140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Monday, December 29, 2008

CHRISTMAS CHEER AT SHRINERS-Honolulu


Santa and Mrs. Claus visited young patients yesterday at Shriners Hospital, where they met Alyshia Shimizu, 14, who has stayed upbeat despite skin grafts that keep her confined to a bed. Alyshia suffered major skin damage when she contracted a flesh-eating bacteria in 2000 when she was 5 years old. She is expected undergo more skin grafts until she stops growing. She is with her mother Annette, standing next to Mrs. Claus; brothers Alex, 7, and Austin, 11; and father Tony.

Before Santa headed to Kalaeloa, he and Mrs. Claus were making a special delivery at the Shriners Hospital.
Families watched as the children's faces lit up with smiles when they opened their presents.
They must've been good kids this year, because each of the patients got a huge bag of gifts from Santa.
The children, who range in age from 2 to 19 years old, are from all across the Pacific Rim.
Photo by DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM

Utah Shriners fulfill Christmas and lifelong needs Children


Angelly Velasquez, 3, of Juarez, Mexico claps her hands... (Leah Hogsten/ The Salt Lake Tribune)

By Patty Henetz, The Salt Lake Tribune 12/25/2008

Santa Claus used to come to the Shriners Children's Hospital by helicopter, but that ended when neighbors complained about the noise. Ditto for the times he rode to the hospital through Federal Heights on a fire engine.

On Christmas, Santa drove himself to the hospital and sounded sleigh bells as he rode the elevator to spend the morning with three girls who had recently undergone orthopedic surgeries and couldn't spend the holiday at home.

Santa and Mrs. Santa -- on other days Ron and Cathy Mucho of Stansbury Park -- joined Shriner volunteers to give the girls dolls, sketch-pads, calendars and toys.

The bright Christmas bags seemed bottomless as Gaby Ysidro-Ambrosio and Angelly Elena Velasquez dug in to pull out Barbies, baby dolls, doll clothes and tiaras. Angelly, 3, squealed and laughed over each gift. She named her doll after herself and then called her Mia, which in Spanish means "mine." Gaby, 7, wasn't ready to name her doll, but liked the sparkly crown her mom helped put in her hair.

Gaby and Angelly both had operations to lengthen the bones in their legs. The girls and their mothers are from Mexico, where many of the young patients at the Shriners hospital in Salt Lake City come from, said Shriner Hal Martin of Al Kaleh temple. Kids from Colombia also get treatment here, he said, often to correct birth defects that may be connected with industrial pollution in their home countries.

"A lot of the children come with noarms, no legs," Martin said.

Brook Shafer, whose daughter, Kylie, 12, got a long-awaited but sudden appointment for spinal fusion surgery to straighten her back, said missing Christmas at home in Cheyenne, Wyo., was worth it.

"Otherwise, we would have had to wait a year," Shafer said, walking her daughter back to her room.

Prosthetics are built at the hospital, and special clothes are custom-made in the sewing shop organized by Ladies of the Oriental Lounge, one of the women's groups from the Al Kaleh temple, whose members come from throughout Utah.

The Shriners run 19 hospitals in North America to provide free medical care to children. While the Salt Lake City hospital specializes in orthopedics and spinal cord rehabilitation, other hospitals provide burn care and cleft lip and palate treatment and research.

Patients up to age 18 are eligible for treatment based solely on need. A family's income or insurance status do not matter. Insurance is neither needed nor accepted, said spokeswoman Melissa Phillips.

"The only cash register here is in the cafeteria," she said.

Shriners of North America members, all of whom are Freemasons, support their philanthropy by volunteering at the hospitals, helping patients' families with transportation and arranging events for the children during their stays.

Salt Lake City Shriner John Limb said raising funds for and volunteering at the hospital "is the funner side of Freemasonry."

phenetz@sltrib.com

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Gifts of hope and healing: Shriners Hospital delivers Christmas cheer


Mayra Gardea, 11, of El Mirage, Ariz., makes Christmas cards with her mother, Sonia, in her hospital bed at the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City this past Thursday.
By Nicole Warburton,Deseret News,Thursday, Dec. 25, 2008

The first thing a child sees upon entering Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City are a couple of brightly lit trees with presents stacked underneath.

Next are the lights and wreaths and bows that adorn the hospital walls. And that's just the beginning. During the holidays, staff and volunteers at Shriners say they do their best to plan activities and create an atmosphere where sick children can celebrate and enjoy the season while away from home.

This past week, a few patients made gingerbread houses. Other planned activities included making picture frames. And today, Santa is expected to visit the children at Shriners.

"Everything here is focused on the children and making them feel comfortable and happy," said Michael Babcock, director of public relations for Shriners in Salt Lake City. "During the holidays, we do everything we can to make this place as inviting and warm and home-like as possible."

The hospital specializes in orthopedic disorders and diseases. As many as 40 children can be admitted at one time for in-patient care while an additional 100-plus children are treated each week as outpatients.

The Salt Lake City-based Shriners has been running since 1925. It serves seven Western states and two states in Mexico and is funded through donations and an endowment fund.

For Babcock, Shriners is a great story of hope, love and giving.
"What sometimes gets lost is that we're probably giving these children the greatest gift of all," he said. "It's not a remote-controlled car or toys or clothes, but the gift of hope and healing."

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mini-Christmas parade planned at Shriners Hospital

Sac. Bee Staff Published: Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2008

Members of the Ben Ali mounted patrol and their families on Thursday will stage a mini Christmas parade at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California, 2425 Stockton Blvd.

Riding in a horse-drawn carriage, Santa, who is scheduled for a 9 a.m. Christmas arrival, will lead the parade. Children gathered in the hospital's play area will be watching out the windows for Santa's arrival.

Members of the Ben Ali Mounted Patrol will be joined by Shrine Clowns and Keystone Cops. The Christmas parade is a tradition at the hospital, and many parade organizers bring their families.

For more details, call (916) 453-2218.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Events for 2009

Have you checked all the Shrine Web sites for 2009 Events? I have several links listed that have their 2009 calendars up

You know about the East-West game, the Shrine Bowl and the Cactus Bowl and Justin Timberlake Shriners PGA Open the Concours d'Elegance May17th and a dozen other things that your Shrine is doing.

Well don't forget Rhythm On the Vine www.rhythmonthevine.org/(check on my links) They have two dates for events that benefit Shriners Hospital for Children.

February 1-9 is Burn Awareness Week don't forget to let your city council, Fire Dept. and local News Paper,TV and Radio know! Check with your Shrine Public Relation Chairman for more Information.

JT Shriners Hospital for Children Open Tournament Oct.12-18,2009


December 23, 2008--Justin Timberlake, who in 2007 signed a 5-year deal to be the host of Las Vegas' PGA Tour event, will be headlining Las Vegas golf again, October 12-18, 2009. The PGA Tour officiallly released the Fall Series schedule recently, and the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open falls the week after the President's Cup that is being played nearby at San Francisco's Harding Park Golf Course. That could be good news for the Las Vegas PGA Tour event as the world's top players will be just a short flight away from Las Vegas, and could come to play in the tournament that is played at Las Vegas golf course TPC Summerlin.

By most accounts, the 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open was a success, but organizers are looking forward to bigger and better things in 2009. Timberlake has said that he is upping the star power for the Wednesday Pro-am, while also keeping the same amazing level for the beneift concert, Justin Timberlake and Friends, that blew the doors off the Planet Hollywood Theatre at last year's event. A few of the notables participating in events surrounding the Open inluced Ellen Degeneres, Rihanna, The Jonas Brothers, Amanda Beard, 50 Cent, Lionel Richie, Janet Jones-Gretzky, and many others. View the official tournament website for sponsor and ticket info for 2009.

The golf tournament was won by Marc Turnesa, a pro golfer who comes from a long line of golf professionals and PGA Tour players. His great-uncle, Jim, won the 1952 PGA Championship, and his grandfather, Mike, was a six-time winner on the PGA TOUR who finished second to Ben Hogan in the 1948 PGA Championship. Mike was one of seven brothers, six of whom played on PGA TOUR. One of those, Joe, was a 15-time PGA TOUR winner. The brother Willie was the 1938 and 1948 U.S. Amateur champion and 1947 British Amateur winner. "I don't really feel like I'm carrying on a name," Turnesa said. "I guess I am without even thinking about it. I'm just trying to play golf as best I can and that's all I can really do."

Image Turnesa came to the 18th hole with a two-shot lead but struggled to make a bogey, thus solidifying his first PGA Tour win. "I was just trying to breathe, really," said Turnesa after receiving the trophy from Timberlake. "You know, I was ... I wasn't out of control nervous, but I was feeling it. I was just happy to get it done." One of the first people to greet Turnesa after the event was Las Vegas' Butch Harmon, a longtime friend of the family. Harmon also has helped Turnesa with his swing.

The 2008 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open kicked off a five-year commitment between the Shriners Hospitals for Children and Justin Timberlake to continue the tradition of a PGA TOUR event in Las Vegas. The golfers and celebrities participated in the competition to help support the Shriners’ mission, while enjoying the signature flair that Las Vegas has to offer. All proceeds from the event benefitted the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The concert was said to have raised more than $1 million.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, DOWN AT THE LODGE

Posted by Jim Hyde

Twas the Night before Christmas, and down at the Lodge
Not a gavel was stirring, and in the hodge-podge

Of aprons and jewels and chairs East and West
you could savor the silence, most gladly divest

All metal and mineral, it mattered not,
since Christmas was nigh and the coals were still hot

In the hearth of your homestead, all Masons abed,
as visions of trestle boards danced in their head;

When up on the roof there arose such a clatter,
Our Tiler jumped up to see what was the matter!

He picked up his sword and ran fast to the door,
three knocks shook the panels - he wondered 'What for?'

He answered the knocking with, raps of his own,
and once the door opened he saw, with a moan

Of delight it was Santa, all jolly and red
Except for one notable feature Instead!

Upon his large finger lie wore what we knew
was compass and square on a background of blue!

'Why Santa!' he shouted and lowered his blade
'I see you're a Mason!' the Tiler relayed.

He looked toward the Master's most dignified chair
and said, voice near trembling, 'Most Worshipful there

Is a Gentleman properly clothed at the gate!'
The Master replied, 'Let's allow him - but wait!

You tell me a Gentleman, but I don't see
His Apron beneath that red suit, can it be

Our visitor hasn't been properly raised?
Must we offer a test that is suitably phrased?

'I do beg your pardon,' old' Santa said quick
As he pulled up his coat and displayed not a stick

But a cane with, engraving, two balls did appear
and oh, what an apron, he wore and held dear!

Adorned like the Master' complete with a sign
Of "Lodge Number One, the North Pole" on one line!

"Now let man enter," the Master declared,
and once in the Lodge room the Brethren all stared,

For Santa was wearing a jewel not seen
for many a century - there in between

The fur of his coat and the splendid red collar
gleamed two golden reindeer that shone like a dollar!

"It's Donner and Blitzen, who, I must confess
Are actually images brought from the West

By my Warden, a craftsman like none in the world!"
And with a great laugh from his bag he unfurled

An ear of fine corn and some oil from the east,
"My friend I have plenty, tonight we will feast
On all that is good! We are Masons, kind sir!"
A murmur went throughout the Lodge, quite a stir,

As presents and promises flew from his sack
This Santa, a Mason, showed he had a knack

For making this Christmas the best you could glean,
And soon even Deacons were laughing, they'd seen

On this very night only happiness reigned!
This jolly Saint Nicholas quickly explained

That only a Mason could be so inclined
to make all kids happy, make all people find

A Christmas so special, yes, Santa was right!
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Quilt raffle to benefit Shriners' hospital fund

Posted by Dianna Weston, Special to The Oregonian Tigard news

Mallard Lakes resident Cynthia Conner wants her neighbors to know about a raffle the Shriners are holding to support the Al Kader Hospital Transportation Fund.

The dedicated fund is managed by Al Kader Shriners in support of patient travel to and from the Portland Shriners Hospital.

The raffle is for a "beautiful handmade quilt made by Shelley Timm," Conner says, and is displayed in the foyer at the Shrine Center. Tickets are six for $5 and can be purchased by calling 503-682-4420 for credit card sales or by visiting the Shrine Center, 25100 S.W. Parkway Ave., Wilsonville.

"Visitors to the center can see the quilt," Conner says. "It's queen-sized, flannel-lined and is in blues and yellows with suns, moons and stars!"

The drawing was held Dec.20 at the center.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

4H Toy Drive, Stockton, Ca.

Toys, items sought for hospital drive

The North Stockton 4-H is holding its fifth annual Toy and Donation Drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Marina Marketplace at 3201 W. Benjamin Holt Drive. Mistletoe and tickets for a drawing will be sold. All proceeds benefit the Shriners' Children's Hospital.

Information: (209) 477-6667.

Debutante Gala Monday Dec.22

Shriners Hospitals for Children. The Sacramento Debutante Gala will be Monday at Del Paso Country Club; 20 honorees will be presented formally. The gala, a celebration of tradition, family and community, benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children. The event includes both social and service components. Each spring, the debutantes organize a party for the children at Shriners Hospitals. The honorees dress up as "Alice in Wonderland" characters and present a skit titled "The Unbirthday Party."

Among the honorees to be introduced at the gala are Katherine Marie Balestreri, Courtney Dana Broms, Isabel Anna Clark, Emily Beth Coulouras, Abigail Christina Davis, Lauren Elizabeth Elmets, Kerry Marie Ferro, Christina Eleni George, Samm Katherine Haden, Kelsey Danielle Johnson, Sara Elizabeth Kane, Margot Simone Kollerer, Lori Ann Lien, Chanel Christine Mace, Katherine Yvonne Marie Danae Manolakas, Noelle Alexandra Mietus, Layne Taylor Partington, Chelsea Marie Schauer, Alissa Jeanne Scheller and Paige Glenn Wilson.

Mooney Invited To East-West Shrine Game



Courtesy: Army Athletic Communications Release: 12/17/2008
WEST POINT, N.Y. – Army standout Collin Mooney’s collegiate career isn’t over after all.

More than a week after the Black Knights’ season-ending contest with Navy, Army’s senior fullback was officially invited to participate in the East-West Shrine Game, to be played on Jan. 17, 2009, at John O’Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium on the campus of the University of Houston. The postseason all-star classic will be televised nationally by ESPN2 with kickoff set for 4 p.m. (EST).

Mooney, who became Army’s single season rushing leader with 1,339 ground yards this fall, will rank as the 23rd Army player to perform in the East-West Shrine Game. Long held on the West Coast, the game will return to Robertson Stadium for the second straight season.

Upon his arrival in Houston, Mooney will be greeted by a familiar face as former Army head coach Bobby Ross will serve as head coach for the East team this year. Mooney worked under Ross during his first two years at the Academy before Ross retired from active coaching following the 2006 campaign. Gene Stallings, meanwhile, will coach the West team.

One of Army’s four team captains, Mooney became the first Army player since Carlton Jones in 2003 to rush for at least 200 yards in a game twice this season. He also posted five 100-yard rushing efforts en route to surpassing Mike Mayweather’s previous single season school standard. Michael Wallace had been the most recent Army player to accomplish that feat, topping the century mark on five occasions in 2000. Mooney slipped past Mayweather atop Army’s single season rushing chart on the final play of the Navy game, besting the former standard established in 1990 by one yard.

The East-West Shrine Game has been played annually since 1925 to help raise money and awareness for Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international system of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals that provide care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate – all at no charge. To date, the game has helped raise more than $15 million and informed millions of people about the mission of this extraordinary philanthropy.

Standout strong safety Caleb Campbell (West Point ‘08) represented the Black Knights in last year’s contest, while Cameron Craig (West Point ‘07) participated in the 2007 contest.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We'll Keep a Light on for You



Season's Greetings

Wishing you...

every happiness this Holiday Season and prosperity in the New Year. Thank you for being a member of the World's Greatest Fraternity and for your support of the World's Greatest Philanthropy - Shriners Hospitals For Children.

All the best to you and your family

Douglas E. Maxwell, Imperial Potentate
and your Imperial Divan

Ebay Auction for the benefit of Shriners Hospital for Children Ends Dec.21



Only a few days left to bid on the Shriners Racing helmet of David Ragan or the Dodge charger go to www.cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280294736011 or www.cgi.ebay.com/DAVID-RAGAN-AUTOGRAPHED-NASCAR and get your bid in now! These will be collectors Items! Collectors are doing better than the stock mkt.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Western Oregon Player named to Cactus Bowl

Cox is the fifth player ever from Western Oregon to be named to the team, since the school moved to the NCAA Division II level in 2000. Other players selected have been wide receiver Brad Satran (2003), linebacker Dave Morrill (2002), defensive back Elton Seals (2001) and offensive lineman Brian Crawford (2000). Crawford earned the Jim Langer Award, given to the outstanding offensive lineman at the game.


Cox was the only Western Oregon player selected this year, and was also the only athlete tabbed from the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.


Cox was named the Great Northwest Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year this past fall and he was a unanimous first team All-GNAC selection. The four-year starter is the GNAC's all-time leader in quarterback sacks (27.5) and tackles-for-loss (58.5). He ranked fifth among all NCAA Division II players in TFL and is eighth in QB sacks. The Salem native (North Salem High School) was also named the Wolves Marquis Spas Football Athlete of the Year.

January 9th,2009 Cactus Bowl Another Game for Shriners Hospital for Children

The 2009 Valero Cactus Bowl will be televised by Lone Star Sports Channel, an affiliate of Fanz-TV of California. Fanz-TV has affiliates throughout the US and USVI. Please check your local TV programming

Played in an East/West format, the teams are comprised entirely of the 'best of the best' NCAA Division II college seniors. The Cactus Bowl Committee, comprised completely of volunteers, is responsible for all aspects of organization for the contest and net profits from the Cactus Bowl are donated to Shriners Hospitals for Children.


What we know today as the Cactus Bowl in Kingsville, Texas, actually began in 1994 as the Snow Bowl in Fargo, North Dakota. Two opposite ends of the country, but one strongly defined mission: to bring together the finest football athletes from the 150 plus universities that comprise NCAA Division II. The first Seven Years of the Snow Bowl produced over 100 players signed by the NFL and in the inaugural Cactus Bowl game alone, 25 players signed NFL contracts, inspiring the game slogan "the best players you've never seen."

On January 12, 2001, the Snow Bowl found a new home in Kingsville, Texas, as was consequently renamed the Cactus Bowl due to lack of frozen precipitation and abundance of prickly vegetation in South Texas.


Who is Valero? Valero Energy Corporation is a Fortune 500 company based in San Antonio, with approximately 21,000 employees and 2006 revenues of more than $90 billion. The company owns and operates 17 refineries throughout the United States, Canada and the Caribbean with a combined throughput capacity of approximately 3.1 million barrels per day, making it the largest refiner in North America. Valero is also one of the nation's largest retail operators with approximately 5,800 retail and branded wholesale outlets in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean under various brand names including Valero, Diamond Shamrock, Shamrock, Ultramar, and Beacon. Please visit www.valero.com

To check out more about the Cactus Bowl go to www.cactusbowl.org
Go by a Valero station and thank them for supporting the game and Shriners Hospital for Children!

Secret Santas spread cheer, $100 at a time

by Lindsey Collom The Arizona Republic

A secret Santa came to Phoenix on Monday to spread holiday cheer and about $20,000 in cash to people in need.

The Society of Secret Santas is a group of anonymous leaders throughout the world who perform random acts of kindness to those less fortunate.

The holiday tradition began in 1979 when a Kansas City, Mo., businessman named Larry Stewart started handing out $100 bills after he made his first million dollars. Stewart died in January 2007, but his mission continues.

Stewart's goal was to have a secret Santa in every major U.S. city, something those who carry on his tradition hope to achieve. A Valley businessman joined the ranks this year.

Santa and his elves wound through low-income areas of Phoenix on Monday in search of needy individuals. They made stops at nearly a dozen thrift stores, laundry facilities, dollar stores and a Wal-Mart.

They also stopped at a Greyhound station, where Jose Manuel, Georgina Tejada and their three children waited for a bus to Los Angeles. The family was traveling to a Shriners Hospitals for Children for their youngest child, a 10-month-old boy with a foot deformity.

Manuel and Tejada purchased one-way fares with no plans of how to get home until one of Santa's elves intervened.

"Merry Christmas," the elf said, leaning close to Manuel as he pressed a bill into his arm.

Tejada whooped with joy.

In 1971, Stewart was penniless and hungry when he went to a Mississippi diner and ordered a meal he couldn't cover. When the bill came, Stewart pretended to have lost his wallet. The diner's owner reached under Stewart's stool and appeared to retrieve $20.

"Son," he said, "you must have dropped this."

Stewart vowed that if he was ever in a position to help someone, he would. And he did. It's estimated he gave more than $1.3 million to those who needed a hand.

Monday, December 15, 2008

West Roster 83rd Annual East-West Shrine Game

I know the rosters for this game are set by East Schools vs West Schools but the West has players whose hometowns are in New Jersey, Florida,North & South Carolina.

The Western Hometowns are in Alaska, Arizona, California,Colorado,Hawaii, Utah, Washington, and Navada with a couple players from Saskatchewan, Texas, Oklahoma and a Fullback from Kansas.

If you are looking for your home town you will find everything from Alpine,UT.& Canoga Park, Ca. to Danville,Ca and Prosser Wa. to Vacaville,Ca also from Abilene, Tx to Masa, Az. As for Colleges they range for Air Force to Weber State.

For a complete list go go to www.shrinegame.com Take a Look and than join us for the game and root for your home, school or your team be it East or West

Oh ya there are a couple of players from the western states on the East team also

Friday, December 12, 2008

CWU's Bronson invited to East-West Shrine Game

ELLENSBURG, Wash. (Dec. 11) -- Central Washington University senior tight end Jared Bronson has been selected to play in the 84th Annual East-West Shrine Game in Houston, Texas, on January 17, 2009.

Bronson, who earned first team all-conference honors for the second consecutive season and was also a Daktronics, Inc. Division II second-team All-American, will become just the second player in CWU history to participate in the senior all-star game. L.G. Carmody, a CWU Athletics Hall-of-Famer, played in the game in 1947. Tom Parry, the winningest football coach in school history, also played in the East-West Shrine Game while representing Washington State College in 1948.

Bronson had a standout senior campaign for the Wildcats despite missing nearly five full games due to injury. He ranked second on the team in receiving yards (502) and receiving touchdowns (6) while ranking fourth in pass receptions (28). He saved his best collegiate game for last, when he corralled a career-high eight receptions for 169 yards in Central Washington's 49-42 loss at West Texas A&M in the first round of the 2008 NCAA Division II playoffs. Over the course of his two campaigns in a Wildcat uniform, Bronson helped CWU to a 20-5 record and consecutive NCAA Division II postseason appearances.

The East-West Shrine Game, which has predominantly been comprised of NCAA Division I seniors over the course of its recent history, is a prime opportunity for college seniors to showcase their talents for National Football League scouts. Over 300 representatives from all 32 NFL teams will be present in Houston during the week of the game.
the East-West Shrine Game has been played every year since 1925 to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children (www.shrinegame.com)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Art of Elysium Christmas Party



The Christmas party yesterday at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Los Angeles was unbelievably awesome. Every one of us left there filled with hope and inspiration, and a certain feeling that would be impossible to replicate.

It was phenomenal to spend time with these kids, all of whom have faced such extraordinary life challenges at an extremely young age. Despite their illnesses, they had the best attitudes, were totally cool, and completely grateful. And for us, there is no greater gift than seeing the smiles on their faces as we spent a few hours with them getting creative with some holiday inspired arts and crafts.

Weather Doesn't Deter Holiday Parade

Riverbank,Ca.-The weather was foggy and chilly for the city's 40th annual Christmas Parade on Saturday, but a large crowd of spectators endured the bone-chilling cold to see the entries wind through the downtown, detouring along Fifth and Fourth streets this year to avoid the road construction on western Santa Fe street.

The Best of Show silver plate went to the River Rats Motorcycle Club, a local group of six or seven young men formed only six months ago - they all graduated from Riverbank High School - which rides noisy "hogs" for recreation but also does a lot of community service such as picking up trash and painting over graffiti.

They made a financial donation of several hundred dollars to pay the Riverbank High and Cardozo Middle school bands to bring their music, color and swinging march to this year's parade.

Parade winners by category:
Novelty comedy - first, Aahmes Clowns of the Livermore Temple of the Shriners who provide low-cost medical treatment for children with serious injuries; second, the Modesto Shrine Club Mini Lizzies who advertise the Shriners' services by buying their own miniature car and participating in parades.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just in Time for the Holidays: Ragan Offers Children-Inspired Items for Shriners


NASCAR driver David Ragan will auction off an autographed Shriners Hospitals for Children(SHC)-themed racing helmet on eBay, beginning Dec. 15 and ending Dec. 21. A special edition diecast car featuring a unique Shriners Hospitals for Children paint scheme that Ragan raced this fall, will also be available for purchase in December. Proceeds from both sales will benefit the SHC-health care system.

Ragan wore the helmet in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway in September and the Oct. 12 ARCA race at Toledo Speedway. The helmet honors Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international health care system that provides pediatric specialty care at no charge. The helmet also features Ragan’s 2008 season sponsor AAA, and his team, Roush Fenway Racing. Please visit the fundraising page on the Shriners Hospitals Web site, www.shrinershq.org/Hospitals/Main/Support/ to learn how you can place a bid on this one-of-a-kind helmet.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children paint scheme was created for Ragan’s participation in the 2008 season finale of the ARCA RE/MAX Series at the Toledo Speedway. The special edition diecast car, created in its likeness, is available for pre-order for $29.95 plus shipping and handling at www.shrinershq.org/Hospitals/Main/Support/. Only 2,500 of these unique collector’s items, which will be signed by Ragan, will be available.

Ragan named Shriners Hospitals for Children his official charity of choice at the annual convention of Shriners International on July 1 in St. Louis. In addition to these unique opportunities to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals, Ragan will visit as many of the 22 hospitals as his busy NASCAR schedule permits. He has also brought national attention to the health care system and the Shriners fraternity through public service announcements.

“I look forward to a long and productive relationship with Shriners International and the health care system they help support,” Ragan said. “With the help of NASCAR fans across the nation, I know we can increase donations to their worthwhile cause and ultimately help thousands more children in the future.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Thousands gather for Prescott Christmas Parade


Home Depot was the Grand Prize Winner of the 2008 Prescott Christmas Parade.
An estimated crowd of 10,000 flocked to the Courthouse Square on Saturday to enjoy Prescott's 26th annual Christmas Parade.

While parking was hard to come by, beautiful weather favored the event whose theme was "Home for Christmas," with Operation Iraqi Freedom Veterans as Grand Marshals.

The parade route started at Murphy's Restaurant, traveling south down Cortez to circle the square before heading North to disband at Montezuma and Sheldon. Over one hundred entries included five marching bands and dozens of beautifully restored classic cars as well as some surprises. The Grinch imprisoned in a paddy-wagon and Shriners riding in miniature cars were certainly crowd pleasers.

Awarded Electrical Construction Contract for One of the Shriners Hospitals for Children

EMCOR Group, Inc. Subsidiary

© Business Wire 2008
2008-12-09 14:29:03 -

www.EMCORGroup.com - EMCOR Group, Inc. (NYSE: EME), a Fortune 500® leader in mechanical and electrical construction, energy infrastructure and facilities services for a diverse range of businesses, announced that the Portland Oregon branch of its Dynalectric subsidiary has received a contract for the installation of electrical systems involved in the expansion of the Shriners Hospital for Children located in Portland, Oregon.
Dynalectric Oregon will be responsible for the installation of electrical systems, including power lighting, voice and data, security, nurse call and DDC (HVAC controls), involved in the 149,330 square foot expansion to the hospital.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a one-of-a-kind health care system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs. Every year, the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children provide care for thousands of children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, in a family-centered environment free of charge for the care.
"Dynalectric's philosophy---"Our Commitment Is Personal"---not only defines the essence of who and what we are about, and embodies the very foundation of our daily operations, accomplishments of the past, and goals for the future," said Randy Wagner, President of Dynalectric"s Oregon branch. "We are excited to be working on this important project, and feel honored to be able to provide Shriners" Portland Hospital with the electrical systems it requires in order to create an environment necessary for the treatment and healing of the children and the community it serves."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Woodland Hills Shrine Club Parade


Granada Hills Holiday Parade Photo of the Woodland SC Elephant and Clown from Daily News for more pix and infromation go to Dailynews.com

Shriners continue making a difference

By Thomas Dias inew880.com All news Radio

Santa Claus makes an appearance at Edmonton's Shrine Centre.
He arrived as the guest of honour Sunday for their annual Christmas party.
It's for the patients and parents of the children that the Shriners support.
Potentate Jim Heron tells iNews880 they look to make a difference wherever they can.
"We just finished a big research Chair at the University of Alberta of $1.5 million dollars to do children's research on curvature of the spine. And we just completed a $5,000 dollar gift, actually it was $6,000, to the Glenrose Hospital for their children's wing."
Heron says the Shriners help to finance 22 hospitals stretching from Canada to Mexico in expense of $800 million with no government funding.
Heron adds they also collected a table full of gifts at their Christmas party to turn over to 630 CHED's Santas Anonymous this year. (TD)

Santa Claus is revvin' to town for hospital's young patients

Annual Toy Run - About 6,000 bikers collect and escort a bus full of presents to the Shriners hospital
Sunday, December 07, 2008 GOSIA WOZNIACKA The Oregonian Staff

There's something slightly intimidating about thousands of guys and gals in leather pants, leather jackets, shades and do-rags revving up beefy motorcycles on a giant parking lot.

Except when they're all carrying teddy bears, wearing Santa hats and talking over the engine roar about kids in a hospital.

About 6,000 bikers collected money and toys Saturday in Southeast Portland for the 29th annual Toy Run. Their motorcade delivered a TriMet bus full of gifts and several large checks to the Portland Shriners Hospital for Children.

This year's turnout was the biggest yet, said leaders of ABATE, the motorcycle advocacy group that organizes the charity event. ABATE stands for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactment. The Toy Run brings together Harleys, Hondas, tough clubbers, mom-and-pop riders, even the occasional Vespa.

To raise money for the hospital, ABATE members raffled off a motorcycle donated by Gresham Honda. They sold raffle tickets for the charity event all year; 100 percent of the money goes to the children.

"You go out and see these kids and it changes your whole attitude about life," said Mike "Shag" Stewart, 67, a motorcycle rider from Corbett who has participated in 26 Toy Runs. "You may be depressed or sad, but giving to these kids changes you."

"Shag," clad in a black leather vest studded with motorcycle run pins and patches, was standing in the TriMet parking lot Saturday with longhaired and bearded Edd "Grumpy" Dahl from Southeast Portland, as bikers crowded around with armfuls of stuffed animals.

"Everybody looks at the patches and they make assumptions," said Dahl, another Toy Run old-timer. "But this is all about the kids, making their lives normal. This event makes you grow up and appreciate what you have."

The two bikers relived the years of toy hauls: Remember the year when a clubber took a kid from the hospital on his bike, and when they came back the clubber was crying?

Remember the girl who was able to get a job because of the communication device she received from the Toy Run?

Remember the kid who got a computer program that helped him order a meal all by himself?

In addition to all the toys, the bikers have purchased $300,000 worth of major medical equipment, including high-tech wheelchairs, for more than 70 children at Shriners over the past 28 years. The hospital -- which is funded by the Shriners, an international fraternity -- does not charge patients for their stay or treatment. But patients must find money for equipment.

The Toy Run started with nine bikers sitting around a tavern and deciding to collect toys for kids. ABATE took over a few years later and eventually came to an agreement that the toys and money would go to Oregon's Shriners hospital, rather than the Florida headquarters. The hospital serves children with orthopedic, burn or spinal injuries.

On Saturday, thousands of bikers rode en masse across the Ross Island bridge and roared up Pill Hill to the Southwest Portland hospital, headed by Santa, aka Donnie Stephens. One of the Shriners patients, 10-year-old Thomas Gabaldon, who is battling cancer, got to ride in a van with the motorcade.

Other children awaited in wheelchairs with parents and hospital staff members. They were prepped for the mind-numbing noise and leather-clad crowd that descended on the hospital. This year, Santa did not ride his bike into the lobby (as legend has it he did in past years), but he and other bikers handed out gifts, to the squeals of the kids in the hospital's rehab gym.

"The bikers are the sweetest men, they are just the salt of the earth," said hospital spokeswoman Kay Ekeya, who has helped coordinate the Toy Run for the past nine years. "Underneath the leather, they're just your typical lawyer or CEO or construction guy who loves to ride bikes. They have the biggest hearts."

Gosia Wozniacka: 503-294-5960; gosiawozniacka@news.oregonian.com

Shriners Head to Porterville Tuesday

PDC Christmas Parade set Tuesday at facility
By JEFF STOWE THE PORTERVILLE RECORDER

Porterville Developmental Center will host its annual Christmas Parade at 10 a.m. Tuesday on the facility grounds.

This year’s parade will have more than 31 entries.

Six area school bands will be featured including Granite Hills High School, Burton, Pioneer, Strathmore and Sequoia middle schools, and Sunnyside Elementary School.

Other participants include more than 300 students from Charter Summit School, local Rollin’ Relics Car Club, Tulare County Shriners Club, along with PDC staff and clients.

The parade has been an annual event for more than 40 years and is open to the public.

For more information, call 782-2286.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thousands of riders/toy's fro Shriners Hospital for Children



Forn more Information about this picture check out http://pnwriders.com/pictures/91388-shriners-childrens-hospital-ride-picture-heavy.html

Cupcake Towers for the Holidays






by julie desmeules As I write this post, the cupcakes on this first picture may still be on the tower, or (most likely!) they may already have found their ways into the tummies of the guests of honor, the children at the Shriners Hospital Los Angeles

Estate donates $1M to Shriners Hospital

The Charles Marsland Jr. estate will give Shriners Hospital for Children $1 million to support a new hospital in the state.
Advertisement

Since 1923, Shriners Hospital for Children in Honolulu has provided specialized medical care to 835,000 children from Hawai'i and the Pacific Rim at no charge. Located at 1310 Punahou St., Shriners Hospital recently launched its first capital campaign to raise funds specifically for this new venture. The total cost for the new hospital will be $73 million. The capital campaign intends to raise $14 million.

"This is the first time in 86 years that we have initiated a capital campaign to raise funds for our services," Gene Bracewell, Shriners Hospitals for Children International board of trustees, said in a prepared statement. "We have always provided free medical care to help children in need, and we have never taken any government funding. Our services are made possible by generous donations like these, and we are simply ecstatic about this significant contribution."

Marsland, a former Honolulu prosecutor, died April 11, 2007. A Punahou graduate and World War II veteran who served with the amphibious forces in the Pacific, Marsland returned to Hawai'i in 1967 with a degree in economics from Tufts University and a law degree from Northeastern University in Boston to work for First National Bank. He was working for the City Corporation Counsel's Office, handling routine legal matters, when the event that changed him forever occurred on April 17, 1975. That was the day his son, Charles F. "Chuckers" Marsland III, was murdered.

"Shriners Hospital does amazing things for children of all ages," says Pauline Grigg, a lifelong friend and partner to Marsland. "The Marsland family was very involved with Shriners, and we truly see the benefit their services provide. We are delighted that we can make a contribution to such a wonderful institution."

The new hospital will be 40 percent larger than the original building with state-of-the-art medical equipment and a modern interior that imbues a child-friendly environment. Construction at the site is already ahead of schedule, and the new hospital is expected to open in May of 2009.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Injured Green Valley athlete returns to school, inspires classmates

By TRISTAN AIRD LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

NevadaPreps.com In-depth high school sports coverage Video

Walking across stage to receive a diploma is an emotional moment for any high school senior.

But to Green Valley football and track athlete LaQuan Phillips, doing so June 9 at the Thomas & Mack Center would be a symbolic triumph to cap a nine-month journey recovering from partial paralysis.

Phillips, 17, returned home to Henderson on Nov. 21 and has been back at school since Monday. He had been rehabilitating at Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California in Sacramento since Sept. 16.

Phillips, who was a starting weak-side linebacker for the Gators, was injured in a collision during a game on Sept. 5. He suffered a bruised spine that led to the paralysis, from which he has been recovering faster than doctors anticipated.

"Walking across that stage has been on my mind every day," Phillips said. "Graduation is one thing so far down the line that walking by graduation is not that big of an obstacle, especially considering how far I've come."

Phillips, who remains in a wheelchair, successfully underwent surgery on Sept. 7 to alleviate swelling on his vertebrae.

Through vigorous rehabilitation, Phillips has gone from being immobilized in bed at Sunrise Hospital to standing with assistance at Shriners to the brink of walking on his own.

"I'm pretty sure I'll be walking by my birthday," said Phillips, who turns 18 on Jan. 15.

Phillips spends three days per week after school continuing recovery at Healthsouth Rehabilitation Center in Henderson.

eBay Auctions 2008 Dodge Challenger to Benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children



Dodge_shriner-auction An iconic muscle car of the 1970s, the Dodge Challenger, is back after a 35-year absence and a limited-edition 2008 Dodge Challenger SRT8 is up for auction on eBay through Sunday, December 7. Proceeds of the online auction will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children.

The New England Dodge Dealers Association donated the car because the group wants to raise awareness and funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children. "The decision to donate the Challenger SRT8 was based on the positive personal experiences many of our dealers and the association's Board members have had with the Shriners and Shriners Hospitals," said New England Dodge Dealer Association President Frank Brody. "Shriners Hospitals for Children is truly a benevolent organization that has proven they really want to make a difference for children."

The Dodge Challenger SRT8, which is #234 of the 6,400 produced in 2008, goes zero to 60 in five seconds and is loaded with options, including a 6.1-liter Hemi V-8 engine with 425 horsepower, GPS navigation system, Keyless Go Entry, leather trim seats, an AM/FM 6-Disc DVD MP3 Radio, MyGIG multimedia system and UConnect hands-free communication.

Want to get another look at the car? Visit the New England International Auto Show! This car is on display at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, located at 415 Summer Street, Boston, MA 02210 from Wednesday, December 3 to Sunday, December 7. The winning bid will be announced at the show on December 7, 2008 at 6 p.m.

Win the online auction, and you'll also be helping kids defy the odds at Shriners Hospitals for Children - a one-of-a-kind international health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care to children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

For a link to the auction site, go to www.BeAChallenger.com.
At the time of this posting, bidding was already in excess of $31,000 and you can expect that number to climb as the auction draws to a close on Sunday, December 7.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Shriners Toy Run


This is a great annual event that is fun to watch! Grab the family and stake out a seat (we caught it on Broadway last year) with a warm drink in hand to watch Santas, Elves and all sorts of holiday characters ride by on roaring motorcycles. There are thousands who participate in the ride, all to benefit Shriner's Hospital for Children.
.
From the Portland A.B.A.T.E.'s website:
Toy Run: Public welcome. Riders will start gathering about 10 a.m. Dec. 6 at the TriMet parking lot at 4012 S.E. 17th Ave. Tickets for a chance to win a Harley-Davidson, $10, will be sold there. The drawing will be at noon, and the ride to deliver toys to the Portland Shriners Hospital for Children will begin at 12:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wagons for hospitalized kids


Local firefighters donate handcrafted wagons to Shriners by Lou Sennick

Two sets of Red Wagons will leave the Bay Area soon and head to the Shriners Hospital in Boston. On hand to see them off last week were, from left, Loren Parrish and Jack Hoffman from Hauser; Jeff Jenkins from North Bay; Mick Sneddon from Charleston; and Matt Fare from Coos Bay.

Each wagon carries a sign listing the groups who helped pay for their construction and shipping. On the back, another sign lists the volunteers who constructed the wooden wagons.

World Photos by Lou Sennick
Two sets of Red Wagons will leave the Bay Area soon and head to the Shriners Hospital in Boston. On hand to see them off last week were, from left, Loren Parrish and Jack Hoffman from Hauser; Jeff Jenkins from North Bay; Mick Sneddon from Charleston; and Matt Fare from Coos Bay.

The Boston Shriners Hospital and its small patients soon will get a gift from local firefighters — two red wagons.

The wagons will be used to help move young patients around the hospital and include an IV hanger. The wagons are the result of the Tofflemire Family Project, which has been donating hand-crafted wagons for the 22 Shriner Hospitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Local resident Jim Tofflemire and some friends have been building the wagons in honor of his son, Phillip, who was a Shriner patient and passed away in April 2006 at the age of 23. Tofflemire said the wagons should last about 25 years.

The group will have completed 50 wagon sets by early next year. The two headed for Boston were funded with help from the Hauser, North Bay, Charleston and Coos Bay volunteer firefighters. Volunteers got together last week at the North Bay fire hall to send them off. Among them were Loren Parrish and Jack Hoffman from Hauser; Jeff Jenkins from North Bay; Mick Sneddon from Charleston; and Matt Fare from Coos Bay.

Sick children in need of a smile? Send in the clown



Photo by Alex Horvath / The Californian

BY HERB BENHAM, Californian staff writer hbenham@bakersfield.com

Last Updated: Monday, Dec 1 2008 4:28 PM

She’s a clown. It’s not like we couldn’t use a break. Yes, a break given the misery that sometimes wraps itself around us like light gauze.

Gwen Quinton dresses in costumes to entertain children at the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles. For a November stop at the hospital, she dressed as a chicken.

Photo by Alex Horvath / The Californian

Once a month Gwen Quinton participates in a birthday celebration at the Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles.


Gwen Quinton wouldn’t tell me her age. It’s no big deal and I’m not sure why I asked. What’s important is that now in her sixth decade, Quinton has found her calling.

Clowning. Entertaining children at hospitals like the Shriners in Los Angeles. These are children who have been burned, lost limbs, or were born with cleft palates, club feet, curved spines and a host of other conditions. In other words, children who do not have a lot to laugh about but find reasons to do so nonetheless.

“I was a bookkeeper for 25 years, a certified massage therapist for 15 years and a security guard for five,” Quinton said, “But I never felt fulfilled. This is like my little niche.”

It wasn’t long ago that Quinton didn’t have a lot to laugh about herself. Eight years ago, she had a stroke. The road back included walkers, canes and crutches.

That behind her, or as behind her as a something like that can be, she’s returned to making the two-hour drive once a month to the Shriner’s Hospital located in a fairly textured neighborhood west of downtown LA. Quinton is a member of the Daughters of the Nile, the sister group to the Shriners (think Potato Bowl, colorful purple fezzes, small cars and good works).

The Daughters host a once-a- month birthday party at the 60-bed hospital for between 10 and 25 children. It doesn’t have to be your birthday. If you’re a patient, it’s automatically your birthday. Children are given party bags with coloring books, Crayons, small toys and are served cupcakes, apple sauce and juice boxes. The birthday boys and girls come in wheelchairs, on gurneys and some on crutches.

A couple of weeks ago, Quinton was dressed as a turkey. It wasn’t clear how many of the children knew she was a turkey, but that didn’t matter. Her costume was soft to the touch and Quinton was suitably gentle in her flight path around the large, airy room with the attractive wood floor.

Only one child cried (“some of them don’t like it when your face is covered up,”), and most of the others smiled, laughed or expressed some sort of delight.

“It gives me an opportunity to make the kids, who don’t understand not feeling good, feel better,” she said.

She has another reason for playing the clown, aside from her latent thespianism. It is a way of remembering her family. Quinton’s only daughter, Ginger, died in an auto accident in Arizona in 1991. She was driving with a friend who fell asleep. Ginger was 19.

“She loved kids too,” Quinton said. “When I’m clowning, I feel her presence.”

Which is something, because when Quinton would try this sort of thing with Ginger, she would say, “Oh Mom.”

“Mom” can’t help herself. Every third Thursday, unless she is sick or flat on her back, Quinton makes the drive. With an assist from Fantasy Frocks, which loans her the costumes, Quinton can be a dancing bear, an Easter rabbit, Mrs Claus, Puff the Magic Dragon, Bobo the circus clown, or an unusually cuddly turkey that could double as a chicken.

Quinton is expanding. Recently, she passed the background check for the Children’s Hospital in Madera. She plans to make her debut in December.

Standing ovations are not necessary. Quinton doesn’t play for the back row. A smile, hug or a few soft words is payment enough.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Victorville Christmas Parade Dec.6th


Saturdy Dec. 6th The Victorville Annual Christmas Parade goes down 7th street from La Paz to D street, Starts at 10am.
Line up starts on Mesa St at 8am. and thats where you will fined the Apple Valley Shrine Club warming up.

Shriners Hospital team to visit Guam

Pacific Daily News • December 1, 2008

A medical team from the Shriners Hospital for Children in Hawaii will provide free consultative services for children with special health care needs who are age 18 or younger, and who have an orthopedic, arthritic or plastic surgical condition such as deformities, disease and injuries involving the bones, joints and muscles, “healed burns,” including loss of any part of the child's body.

The clinic will be held from Jan. 15 to 16 and Jan 20 to 23 at the Department of Public Health and Social Services clinic in Mangilao. For an appointment, or more information, call Arlean Kloppenburg at 735-7117 or e-mail: arlean.kloppenburg@dphss.guam.gov.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Concert set today for 9-year-old victim of fire

by Chelsea Schneider - Nov. 29, 2008 12:00 AM The Arizona Republic

Marius Dasianu, 9, suffered severe burns over 75 percent of his body when his house in Romania caught fire. The blaze killed his parents and left Marius to face a long, painful recovery.

The doctors treating Marius had done all they could when Jessica Free, a 20-year-old missionary from Mesa, began visiting him in a Romanian hospital in January.

Marius needed new eyelids and a new nose. His fingers also had to be amputated after the fire.

Free and Ashley Ludlow, a fellow Brigham Young University student, knew the treatments Marius had received weren't enough, so the women formed Team Marius to bring the boy to America. Marius and his brother, Ionut, now live with the Frees in between surgeries and treatments at Shriners Hospitals for Children in Los Angeles.

A benefit concert will be held today at Gilbert High School for Marius. The Shriners pay for his medical care, but renewing visas and paying for travel between Mesa and Los Angeles is costly.

The brothers also may have to go back to Romania during Marius' recovery, which could last until he is 18.

Some of his physical therapy doesn't fall under the hospital's program.

Tickets for the concert featuring country group Due West and LIGHT International Inc., a group of young-adult performers from Gilbert and Mesa, are $10 and $15. Performances are at 2 and 7 p.m. at Gilbert High.

"Seeing the pictures, you just know that you can do this," said Free's mother, Kristin.

"We are blessed with a stable family. I have seven kids. Two more wasn't a big deal."

Free stayed home from college this semester to help care for Marius. Pictures of him before the fire tugged at her heart.

She wanted to do all she could to give the boy she met in a hospital bed in Romania a better life.

Since coming to America, Marius' condition has greatly improved. Doctors gave him new eyelids, and he also will receive a new nose and reconstructive surgery on his hands.

Navada Proud of Football Shrine Game Players

Five of Nevada County’s finest student athletes were chosen to play in the North/South Shriners Hospital Benefit Football game on Saturday, Nov. 15. The players were from the Nevada Union Junior Miners Midget football team. Kyle Cota,
Jared Cook, Stone Sanders, Cameron Towensend and Tanner Vallejo.

These fine young men spent many hours doing community service to raise thousands of dollars for the hospital.

They would like to thank the community and their families for all the support. What these young men accomplished was nothing short of amazing, not only did they learn what some of the boys and girls have to go through while at Shriners with the burns and bone injuries; they got to see first hand with a tour of the hospital with the
Sacramento State football players.

Nevada County should be so proud of the five young men who truly showed what Nevada County youth student athletes are all about. And, by the way, the north won the game 26-19 way to go junior Miners.

Rick Vallejo
Penn Valley

Thursday, November 27, 2008

25Hours of Thunderhill for Shriners Hospital for Children


Trim-Texm, along with partners Hoosier Tire, and Fall-Line Motorsports will be competing in the National Auto Sports Association’s 25 Hours of Thunderhill in California early next month. This will be a drive for the overall win, as well as a Drive for Charity—teaming up with Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Thunderhill is the longest race held in the United States and due to its running next month, it has been called the “most severe endurance race on the planet.” With more than 14 hours of darkness, and temperatures that can range from below freezing to above 70, coupled with a severe track that has many blind turns and elevation changes, the drive to the finish will be a tough one.

Team Trim-Tex/Hoosier/Fall-Line will have a great driver line-up and team for the “Drive for 25.” The custom-built 2005 BMW M3 will be piloted by long-time motorcycle drag racer Joe Koenig, who recently competed in the SCCA National Championship Runoffs in only his first full year of sports car racing. Joining Joe will be the 2007 SCCA Pro Racing Speed World Challenge Rookie of the Year, Brian Kubinski, who brings GT race experience to the quartet of drivers. The remaining drivers are all experienced endurance racers coming from the Fall-Line Motorsports Grand-Am Koni Challenge team. Steve Jenkins and Mark Boden have been Koni Challenge co-drivers for the past three seasons. With Top ten finishes in pro racing, as well as multiple wins in club racing, Steve and Mark will provide the endurance racing mentality for the team. Rob May (Fall-Line Team manager) will also be suited up for driver duties should the need arise.

This 25-hour-long race will be a grueling test of both man and machine. Every driver and team member will be pledging a per lap donation to Shriners Hospitals for Children. In past years, the overall winners of the race have done approx 650 laps from Green to Checker. The team’s goal for the “Drive for 25” is to raise a minimum of $25,000 for Shriners Hospitals for Children and will graciously accept donations from the public. To make a pledge, please call (773) 622-5400 ext 5623.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a health care system dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs. Every year, they provide care for thousands of kids with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate in a caring and nurturing family-centered environment at no charge. As a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, Shriners Hospitals for Children relies on the donations of Shriners and the general public to carry out their mission and change the lives of children every day.

This drive for charity is sponsored by: Kawasaki, Irwin Tools, Diamond Construction, Competition Race Parts, Worldwide Bearings, Chicken Hawk Racing, Autobahn Country Club, Hoosier Tire, Fall-Line Motorsports and Trim-Tex Drywall Products.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

That's our Megan

Thanks to teen's compassion, even prison can't bar kindness
Inmates knit items that are donated to homeless

By HECTOR CASTRO P-I REPORTER

Thursday morning, when most people are likely to be either sleeping or starting early on the day's feast, one teenage volunteer will be out on the cold and empty Seattle streets delivering handmade caps, scarves, gloves and blankets to homeless men and women just as she has for six previous Thanksgivings.

"Sometimes, they are shocked that we are giving these for free," Megan Johnson, 17, said. "Some of them actually cry."

This year, some of the gifts she hands out are coming from an unlikely source -- inmates of the Monroe Correctional Complex.

Tuesday, the Federal Way teenager and her mother, Jill Johnson, were at the prison to collect a donation of 150 hand-knitted caps, all made by inmates working in a small sewing room where shelves are stacked with colorful bolts of cloth and rolls of thread and five sewing machines that date to the 1930s.

Bryan Bechler, a classification counselor for the prison in Monroe, met Megan at a function at Benaroya Hall this summer, where she was a speaker.

Because the work produced by the inmates must be donated, it made sense, he said, to donate their blankets, quilts and other clothing to Megan's efforts.

For inmates who worked on the caps, it means something to them that Megan intends to donate their work to the homeless.

"The important thing is you're doing it for someone else," said Lou DeVincentis, 67, who has sewn several blankets that have been donated.

Another inmate, Alan Guay, 47, began to knit just eight months ago but can now spin out a new hat in about 90 minutes. Guay hasn't met Megan, but through a DVD about her that the inmates were allowed to view, he learned something about her and her charity work.

"We know that she's been through a lot," Guay said.

Megan has several medical challenges, including hemifacial dysplasia, a genetic condition that causes her facial bones to grow at different rates. She has also become blind in one eye. Already, she has endured 26 surgeries to correct problems brought on by these conditions.

Cruel taunts from classmates made grade school tough.

"There was this group of mean girls who would look at me and say, 'Don't you know how ugly you are? If I looked that way, I'd go home and kill myself,' " Megan said.

Megan said the teasing she endured is one reason she chose to help the homeless.

"I know what it's like to be different," she said.

When she was 10, Megan, who began homeschooling after the fourth grade, told her mother she wanted to collect blankets and warm clothes for the homeless.

Jill Johnson said she thinks her daughter was inspired in part by the work of the Shriners, the philanthropic fraternity that operates nonprofit children's hospitals around North America and Hawaii. Megan has been a patient at their Portland hospital since she was 6.

"I thought: 'That's kinda cute. It'll last about a week,' " Johnson recalled of her daughter's intention. "Well, seven years later, here we are."

Megan already has two projects, Kids Helping Kids, which collects children's videos and DVDS for local hospitals, and Megan's Mission, which works to raise money to help the homeless.

She also wrote and illustrated a book, "Clowns Make a Difference," about children in a hospital. Money raised from the book sales go to the Shriners.

In the hundreds of blankets she has donated, Megan always includes a note that reads, "Remember someone cares."

"She hand-writes every single one of them," Jill Johnson said.

Megan's efforts have earned the perpetually cheerful teenager a host of accolades, including the 2002 American Red Cross Hero's Award and the 2004 Washington State Outstanding Youth Philanthropist award.

An avid Girl Scout, Megan said she hopes her work delivering the warm clothing Thanksgiving morning will earn her the Gold Award, the highest honor a Girl Scout can earn.

On Thursday, she said she'll be up by 6 a.m. and, with her family, friends and volunteers who join through their church, hit Seattle's streets by 8 a.m.

Megan will be the one pulling the red wagon.

"I don't know why people think the homeless are evil," she said, "when they're just people like us. We all have feelings."

Visit megansmission.freeservers.com to learn more about Megan and her charitable work.

P-I reporter Hector Castro can be reached at 206-448-8334 or hectorcastro@seattlepi.com.
If you haven't seen the Video on Megan ask you Shrine PR Chairman he can get it for your club or unit to see.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

First Lady of the Republic of Korea, Kim Yoon-ok Visits Shriners Hospitals for Children

Los Angeles, CA – November 24, 2008 by Steve Brand– The First Lady of the Republic of Korea, Kim Yoon-ok, visited Shriners Hospitals for Children in Los Angeles this morning. She and her husband, President Lee Myung-bak, were returning from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit recently completed in Lima, Peru.
First Lady Kim Yoon-ok was especially interested in the Los Angeles Shriners Hospital since approximately 3% of the patients of the hospital come from Korea. While Korea has an excellent medical system, the physicians at Shriners Hospitals are experts in the latest advances in orthopedic, burn reconstruction and cleft lip / palate treatment.
The First Lady was welcomed by Stuart Wright, Chairman of the hospital’s Board of Governors and Terrence Cunningham, hospital administrator. Said Mr. Cunningham, “We are honored by the visit of the First Lady of Korea to Shriners Hospitals for Children in Los Angeles today. We are very proud of our cooperative relationship with the Republic of Korea and look forward to being able to care for more of your children in need of our specialized care.”

After a brief visit with the staff of the hospital, the First Lady toured the facility and then met with the Korean patients currently being cared for by the hospital. She stated, “I’m very glad that I could be here today and am very thankful for the treatment that Shriners Hospitals for Children provides to the children of Korea.
Her visit to the hospital was coordinated by the office of the Consul General of the Republic of Korea and the local Choong Chung Society of Southern California which is located in Los Angeles not far from the hospital. The group supports Korean children during their stay at the hospital.




Shriners Hospitals for Children – Los Angeles information, please visit our website at www.shrinershq.org/shc/losangeles.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shriners Hospital officials hope to reopen soon

By Bronwyn Turner,Correspondent November 22, 2008
GALVESTON —Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston should reopen at full capacity by the start of the new year without laying off any employees, officials said.

Rumors of the demise of the nationally known burn treatment center are dead wrong, officials said.

“The message we want to put out is that we were hurt badly, but we are not going away,” said John Swartwout Jr., administrator. “With everything happening to UTMB, we want our folks and the community to know, we’re coming back.”

Swartwout’s comments came during large layoffs of University of Texas Medical Branch employees as the John Sealy Hospital downsizes because of hurricane damage. But the layoffs do not mean closing the medical branch’s burn treatment program or its partnership with Shriners Hospital in treating burned children, Swartwout said.

“The fact that UTMB is downsizing has left many people within Shriners and the community skeptical about whether or not we are coming back,” Swartwout said, speaking by phone from his temporary office in the boardroom of Shriners Hospital for Children in Houston. He referred to the displaced staff and patients there as “a hospital in exile.”

“Well, we are coming back,” he said. “The board of trustees has extended the hazard pay — they call it disaster pay — until Jan. 1. We fully expect to be back and functioning by that date.”

Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston is one of only four burn specialty units in the Shriners hospital system. It’s ranked among the best pediatric burn hospitals in the world.

The hospital at 815 Market St. in Galveston opened in 1996, guided by Dr. Truman Blocker, a plastic surgeon and burns specialist who established the medical branch’s burn unit. Shriners Hospital contracts with the medical branch for doctors and other medical services.

More than 18,000 children from across the country and the world have been treated in the hospital, which includes an intensive care unit with 15 beds, a reconstruction and plastic surgery unit with 15 beds, three operating rooms, a multi-bed recovery room, clinics and a large outpatient population. The hospital employs 325 people.

In 2007 alone, the hospital recorded 1,557 admissions, 1,602 surgeries, 12,523 in-house clinic visits and 1,296 patients seen in outreach clinics. Patients do not pay.

The hospital’s operating budget of about $34 million comes from an endowment for the Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Fast Evacuation

The Galveston hospital was operating at full capacity the week of Sept. 12, when forecasts of Hurricane Ike’s dangers prompted evacuation. Six critically injured patients were flown by chartered Lear jets to a sister hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, accompanied by staff and parents. Several more children were sent to a sister hospital in Shreveport, La., along with parents and staff.

A group of 17 residential outpatients, children who had temporarily moved to Galveston for daily specialized outpatient treatments, were sent to a shelter set up for them at a middle school on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station.

Within 12 hours, by the night of Sept. 11, the evacuation was completed. When Hurricane Ike arrived, a surge of more than two feet of water swept through the first floor of the hospital, and then receded in a matter of hours.

Major utilities were no longer functioning because of water damage. Emergency generators had shut down. Electrical switchgear was underwater. Fire pumps and fire alarms were dead. Medial gas pumps were down.

“So unlike Hurricane Rita, where we turned around and came back in a few days, it became painfully apparent we were not gong to come back any time soon,” Swartwout said.

Evacuated patients were admitted to Shriners Burn Hospitals in Cincinnati and Boston. Residential outpatients were brought from the College Station shelter to Houston Shriners Hospital for Children.

Temporary Location

Many of the Galveston Shriners Hospital staff continue to care for patients in Houston.

Administrative staff is set up in the boardroom. A sign taped on the door reads “Shriners Hospital-Galveston North.”

Weekly “town hall meetings” are held at the Knights of Columbus Hall in La Marque to keep staff updated. A distribution center has been established for employees in need of food, clothing and household items.

“One of the things that surprised me is the spirit of our employees, the spirit of family that our employees have exhibited to one another,” Swartwout said. One group of employees, calling itself Muscles on Demand — the MOD Squad — formed a cleanup crew, helping fellow employees with cleanup and repairs on their homes.

Repairs are continuing in Galveston. The hospital will reopen with the first floor lobby and office area still undergoing remodeling. Treatment facilities are located on upper floors.

“We are all itching to get back to work,” Swartwout said. “All of the things that need to be fixed are in process. It’s complicated, and it takes time.

“But it’s going to happen very soon. I’m fully confident of that.”

Friday, November 21, 2008

Saturday vigil to honor slain horses

Invistigation continues over killing of Choctaw and Lucky


A candlight vigil for Choctaw and Lucky, two horses killed on a private Livermore ranch in October, hopes to bring attention to the ongoing investigations for the person(s) responsible.

The East Bay SPCA, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Hoofprints on the Heart host the vigil, which will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday Nov.22 at Robertson Park in Livermore. Hundreds of animal lovers are expected to attend.

A reward fund for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved has grown to $20,000. The horses were killed during the night of Oct. 21 while at pasture.

The family who owned Choctaw and Lucky are said to be devastated by the tragic loss.

"Choctaw has spent virtually his entire life performing in parades and charity events, promoting the Shriners Hospitals for Children and Hoofprints on the Heart Adaptive Riding Center for children with special needs," owner Mike Rountree said. "We had rescued Lucky after he had been living in a terrible situation. He had regained his health and was very happy living with his new herd. This was a senseless and brutal crime that caused so much suffering. Our family is shattered by this event."

East Bay SPCA Executive Director Allison Lindquist urged the public to participate in the vigil.

"We call upon everyone to give Lucky and Choctaw a voice," she said. "Those horses gave so much to the community, and we will not rest until the person responsible for taking their lives is identified and prosecuted."

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Scott Sutherland with the Contra Costa County Sherriff's Department at 313-2654.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Threads of love for Shriners Hospital for Children Salt Lake


(NICHOLAS DRANEY/Standard-Examiner) Volunteers assemble admission bags at the Riverdale Senior Activity Center in Riverdale.
Thursday, November 20, 2008 By KATIE M. ELLIS Standard-Examiner correspondent

Volunteers sew admission bags for Shriners Hospital

RIVERDALE -- Volunteering at the Riverdale senior center has kept Lois Davis from locking herself in her house.

"When I retired (as a cook at Canyon View Elementary), I decided I'm going to sit and relax a while. When I realized I didn't even want the doorbell to ring because I didn't want to be bothered, I knew I needed to get out of the house. Staying home wasn't what I wanted," she said.

Now Davis spends almost as much time at the senior center as she does at home. For her latest project, Davis brought her work home with her, as she helped cut fabric for 410 admission bags for Shriners Hospital, so they would be ready for seniors to sew and donate to the hospital to fill with toiletries and toys for their patients.

Mike Babcock is the public relations director for Salt Lake City Shriners Hospital. He said the hospital needs about 1,300 bags each year for children who come for surgery.

"It's the first thing a child gets and helps set the tone. It puts them at ease and comforts them right off the bat," he said.

The seniors got the bags done with some help from employees of Citibank in Layton and their family members. Peggy Smith said each year Citi employees are encouraged to reach out to the community on Global Volunteer Day.

"If we don't support our seniors, where are we going to be?" Sandy Vaughan said, explaining why she chose to support this project.

Volunteers pitched in for any number of reasons.

Seventeen-year-old Storee Nelson said she came with her mom because she needs service hours for clubs at school.

Senior Diane Wilson said she comes for the friendship. "There's lots of nice people over here," she said.

Ona Johnston said what's being served to eat usually determines whether she's at the center, but this time she chose to be there to work on the bags because, "They asked for help, so I came."

Davis said seniors at the center are often busy with service projects, and many others contributed by donating money for fabric or stuffed animals to put in the bags.

"They were really good about stuffed animals," Davis said, "They donated a lot of them."

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Kodak Challenge added to JT-Shriners Hospital for Children PGA Open

Kodak and PGA TOUR Announce Kodak Challenge Holes

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov 19, 2008 Kodak and the PGA TOUR today announced the 24 holes that will make up the Kodak Challenge, a first-of-its-kind competition for PGA TOUR players that offers $1 million to the winning player.

The Kodak Challenge, which tees off in January 2009, celebrates beautiful holes and memorable moments on the PGA TOUR. The holes, selected by an Advisory Board composed of leading golf experts and influentials, are featured on kodakchallenge.com, where fans can view photos, watch videos of the Advisory Board's discussion, and read about the memorable moments on each hole.

"These 24 Kodak Challenge holes are among the most beautiful and memorable in all of golf, and we look forward to the many Kodak Moments to come when the Kodak Challenge tees off in January," said Jeffrey Hayzlett, Chief Business Development Officer and Vice President, Eastman Kodak Company. "The excitement and anticipation will build throughout the season as players step up to each Kodak Challenge hole and compete for the one million dollars. All they have to do is play -- it's that simple."

Players must play at least 18 of the 24 Kodak Challenge holes throughout the season to compete for the Kodak Challenge title and $1 million. A player's lowest score relative to par on 18 of the Kodak Challenge holes will be counted. In the case of a tie, a sudden death playoff on the final hole will take place immediately after conclusion of the last tournament of the Kodak Challenge, the Children's Miracle Network Classic presented by Wal-Mart.

Kodak also launched an online promotion inviting fans to submit their favorite golf photo for "Kodak Challenge Golf Picture of the Week." Fans who submit a photo on kodakchallenge.com today through December 16 will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to win a KODAK EASYSHARE W1020 Wireless Digital Frame. One winner will be selected at random each week for four weeks. See kodakchallenge.com for rules and regulations.

"Kodak and the PGA TOUR have worked closely together to develop this exciting new competition that will generate a lot of interest, particularly as it culminates during the Fall Series," said Tom Wade, Chief Marketing Officer, PGA TOUR. "The Kodak Challenge effectively combines the beauty and the memorable moments found regularly on the PGA TOUR with Kodak's famous brand and image."

The Kodak Challenge holes were selected by the Kodak Challenge Advisory Board in collaboration with Kodak and the PGA TOUR. Advisory Board members are David Feherty, CBS Sports golf analyst; Rees Jones, golf course architect; Jules Alexander, golf photographer; Andy Pazder, PGA TOUR Senior VP, Tournament Administration; and Lance Barrow, CBS Sports golf, Coordinating Producer. Holes were selected based on their beauty and their connection to memorable moments in golf.

"Golf fans will recognize these holes as among the most picturesque and many probably have photos of them. We chose a mix of par 3s, 4s and 5s so that long drivers and accurate putters alike will have a chance for a great score," said Feherty. "The Kodak Challenge is obviously great for the players but especially for the fans, who will be captivated by the players' shots on each Kodak Challenge hole, knowing that a million dollars is on the line with every swing."

Monday, November 17, 2008

Circus Wagon pulled by Black Camels

It is with much sadness that I must inform the Brothers of ISCA and
the El Zaribah Clown's of the passing of one of our own.

Past Master of Scottsdale 43
York Rite, Shrine And Clown

Bruce "Slim" Burley has received a visit from the Black Camel.
Visitation will be Tuesday 18NOV2008 from 5PM to 7PM at the Phoenix
Memorial Park, 200 W Beardsley Road, Phoenix, AZ 85027
Services will be Wednesday 19NOV2008 the Shepherd of the Valley
Lutheran Church 1500 W Maryland, Phoenix, AZ 85015

The Great Architect has seen the need to ask for another one of the
El Zaribah Clowns to join that celestial Big Top where the show never
ends.
Joy of life and the joy in life is the life of a clown. Seeking a
child's smile and then to see that smile come from within is a
completeness that most adults do not ever get a chance to see from
children that aren't their own.
May God Bless our Brothers family in this their time of sorrow.
Please lift the family up in your daily prayers that they may be
granted the peace in knowing that God is our overseer and that it is
in his time that we are called home to heavens gates. May the
memories of the Husband, father and friend be held in the family's
hearts and minds forever.

Until we meet again on that Circus Wagon that is pulled by those
Black Camels may our Brother rest in peace.

BB clown

Sylmar Fire Report

Noble Bernie Beiner Sylmar Fire – lost his home but he and his wife are safe. They are at his daughters as of last night (I got an eMail) Waiting for more info

Noble Bob Kulick Sylmar Fire – lost his home but he and his wife are safe. No other details yet

Rick Johnson (Stagecraft) smoke damage only (Sylmar) – no other details

We know that you send your best to our brothers and their ladies.

We hope we don’t have to grow this list but if anyone else has anything to add, please add a comment or email me

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Firefighters and Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California

Fire stations accepting toy donations for children at Shriners Hospital
Published: Saturday, Nov. 15, 2008

Area firefighters are joining forces to provide holiday cheer to children in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California.

Capt. Jim Doucette of the Sacramento Fire Department said his department is being joined by the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District and the West Sacramento Fire Department, along with other organizations.

"We are asking the public to drop off new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages – from infants to teens – at any local fire station participating in the Toy Brigade," said Doucette, who is chief organizer of the Toy Brigade.

"Every year, firefighters make a holiday visit to the Sacramento Shriners Hospital, and we will deliver the toys at that time," he said.

– Sacramento Bee Staff

Friday, November 14, 2008

East/West Coaches Announced


TWO OF THE BEST TO LEAD EAST VS. WEST

Bobby Ross and Gene Stallings Take the Helm at 84th Annual East-West Shrine Game



Houston, TX – Two storied former NFL and college coaches, Bobby Ross and Gene Stallings, will be leading college football’s finest at the 84th Annual East-West Shrine Game, Jan. 17, 2009, in Houston, Texas, at the University of Houston’s Robertson Stadium.



The football match-up, which began in 1925, features many of the best college players in the U.S. and Canada, divided by region but coming together to raise money for Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international health care system of 22 hospitals across North America.



Gene Stallings, who will lead the West team, brings 18 years of NFL experience to this year’s game, as well as an impressive record as a college head coach.



“There is no question that I am looking forward to working with the young players, helping them showcase their abilities in front of important NFL scouts,” said Stallings. “I also look forward to working with a great coach like Bobby Ross, coaching these talented athletes as they prepare to move on to the next level of the game.”



Bobby Ross, who takes the helm for the East, also comes to the sidelines with an outstanding NFL and college football résumé, including leading the San Diego Chargers to Super Bowl XXIX.

“I am excited about the opportunity to get back on the field and work with the finest players in the country,” said Ross. “The philanthropy behind the game makes it very special and it is a privilege to work on such an important game with a talented coach like Gene Stallings.”



As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Shriners Hospitals for Children relies on the generous donations of Shriners and the general public to carry out our mission and change the lives of children every day. To date, the East-West Shrine Game has raised millions of dollars for Shriners Hospitals for Children and has helped inform millions of people about the mission of this extraordinary philanthropy.



WHAT: 84th Annual East-West Shrine Game

WHO: Top NCAA College Football Players

WHERE: University of Houston, Robertson Stadium, Houston, Texas Televised on ESPN2

WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, 3 pm CST Kick-off

HOW: Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased online at the following Web sites:

www.shrinegame.com

www.uhcougars.com

www.ticketmaster.com

Tickets may also be purchased by phone at (713) 462-6647 or in-person at the University of Houston Ticket Office, located at 3100 Cullen Boulevard, Houston, Texas 77204.

MORE INFORMATION: www.shrinegame.com

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Motorcyclists know importance of a ride


by Tom Hallman Jr., The Oregonian
Thursday November 06, 2008, 4:00 AM
Motoya Nakamura/The OregonianJose Adan Guardado, 14, was among kids at Portland Shriners Hospital for Children to receive a wheelchair last month, thanks to money raised by local bikers.

Art West is a rough-and-tough kind of guy who's belonged to a motorcycle club for 35 years. But under his leather vest, he hides a soft spot for sick kids.

For the past several weeks, the 57-year-old has been making phone calls, printing fliers and lining up sponsors for a Nov. 8 concert to raise money to buy expensive wheelchairs for children being treated at Portland Shriners Hospital for Children.

"The short version of why I do this is that my wife and I never had any kids," says West, a member of Brothers Speed MC, one of the Northwest's largest motorcycle clubs. "This is a way we can help."

His wife's Portland blues band, Francine West & The High Speed Wobblers, will host Saturday's 10-hour show featuring musicians from this area and California.
Motoya Nakamura/The OregonianIsrael Vasquez, 13, talks with Mike Friend, chaplain of motorcycle-rights group Abate of Oregon, after receiving a new wheelchair last month at Shriners Hospital. Bikers also deliver piles of toys to the hospital every December.

The idea traces to 1994, when the band's drummer had a child being treated at Shriners. He told Art West how impressed he was with Portland bikers' support of the hospital. For 28 years, as many as 1,500 bikers have met in December to wind through the city and deliver loads of toys for Shriners patients.

"The drummer said he wished there was something he could do to help as a musician," Art West says. "I thought we could put on a gig as a band and raise money. We got $600 that night."

The event ran for three years, until Francine West took a break from the stage. She returned three years ago, and so did the benefit. The musicians donate their time, and the $5 admission goes toward buying wheelchairs. Last year's show raised $5,000, Art West says.

Tina Huber, who met West through Brothers Speed, says she always attends the show. "My son went to Shriners from the time he was born," Huber says. "He had terrible problems with his legs. They took care of my child, and I didn't pay a dime. My son's married, has a son and a job and can walk. Shriners gave him a life."

West turns the money over to Abate of Oregon, a motorcycle-rights group formed in the 1970s. Mike Friend, who coordinated last year's Toy Run and is Abate's chaplain, says the organization has 2,000 members across Oregon.

"When it first started, most of the members were the real bikers, the so-called 1-percenters," Friend says. "They're still involved, but mostly it's just your average Joe motorcycle rider."

Early on, Friend says, Portland-area bikers had a bad image. Someone in Abate had the idea to change perceptions by doing something for kids.

Helping kids
Musician's Toy Run Benefit concert: 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday at Trails End Saloon, 1320 Main St., Oregon City. The $5 admission goes toward buying wheelchairs for kids.

Toy Run: Public welcome. Riders will start gathering about 10 a.m. Dec. 6 at the TriMet parking lot at 4012 S.E. 17th Ave. Tickets for a chance to win a Harley-Davidson, $10, will be sold there. The drawing will be at noon, and the ride to deliver toys to the Portland Shriners Hospital for Children will begin at 12:30 p.m.

"A handful of bikers in Portland thought they'd get some toys and take them to a hospital for kids," Friend says. "Hospitals turned them down. They figured they stole the toys. Or they said they could bring the toys around to the back door. The Shriners welcomed the group with open arms. We've been with them ever since."

The group raffles off a Harley-Davidson each year, selling tickets at $10 each and announcing the winner at the Toy Run. That money, too, benefits Shriners.

"The bikers fill a need," says Kay Weber, a Shriners spokeswoman. "Some of these wheelchairs can cost more than $10,000. The kids who receive these chairs are from families who have maxed out their lifetime insurance for medical equipment, have no insurance or just can't make ends meet."

Bikers present the chairs several times a year. On Oct. 16, six children received chairs and special equipment totaling $35,000.

"The bikers are so cute," Weber says. "You see them come in all tough looking. Then the therapist talks about the child and why the chair will change their life. You turn around, and all the bikers are wiping their eyes. It's very sweet, and melts your heart."

--Tom Hallman Jr.; tomhallman@news.oregonian.com