140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shriners New Hospital Nearly Finished

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Written by Jim Mendoza - jmendoza@kgmb9.com
May 26, 2009

The new Shriners Hospital for Children is earth toned and color splashed with kid-friendly paintings, mosaics, and mobiles. Shriners International Chairman of the Board Douglas Maxwell said the building is thoroughly modern.

"It's like taking your old house and making a new house. It's just designed better," he said.

Patients bathtubs come with side doors that open for easy wheelchair access. Operating room equipment is suspended from the ceiling, giving surgeons more foot space for operations that can last several hours.

"As new equipment was coming around we put it into the building," Maxwell said.

Shriners Honolulu clinic opened in 1923. The hospital in 1964. Over 25,000 children have had orthopedic treatments at Shriners. The new building is two-stories tall and forty percent bigger. But there will be fewer beds -- 25 instead of 40.

"Medicine has improved so much sixty to eighty percent of our operations can literally be done in a day," Maxwell said. "Why have all these beds that are open 24/7?"

The hospital is Phase One. Phase Two will be an office building plus family quarters for extended stays. That will be completed in 2010.

"Because we wanted the extra things in this hospital, therapy pool, these family quarters, to go that extra mile we said let's see if we can ask the local Hawaiian community to help us," Maxwell said.

The upgrade cost $73 million, including $14 million from private donations.
The new hospital opens next month with screenings for families worried about their child's orthopedic health. Like all Shriners care it's free.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I am the new president of the WSCA. I am attempting to gather over 100 Shrine clowns at next years WSA/WSCA in Tempe, AZ. on April 21st thru 25th. 2010

What I am attempting is to bring national exposure to the Shrine Clowns and the Red Sneaker Fund & the Burns Research that we as Shriners do annually.

Phoenix being the 5th largest city in the US needs to start stepping up, and as the El Zaribah Shrine Clowns are growing in numbers we want to bring the Red Sneaker Fund to the forefront of the community.

I extend an invitation to all Shrine Clowns from around the world to come to Phoenix and if you would like, join the WSCA and compete or just come and have a grand time bringing awareness to the International Shrine and the Clowns Philanthropy of the Red Sneaker Fund.

I would actually like 200 or 300 but the more we get here the better chance I have of obtaining national exposure.

Doug Fry a.k.a. BB Clown President WSCA 2010

Thank You DougFry@douglasfry.net

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Agawam City Council heaps praise on Shriners Hospital for Children

By JIM DANKO jdanko@repub.com

AGAWAM - With its future in jeopardy, the Shriners Hospital for Children got a solid vote of support from the City Council on Monday night.

The council voted 11-0 to pass a resolution in support of the continued operation of the Springfield hospital, which was founded more than 80 years ago.

About 20 members of the Melha Shriners attended the meeting.

"It's been here 84 years, and we want to shoot for 100," Allen G. Zippin, of Longmeadow, said after the meeting. Zippin is emeritus chairman of the board of governors for the hospital.

Agawam joins Springfield's council as one of the region's governing bodies taking an official vote of support, according to Zippin.

Some of the councilors spoke about personal connections to the hospital, saying they had family members who were treated at Shriners.

"You do a lot of good work," said Councilor Joseph Mineo, who said his daughter was helped by the hospital.

"The services of Shriners Hospital are priceless," said Cecilia P. Calabrese, vice president of the council who attended a recent rally for the hospital. "This is something that is so vital to so many families here in Agawam."

Shriners from across the country will be asked to decide at a convention in July whether to close the Springfield hospital and five others in its nationwide network of 22 children's hospitals and burn centers.

The Springfield hospital has been classified as "under-utilized." It sees 18,000 outpatient visits each year and offers free treatment to children from around the world.

by The Republican Newsroom

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shriners/ Fire Department- Donkey Basketball= Fun

KPIC loses heartbreaker to the Roseburg Fire Department

KPIC loses heartbreaker to the Roseburg Fire Department

By Megan Sweeney, KPIC News

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- The Douglas County Shriners hosted a Donkey Basketball game at the fairgrounds on Saturday, and it was all to raise money for the Shriners Club that helps kids that need hospitilization, among many other projects that support kids.

The KPIC crew got in the act, playing a team of Roseburg firefighters.

The firefighters won the game 34-28, but the crowd, which included many families and lots of kids, had fun watching the donkeys do pretty much whatever they wanted.

It was all to help support the Shriners and their efforts to help children.

We don't have a total amount raised yet from the event, but we expect to have that soon. and we will pass that along when we find out.

All the players had a fun time, and KPIC and the Roseburg Fire Department were happy to help out such a good cause.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Free orthopedic screening clinic still set for May 30

By Jim Sanford • Special to the MVN • May 15, 2009

The Kerak Shrine Center will host a free orthopedic screening clinic on Saturday, May 30, from 9:00-11:00 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club at 124 N. Main St. in Yerington.

The clinic is open to any child from birth to 18 years old who may have an orthopedic problem, and/or who have been referred by school nurses for scoliosis, or whose parents suspect a problem.

The Shriners will screen as many children as attend the May 30 event.
School and health nurses often provide referrals to the clinic for children they think might be in need; but walk-ins are also welcome to participate.

Dr. P.J. Frye will conduct the May 30 screening at the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley.

Orthopedics is a branch of medical science that deals with prevention or correction of disorders involving structures of the body including the skeleton, join muscles, connective tissue and other supporting structures such as ligaments and cartilage.If the physician determines that treatment may be necessary, a child's application will be forwarded to the Shrine Hospital in Sacramento for possible acceptance and treatment. Kerak Shrine sponsors these clinics and all treatment is provided at no cost to the family, including transportation and accommodations if necessary.

Shriners Hospitals have also treated children with burns for over 40 years.

Shriners honor determination, dignity of teen She helps others during struggle to overcome rare birth defect

Peter Harriman, Argus Leader • pharrima@argusleader.com • May 17, 2009

When Megan walked onto the stage Saturday at the El Riad Shrine Spring Ceremonial, a fantastic assortment of men in black tuxedos and red fezzes, pantaloons and turbans, Hawaiian shirts and Panama hats and clown regalia immediately popped up and gave her a standing ovation.

Moments later, the diminutive 18-year-old was serenaded by the El Riad Chanters.

And none of this is the unusual part. That would be Johnson's imposing résumé.

Since 2000, when she was 8, she has distributed homemade blankets tied with a ribbon and a note that says "Remember, someone cares" to Seattle's homeless. She has raised thousands of dollars for this and other charitable efforts through her nonprofit organizations, Megan's Mission and Kids Helping Kids. She has written two children's books and received about a dozen prominent awards for philanthropy. She still has a couple of surgeries to go at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland, Ore. on top of the 27 she already has had to repair birth defects.

"I'm still a work in progress," she told the El Riad Shriners on Saturday.

Megan was in Sioux Falls this week as the Shrine Ambassador for the El Riad ceremonial. Saturday, Shrine Potentate Jack Weibel said her effect on the organization goes far beyond that, and she "does more for us in letting us know why we support the hospitals."

At El Riad, she was made an honorary member of the steel drum band known as the Oriental Band, and she joined the group's clown unit in entertaining children at hospitals in Sioux Falls.

El Riad spokesman Tom Johnson said, "The infusion of her energy into us is absolutely incredible. Meg's story is phenomenal."

Megan, born in South Korea, was adopted as an infant. Early on, she had a cleft palate repaired and surgery to restore her hearing. Then a rare birth defect emerged that caused the bones of her face to develop at a different rate from the rest of her body. It's been responsible for the dozens of surgeries to repair her face, and it is the reason that as a grade-schooler she was taunted by classmates.

But Megan now says that "being harassed in school made me a stronger person," and it gave her an empathy for the homeless. That resulted in distributing blankets in a relief effort that Megan said her mother figured would last a couple of weeks but continues today.

Her experience at the Shrine hospital also prompted her to write and illustrate the first of her two children's books, "Clowns Make a Difference," that recounts how a Shriner clown, Punkin, eased her fear in the hospital.

Megan sails into all her philanthropic projects with a spirited confidence.

"I'm a very determined kid," she said. "If I say it, I'm gonna do it."

Reach reporter Peter Harriman at 575-3615.

Art: Patients' works to be displayed in ArtSpress Yourself show

By Sam McManis
smcmanis@sacbee.com Published: Sunday, May. 17, 2009

Reggae music blares from the front of the classroom and, after a while, Edgar Velasco gets into it. Soulja Boy is more his style, really, but this reggae groove proves infectious, and it inspires him.

Shaggy head bobbing and dyed yellow rattail flapping to the beat, the 19-year-old from Tijuana, Mexico, wields oil pastel crayons to work on his latest artistic creation on the desk before him.

He looks up only to change colors and briefly acknowledge encouraging words from around the room.

In 10 minutes – OK, 15 tops – Velasco finishes a swirling Van Gogh of canvas, fraught with vivid purple, green and yellow circles resembling upside-down peace signs.

"This is great," says Barbara Brooks, his teacher at Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California in Sacramento, speaking loudly over the reggae tune. "But aren't you going to do the watercolor now?"

"No. I like it like this." "Did you sign it, at least?" "Yup."

With a smile as luminous as his painting, Velasco excuses himself and wanders off. Later, he will be seen shooting pool and laughing with other kids in another part of the common area on the second-floor school that Shriners hospital provides for its patients and outpatients.

But while in the midst of creating, Velasco seemed transported from what has been an ordeal. An accident several years ago burned a significant portion of his body; the scarring is visible on his face and running up the arms he covers with a T-shirt.

Such is the power of art as therapy.

Since the early 2000s, Shriners has held a weekly art class as part of its school curriculum, providing an outlet for pediatric patients to express emotions that are not easily verbalized.

The program has been popular with patients and captivating to outsiders, so much so that the Sacramento Fine Arts Center approached Shriners officials with the idea of hosting an exhibit of student artwork. Titled "ArtSpress Yourself – A Celebration of Children's Achievements through Art," the show opens Tuesday and runs through June 6.

The public will see visual manifestations of hopes, dreams and, yes, fears that children dealing with burns, spinal-cord injuries and orthopedic conditions harbor.

"It's giving voice to people who might not necessarily have a voice," says Kathrine Lenke Waste, a Sacramento artist who helped start the program and still serves as an informal artist-in-residence.

A welcome change of pace

"When kids come into that school room, they are no longer in the hospital. It's like any other (school) room. This is a place where we make art, not a place where you get a shot or have an exam and have to take meds."

A sanctuary, as it were.

A guy like Edgar, who is bilingual, doesn't like to talk about the circumstances that sent him to Shriners. He's faced some tough issues. But his mood brightens considerably inside the classroom during the two-hour weekly art period.

"Edgar's a real perfectionist when it comes to art," Brooks says. "He puts a lot of effort into it."

On this day, the assignment Brooks put forth was "Paint What You Hear" – hence the reggae music – and Edgar was the first of the eight students to finish.

"I am better now (as an artist) than before the accident," he says. "I have more time to practice."

Indeed, given his druthers, Velasco said he'd rather be playing soccer or conversing with his friends in Mexico via e-mail on the computer in the corner of the classroom.

But would he consider himself an artist?

He pauses, looks at the painting still in Brooks' hand and says, emphatically, "Yes."

Across the way, 8-year-old Robert Bishop Smith, arms wrapped in protective bandages, looks up from the landscape of sea and sky he's sketching and shakes his head.

"I don't really do art," he says. "I color."

Participation and expression

Ability doesn't matter, of course. It's all about the participation and the expression. Hospitals can be scary and stressful places, especially for children. Art-therapy programs such as the one at Shriners try to defuse that anxiety.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Shriner's clinic set for Saturday

Children and teens may attend attend a free medical screening Saturday in Willows put on by the Western Sacramento Valley Shrine Club.

The ninth annual clinic runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Glenn Medical Center, 1133 W. Sycamore St.

Clinic Chair Gary Hansen said the event is open to any child under 18 who needs screening for a number of problems treated by Shriner’s children’s hospitals. They include scoliosis, neuromuscular disorders, hand and back problems, leg length discrepancies, rickets, congenital hip problems,

juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and orthopaedic problems associated with cerebral palsy.

Hansen said Tuesday last year’s Glenn County clinic referred 18 children for treatment to the Shriner’s Hospital in Sacramento – one of the largest referrals its had in nine years.

On average, 13 to 14 children or teens are sent each spring, and about 117 youth have been treated from this area during the last decade, he said.

The Western Sacramento Valley Shrine Club is allied with the Ben Ali Shrine Temple in Sacramento, Hansen said, and the temple’ affiliated clubs run from Stockton to the Oregon border. The local club has members in Glenn, Colusa, Tehama and Sutter counties.

As for local referrals, Hansen said. “We do pretty well for a small area. We tell the school nurses about our resources and they refer students to us.”

Doctors also refer patients and families may do self-referrals, he said, at clinics such as this one.

Saturday’s screening will have physicians doing the examinations and bilingual translators will be on hand to assist those who are English learners, Hansen said.

The clinic is open to all Glenn and Colusa County residents, he said, so people are welcome to attend from any city in these counties.

Children and teens referred to the Shriner’s hospital for treatment are treated for free, Hansen added, there are no income guidelines. It simply depends on if the condition is something they treat.

Free transportation to the Sacramento hospital for appointments is available as well since the Shriner’s have vans in Sacramento driven by volunteers who will pick families up in Orland, Colusa, Willows or whereever they live, he said.


What: Medical screening
Who: Children under 18
When: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: Glenn Medical Center, 1133 W. Sycamore St., Willows
Sponsor: Western Sacramento Valley Shriner’s Club
Information: 934-4734 or 800-237-5055.

Tempe Shriner Kids to take Train Ride

Our Train ride for May 22nd is a go. Here are some of the details as I know at this time. We will have 40 Shriner attendees on the train. 30 will be Shriner families and that is made up of 11 Shriner kids and the rest mom/dad/sister/brother. In addition, we will have 10 Shriners. A total of 40.
Our goal is to have a bus or vans to take us all from the Shrine Auditorium to Tempe Depot Catina at 5:30 PM sharp. We will all have to sign waivers and can do that on the way over there or before we board the bus. We will have t-shirts for everyone that say "Shriners and Union Pacific on Track for kids" In the middle of this saying is a train with the silent messenger standing on top of the train. T-shirts provided by the Motorcycle Unit. They look great.
On board we will have soda/water and sandwiches provided by the railroad. In addition they will have a TV on there with a movie playing. The train ride will be from 2-2 1/2 hrs long. Should be a great time.
Mike Folker will be on board to take pictures and we're still trying to get some media attention for this.
If we have success with this one, we're hoping to get a train for 200-300 people(Shriner's and Shriner kids).
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me, 602-312-4554

Shriner clowns get ready to parade down Main Saturday

Free Press Staff Report
Photos by Charles Broshous | Special to the Free Press

The annual Shriners Circus Parade hits Downtown Grand Junction Main Street this Saturday, May 16, at 1 p.m.

Come see the craziest, colorful clowns you’ve ever seen cruising down Main on some of the strangest vehicles. The parade begins on Eighth Street and ends at Third.

The parade precedes the 64th annual Shriners Circus May 22-23 at Mesa County Fairgrounds. Shows are at 10 a.m. and 8 p.m.

Tickets are $10/adults in advance and $12 at the gate. For children, tickets are $5 in advance for children ages 4-12, or $6 at the gate. Children under 3 are free. Get your tickets to the popular event at City Market stores and Western Colorado Shrine Club Members.

Feel good knowing that the proceeds benefit the Shriners Hospitals for Children, which provide free care for kids with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, cleft lip and palate.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Shriners Cares for Kids During Building Project

Written by Jim Mendoza - jmendoza@kgmb9.com
At Shriners Hospital for Children a game of chasing bubbles is physical therapy for eight-year-old Jax Aarruda. The Big Island boy suffers from a neuromuscular problem that kept him from walking. Recently he had surgery on both legs. He's another Shriners success story. So is 18-year-old Hang Sok from Cambodia. An operation repaired his left foot. It used to face the wrong way.

"Now it's straight and the ankle is good," he said.

Since Shriners opened a Honolulu hospital in 1923, more than 25,000 children with orthopedic problems have been treated free of charge.

"I'm a single mom and there's just no way that we could afford that," Kathy Fehn said. "And to just have her free of pain is wonderful."

Fehn's daughter, Natasha, was born with abnormally high arches.

"They made these orthotics. I put them in my shoes. Life goes on," Natasha said.

Eighty percent of Shriners patients are from Hawaii. The rest travel here for treatment from the mainland or foreign countries.

"The people are very nice, very kind, gentle, friendly," Hang said.

Jax is a poster child for what Shriners surgeons and medical staff can do.

"They relocated his hip. They also lengthened his tendons behind his knees to straighten his legs out so that he may be able to walk," his mother, Jessica, said.

Soon Shriners will have a new hospital on its old site. The time-tested approach to healing remains the same.

"They brought me one thing any kid would love to have -- happiness," said amputee Papu Utu,

The new building opens in June.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Local burn victim seeks assistance from community

Posted: 05/11/2009 12:00:00 AM MDT
Audra Pigman, 13, talks with her grandmother Friday after... (Lindsay Pierce/The Daily Times)

By Alysa Landry — The Daily Times
AZTEC — Audra Pigman's nightmares sometimes are so violent they wake her family.

The dreams have haunted Audra's sleep for nearly seven years, since she suffered first-, second- and third-degree burns on about 36 percent of her body.

"She still sleepwalks at night," said Audra's aunt, Sherry Thomason. "Sometimes I find her on the porch in the middle of the night, patting her body, trying to put out the flames."

Audra was 6 when her T-shirt went up in flames after she got too close to a lighter her brother was using to melt the end of a shoelace. The burns covered her stomach, chest, arms, hands and neck.

Audra was transported comatose to Albuquerque, where she stayed in the hospital for almost three weeks. She then was moved to the burn unit at Shriners Hospital in Galveston, Texas, where she underwent extensive skin grafts.

But doctors told her she would need surgery on a yearly basis until she reached adulthood.

"They projected in Galveston that she would be in and out of the hospital until she is 21 years old," said Barbara Thomason, Audra's grandmother. "A lot of trips are going to have to be made. There are a lot of surgeries to do."

Shriners covered medical costs and assisted with travel expenses until the hospital closed because of damage in the wake of Hurricane Ike. Audra, now 13, is planning to travel to Shriners Hospital in Sacramento, Calif., for her next series of surgeries.

But Shriners no longer is helping with travel costs, and
Audra is in desperate need of reconstructive surgery, her grandmother said during an interview with the family at its County Road 3000 home.

"She's outgrown the skin grafting they did," Barbara said. "She's in a lot of pain. She never complains, never says anything, but I can tell, especially when she's asleep."

Scar tissue doesn't stretch, and young burn victims often are forced to undergo reconstructive surgeries in their teens as their bodies mature.

"They're going to go in and strip off all the skin grafts and start over," Barbara said. "From her belly button up, they're starting over. It just makes me shudder to think about it."

Audra will go through a series of reconstructive surgeries to reshape her breasts and smooth her skin. The teen is facing as many as two surgeries per year for the next eight years.

Doctors have promised a near-complete recovery after the surgeries are done, but the teen may face complications later in life if she bears children, Barbara said.

Yet Audra is a "happy-go-lucky kind of girl," her grandmother said. She maintains a positive and mischievous attitude and flashes a brilliant smile even to strangers.

Audra said she remembers the incident, but "tries not to think about it." She has aspirations to be a teacher or doctor when she grows up, but for now, her life revolves around horses, computers and exploring the yard around her grandmother's trailer home.

"I just don't think about it," Audra said of the accident. "I don't like thinking about it."

But Audra sometimes is forced to think about the incident and the upcoming surgeries. For the second time in her short life, she is seeking donations from the community to offset travel and lodging costs. Locals contributed seven years ago to help cover lodging costs in Galveston, Texas.

Her first surgery in California is scheduled for June 12, and the family estimates it needs about $2,000 to cover the costs of the two-week trip.

"I'm taking her one way or another because she needs this," Barbara said. "If I have to put my thumb up or hitch my horses to a buggy, she's going."

Alysa Landry:


Powell Proclams Screening Clinc- Huge Success

HUGE SUCCESS!!!!! Shriners Hospital for Children Screening Clinic


You should be VERY proud that today's Shriners Hospital for Children Screening Clinic-Los Angeles was a HUGE success!!! Encino Shrine Club was a part of the following history making team that made it happen along with :
North Valley Shrine Club and Woodland Hills Shrine Club,Old West Lodge, Panamericana Lodge and San Fernando Lodge also a couple of unit Clowns.

The brotherhood and camaraderie was the pinnacle of the Shrine in my view.

We had 28 children that were screened and 7 that will be helped by the Shriners Hospital for Children-Los Angeles. We had children from as far a Ontario and Fontana that traveled to be seen today.

Clowns with balloon's, hot dogs, chips, soda, popcorn, and candy helped to keep the atmosphere very friendly. Child ID was also in process and it was well received. I even saw one parent take home a petition for Blue Lodge. This scene was almost unbelievable, and better than any vision that any of us had for this day.

The next clinic is already booked for May 8, 2010 at the same location, and we will find ways to bring in even more kids.

As I have been saying lately, "Remember why you became a Shriner!"

Mike Powell,President Encino Shrine Club

Sunday, May 10, 2009

To the Moms of our Fraternity

May 8, 2009,

Tribute to the Ladies that are a part of the International Shrine.

With Mothers Day, I wanted a special edition of my email to go out with this message.

For those Shrine Centers that do not have a Daughters of the Nile Temple within, please consider it. These ladies do a tremendous amount of work to support our hospitals. They have set up a new foundation which is a 501 (C ) 3 and they only raise funds for our hospital endowment fund.

I was privileged to stop by their annual meeting of the DON Foundation, this being their second year, and receive a check in the amount of $1,215,537.74, which does not include the amount of $231,840.13 from the Canadian Trust and the additional $15,000 from the Louis Meyers Trust. Total, $1,462,377.88. What a help they are to our hospitals.

They tell me that even though there are 191 Shrine Centers, there are only 147 Shrine Centers that support the Daughters of the Nile. If your Shrine Center is interested, please contact The Chairman of the Supreme Temple Membership/Public Relations Committee is Nancelyn Ross, PSQ. Her email address is nrosswpg@shaw.ca

Let’s all support the Daughters of the Nile and always thank them for the wonderful support that they give to our Endowment Fund, as well as the volunteer hours they donate to our hospitals.

I would be remised if I did not mention the Ladies Oriental Shrine as well. This is another very active group of dedicated Ladies that also donate a huge amount of time to the Hospitals and in support of our Shrine Centers. They help collect a large part of the Tabs that are sent to our hospitals. We see them in parades proudly wearing their Fez. We from the Joint Boards congratulate you all as well. I will send out more information about their membership when I have it.

The Shrine Guild of America is another Group of Ladies that help support our hospitals. They are in a growing state as we send this information out. I will also include the membership chairman from the Guild when I receive it. They also wear a Fez.

Let’s not forget the Ladies Auxiliary in the Midwest, who help out at the Twin Cities Hospital. They too do a great job and have a meeting area in the Parent Housing next to the Hospital in Minneapolis.

So, it is Mothers Day, and all of these ladies deserve a Fantastic Day, So let’s help them celebrate and enjoy Mothers Day. Congratulations to all the Ladies.


The Joint Boards and Staff in All Hospitals and Headquarters.

Happy Mother’s Day to all.

Ralph W. Semb, President and Chief Executive Officer, Shriners Hospitals for Children

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Vidalia onions are sweet and on sale by Shriners

Talk of the Town: By Regina Ford,GREEN VALLEY NEWS

The Green Valley Shrine Club, supported by the Sabbar Shrine Temple in Tucson is hosting its annual Vidalia sweet onion sale through May 16. You can buy the Shriner onions Monday through Saturday at the Commerce Bank of Arizona parking lot, 222 W. Esperanza Blvd. on the northeast corner of La Canada and Esperanza. The onions are $10 for a 10-pound bag. Storage hints and recipes are provided with each purchase.

Shriner Jim Gibson says the onion sale has been a tradition in Green Valley for more than 16 years. Gibson also thanks Manager Kevin Jordan for his support in the sale by providing the space at the Commerce Bank branch.

The sales staff includes members of the Masonic Lodge in Green Valley, Green Valley Shrine Club members and the Shrine Club’s “honored ladies,” which include the widows of deceased Masonic members. Proceeds from the sale go to support the local Masonic Temple which helps support 22 children’s hospitals in North America. Care at these hospitals is provided at no cost to the parents. The Shriners accept no government support or health insurance of any kind.

Kerak Shriners orthopedic clinic on May 30

Bridgeport-to-Bishop corridor youngsters welcome to participate in free Shriners' orthopedic clinic on May 30

Fernley, Dayton and Silver Springs youngsters ranging from birth to 18 years of age who may have an orthopedic problem are invited to participate in a free orthopedic screening clinic on May 30 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Boys and Girls Club at 124 N. Main St. in Yerington. 11 a.m.

Hospital screening clinic chairman Jim Sanford of the Pizen Switch Shriners explained the Kerak Shrine Center clinic is for children who have been referred by school nurses for scoliosis or whose parents suspect a problem.

School and health nurses often provide referrals to the clinic for children they think might be in need; but walk-ins are also welcome to participate.

An orthopedic surgeon and/or nurses, who will look for signs of orthopedic problems such as scoliosis (which refers to a curvature of the spine). Dr. P.J. Frye will conduct the May 30 screening at the Boys and Girls Club of Mason Valley.

Orthopedics is a branch of medical science that deals with prevention or correction of disorders involving structures of the body including the skeleton, joint muscles, connective tissue and other supporting structures such as ligaments and cartilage.

If the physician determines that treatment may be necessary, a child's application will be forwarded to the Shrine Hospital in Sacramento for possible acceptance and treatment. Kerak Shrine sponsors these clinics and all treatment is provided at no cost to the family.

Child ID Program also

In addition to the screening clinic, the Northern Nevada Masonic Child ID Program is inviting parents to participate in a child identification program on May 30 as well.

Children will be digitally fingerprinted and photographed for a child identification form, which is printed out and handed to parents.

"They also give them an envelope to put a lock of hair or a fingernail clipping in as well," Sanford said.

The identification scan provides information that can be used by law enforcement if a child is abducted or reported missing.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Shriners of Salt Lake City joins with AT Lab to provide wheelchairs

Phoenix explores in her customized chair.

By Heather Young

Phoenix, a growing two-year old with muscular dystrophy, will now be able to be more independent and explore her surroundings, thanks to a power wheelchair that is just her size. A local Assistive Technology (AT) Lab is customizing a wheelchair for Phoenix and her specific needs.

Shriners Hospitals for Children--Salt Lake City and the AT Lab at Utah State University in Logan have joined forces to help Utahns. Shriners Hospital recently donated eight surplus pediatric power wheelchairs and 20 manual pediatric wheelchairs to the AT Lab. The AT Lab is in turn customizing these devices for individuals who otherwise would not be able to afford or access them.

"Phoenix is intellectually like any other kid, on the inside she wants to play, run and climb," said Phoenix's mom, Jasmine. "This power wheelchair she is receiving from the AT Lab will give her more independence to explore her surroundings."

With the help of students from Special Education, Communicative Disorders and other university programs, the AT Lab currently serves over 1,000 Utahns a year.

"Without donations from organizations such as Shriners Hospital, the AT Lab would not be able to provide used and affordable assistive technology to so many Utahns with disabilities," said Stan Clelland, AT Lab coordinator.

Some of the services provided at the AT Lab include modifying equipment such as wheelchairs and tricycles, custom building specialized equipment, loaning out wheelchairs and scooters and so much more to help people with disabilities live more independently.

"With mounting medical bills and stress levels, we are dependent on the generosity of free services like the AT Lab," said Bailey-Barfuss.

The AT Lab is an initiative of the Utah Assistive Technology Program located at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University.

For more information about the AT Lab, visit www.uatpat.org or call 800-524-5152.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hospital is humming

May 2, 2009 in Letters

Recent comments regarding Shriners Hospital in Spokane have left the impression that 170 staff members are working to help, on average, only six children. Here are other facts.

As of March 31, the average daily patient census at midnight at Spokane Shriners was indeed 6.8. However, on a daily basis we see approximately 50 children in the Outpatient Clinic and 10 to 15 on the Inpatient Unit who are either preparing for or recovering from surgery. Over half of our operations are same-day surgeries so most of the kids treated are able to heal in the comfort of their own homes. In reality, then, we are seeing 60 to 70 children a day at Shriners.

In the first quarter of 2009, our staff have performed 174 surgeries, held 2,158 clinic appointments, seen 970 patients in physical therapy, seen 196 patients in occupational therapy, performed 1,242 laboratory procedures, completed 2,131 radiology orders, assisted 238 patients with orthotics and 46 patients with prosthetics and provided the nursing care, scheduling, medical records, transcription, nutrition, facilities and administrative support to each of these functions.

Shriners is still accepting new patients and treating children with expert care at no cost. Thanks for your support.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Win a Free trip to the JT/Shriners Open in Las Vegas

Tournament Ambassador Katie Walker being interviewed on the Golf Channel

Tickets for the 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open are now available for order online. This year’s event will be Oct. 12-18 in Las Vegas at TPC Summerlin. You can purchase tickets at www.jtshrinersopen.com

Nationwide Insurance, sponsors of the PGA TOUR’s Nationwide Tour, is sponsoring a contest throughout the season. The grand prize is a trip for 2 to the 2010 JTSHCO and a slot in the pro-am. We’ve posted the video to the JTSHCO Facebook fan page ( http://tinyurl.com/dalelu ). Take a look and you may see some familiar faces with JT.