This story appeared in the Antelope Valley Press Wednesday, September 24, 2008. By RICH BREAULT, Valley Press Senior Feature Writer
LANCASTER - Those wild-driving Shrine Club go-karters are driving for a purpose. Those Shrine Club clowns don't do what they do just for laughs.
"Our kart team drives in all the local parades to get the word out about Shrine Hospitals," said Richard Stauning, president of the Antelope Valley Shrine Club and a member of the club kart team.
"Our only philanthropy is Shriners Hospitals. Our club is involved in other things in the community, but our big project is supporting the Shriners Hospital for Children-Los Angeles."
To that end, the 130-member Antelope Valley Shrine Club will have free orthopedic, scoliosis and burn screening for Antelope Valley children 17 years old and younger to determine eligibility for no-cost treatment from Shriners Hospital.
The screening is slated from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in Suite 1-F at 43845 10th St. West, across the street from Lancaster Community Hospital.
"It will enable us to reach out to children with many conditions who might not have access to hospital care for those conditions," Stauning said.
"The last screening clinic we did up here in the Antelope Valley was in 2004. We want this screening clinic to be the start of an aggressive campaign in the Antelope Valley. We plan to hold a screening clinic at least every other year, and hopefully once a year."
A 50-bed facility, it serves patients from Southern California, Arizona, Southern Nevada, New Mexico and Mexico.
Treatment is offered free of charge for scoliosis, back problems, club feet, dislocated hips, hip dysplasia, Legg-Perthes disease, leg length discrepancies, amputation or deficiency of limbs, non-emergency fractures, orthopedic congenital deformities, orthopedic sports injuries, osteogenesis imperfecta, rickets, polio, musculoskeletal disorders; pediatric and orthopedic problems related to cerebral palsy, spina bifida, deformities due to burns, scar revision, reconstructive surgery, cleft lip and palate, microtia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, arthrogryposis and genetics.
Dr. Ric Garrison, assisted by two nurses from the Los Angeles Shriners Hospital, will conduct the screenings. Children who are determined to have any of the qualifying conditions are offered a referral to the hospital.
For details, call Stauning at (661) 965-9338.