennessee. Vermeil has been named “Coach of the Year” at four different levels: high school, junior college, NCAA Division I and has earned the honor twice in the NFL.

“To me, the East-West Shrine Game goes back to my childhood and is much deeper,” said Vermeil. “I grew up in Napa Valley in Northern California, and my grandpa was a Shriner. My dad would take me to the East-West Shrine Game every year.

“Now, to have the opportunity to coach in this wonderful game is very exciting.”


White spent 47 years coaching at both the college and professional levels, including head-coaching stints at his alma mater, the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Illinois and the NFL’s Oakland Raiders. He compiled an overall collegiate record of 82-71-4, and finished at 15-17 in his two years with the Raiders.

A two-time National Coach of the Year (1975 and 1983), White was the PAC 8 Coach of the Year in 1975 in leading Cal to a PAC 8 Co-Championship with UCLA. Later at Illinois, he led the Illini to a Big 10 Championship in 1983 and was named the Big 10 Coach of the Year in both 1983 and 1985.

“Like Coach Vermeil, I, too, am from Northern California and grew up with the East-West Shrine Game,” added White. “When I was a college coach, I had the pleasure of coaching in the game twice. I guess it comes full circle that I can coach again.

“This is a great cause. The key to the game is the hospital and the hospital visit by the players. It has settled in Houston, which has not only the great services and hospitals for the children, but it also has the facilities and backing from the Houston Texans and the University of Houston.”

The Roster will be posted soon!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

He's Home(Post Nov.24th)

HE'S HOME! Granite Bay Man Safely Home After Walking and Biking 400 Miles for Charity... Here’s a very quick wrap-up!..

Mike Brown walked from Granite Bay to Sacramento. In South Sacramento, Mike bought a bike, which he then rode to Elk Grove… Lodi… Stockton… Modesto… Turlock… Madera… Fresno and finally to Bakersfield. In Bakersfield… Mike got on a Greyhound Bus to hop over the Grapevine.(CHP said no Bikes on the Grapvine) Then he got off at the first stop (San Fernando) and biked to Pasadena… finally walking to his office.

He left Sacramento for work on Monday, November 19th and arrived at his office on Monday, December 3rd. In all, Mike covered more than 400 miles personally to raise awareness about, and money for, Shriners Hospitals for Children and UC Davis Children's Hospital.

Along the way, Mike met mainly good Samaritans and wonderful cheerleaders. Here and there were a few charlatans… but all in all… people were kind and supportive.

Please join us in welcoming Mike home. The link below allows you watch the video clip of Cornell Barnard’s “Congratulations” interview for KXTV-10, Sacramento. On their Web site there is also a forum for sending Mike your thoughts and well wishes.

http://www.news10.net/display_story.aspx?storyid=35879 (cut & Past this Link)

Thank you very much for allowing me to share this incredible journey on our behalf with you!!

Best regards

Alan S. Anderson, Director of Development

Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California

Shriner Hospital For Children 30sec. spot

Heather gets Her Bike Back

Girl with cerebral palsy gets stolen bike back
Reported by: Megan Herrick
12/10 10:48 pm

SANDY, Utah (ABC 4 News) - Heather Landeen was just 15-months-old when doctors diagnosed her cerebral palsy.

“At one point they told us she may not even walk,” say Heather’s mom, Andrea Landeen.

But Heather has come a long way, beating the odds, and while there is no cure for the cerebral palsy, supportive therapy, like riding a bike, can help improve a child's motor skills. Besides, Heather loves it.

“She will go out in the rain and sit on it and say can I ride my bike,” says Heather’s mom.

“Mommy the bike is a privilege,” Heather exclaims in joy.

A privilege that went missing Sunday night; and a privilege her family desperately wanted back.

“It was right up on the porch and someone came and took it,” says Andrea. “We are just hoping someone has seen it and recognize it because it's not a normal bike...it's definitely adapted for a special needs child.”

The bike is pictured to the upper right of this story and looks like a gigantic blue tricycle with a loop for handlebars, making it easier for Heather to turn.

It was a gift donated by Shriners Hospital's Bike Fund. A replacement would have cost nearly fifteen hundred dollars, money that Heather's family say they just don’t have.

“There is now way we can replace it...we really hope...they bring it back,” says Andrea.

As she continues speaking, Heather grabs her mom's shoulder and says, “Mommy?”

“What?” says Andrea.

“Don’t worry,” says Heather.

Monday evening, the bike was located by a David Bate, who saw ABC 4's report on television. He called ABC 4 and Sandy Police, who located the bike and let the Landeen family know where it was.

The family picked up the bike and an ecstatic Heather was riding it within minutes.

Heather's mom Andrea told ABC 4 she wanted to bake some cookies for Bate, who said he could not stand the thought of a child losing her bike so close to Christmas.

Bate said, "Me and my wife are foster parents, and so kids mean a lot to us, especially since we weren't able to have any of our own, so we want to help any kids, especially this time of year."

Monday, December 10, 2007

Celebs Fingerpainting at SHC-LA

Revealed! in People Magazine

Photo by: Meredith Jenks Revealed!
Celebs Fingerpainting for a Good Cause Actor Balthazar Getty may have a growing brood at home (he and wife Rosetta welcomed their fourth child, June Catherine, on Oct. 2), but the star of ABC's Brothers & Sisters still made time for sick children recently through his work with The Art of Elysium, a nonprofit that pairs up hospitalized kids with artists, actors and musicians for creative escape. Getty, 32 (shown painting with children at Shriners Hospital Los Angeles) is taking part with celebs like Eva Mendes, Patricia Arquette and Joaquin Phoenix, and he and his wife are co-chairing the organization's 10th anniversary fund-raising gala in January. To read more about The Art of Elysium and its founder, Jennifer Howell, check out this week's issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.
– Alexis Chiu