140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

French Artist Gift to SHC-Northern California

Touched by a personal experience and inspired by the Shriners Hospitals for Children's pediatric burn program, French artist Jean-Pierre Rives has designed an original sculpture to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children — Northern California. The work, titled Jasper’s Gift, is a playful, double-loop sculpture created in honor of Rives’ son Jasper , who sustained a serious scald burn as an infant.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children— Northern California invites the community to meet the artist and his son Jasper, now five years old, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, August 26, at a special reception at the hospital located at 2425 Stockton Blvd., in Sacramento.

Suggested donation is $100. Reservations are required and may be made by contacting Alan S. Anderson, Director of Development at (916) 453-2008 or asanderson@shrinenet.org.

Jasper’s Gift will be installed in Sacramento and will become a part of the community’s sculptural art collection. Individuals and businesses contributing $1,000 or more to the hospital for Jasper’s Gift will be permanently honored on the base of the sculpture. The individual or business making the largest contribution above $10,000 enjoys the privilege of selecting the permanent location for the public piece of art.

About Jean-Pierre Rives
Generally regarded as France’s most famous rugby captain, Jean-Pierre Rives also has earned the title of internationally acclaimed sculptor. His art pieces have been showcased around the world, including the prestigious Jardin du Luxembourg in Paris. Rives recently was invited to the United States to exhibit sculptures for the Golden Globes awards show in Los Angeles. For more information about the artist, visit www.jeanpierrerives.com.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Asian Week Salute Shriner

This week is a man who died many years ago and is nearly forgotten today but did a lot of good things with his life. He is Mr. Ng Poon Chew, who was a minister, a newspaper journalist, entrepreneur, and civil rights advocate. Poon arrived in America in the 19th century and died in 1931.

He was known as the first Chinese American journalist on the West Coast, and fought for many causes. He was a Freemason and the first Chinese American Shriner.

The Shriners are an organization dedicated to philanthropy within their local communities. Known for his wit and engaging speaking style he became known as the “Chinese Mark Twain” and spoke out against the Chinese Exclusion Acts to white audiences across the country. Ng Poon Chew was a man well ahead of his time and will be remembered for his many worthy and philanthropic endeavors.

For additional information about Chinese American heroes, please visit the Chinese American Heroes website at www.chineseamericanheroes.org.

Mark Aug 14th on your Calendar

Dear Friends of Shriners Hospitals for Children,
Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California has been selected as a benefiting charity from an Italian/European Concours event: La Dolce Vita Automobili Black Horse, which occurs Friday, August 14th in Monterey.
Your help as a representative and friend of the hospital would be greatly welcomed! Participation can include:

Ø Registration of personally owned vehicles with many fun benefits [register online at: http://www.ladolcevitamontereybay.com]

Ø Volunteer to help and gain FREE entry on Friday, August 14th [Send an email expressing interest to asanderson@shrinenet.org]

Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California is receiving $5 for every ticket sold – with a goal of $10,000 (2,000 tickets). Kerry McMullen the Co-Founder of La Dolce Vita is also the President of the Maserati Club of the United States. He and his co-founder, Jerry Kaye, have very high regard for Shriners Hospital and are hoping for a good turnout from our good friends.

The promotion code is good for anyone associated with Shriners Hospitals for Children.
I am very excited about this opportunity and thank you for your support of Shriners Hospitals for Children. Any encouragement, thoughts, questions or interest in attending would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks so much!Alan Anderson

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ms Wheelchair Washington visits Shriners Hospital for Children

Tammy Wilber (State Coordinator)and I are former Shiner's patients, and were so pleased to see how far research has come to help children and their families heal.

Your tireless efforts to help children are selfless and beautiful. we are so glad you will be able to continue your work. The tour of the hospital with Doug from Rocklyn Medical, Tammy Wilber,and myself was enlightening and thank you so much for your time!
For more information on this or other stories of Miss Wheelchair Washington visit

Shriner’s Hospital Ice Cream Social

July 22nd, 2009 — For more Pictures and information go to www.spokanecarclub.com

Our club tries to make it to the Shriner's Hospital in Spokane annually to put on an "Ice Cream Social" for the patients. The kids and the staff always look forward to seeing our cars and then eating the ice cream sundaes made to they preferences. This is a fun tour for the club members as well as the Hospital. The following is the article our tour chairman wrote for our monthly club newsletter and the photos taken at the event.

Lets hear it for our new "club caterers" Mike and Kristin. What a great lunch they put on for our July tour! We met at their house at noon but some people showed up late. Chris and I and Alan and Suzie did not waste any time waiting for Bryce and Bob D. because we dug in to lunch. Taking three helpings of the great food and after checking out a few of their toys, we headed out to the Shriner's hospital for some fun and ice cream. The kids all had fun getting into our cars and Bryce even did a flame throwing (from his truck's exhaust) for them. He even scared one little girl — the meanie! Then we headed upstairs (to the lunch room) for some ice cream splits and conversation with the kids. Short of Jim's car not wanting to start when it was time to leave shriners all went well and we all had another club good time. Thank you to Mike and Kristen for all they did to put this together and we will be over for lunch again real soon we hope.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

LaDolca Vita Autombili & Shriners Hospital for Children

Very special charity benefit car show called La Dolce Vita Automobili at Black Horse, would like to extend a friendly welcome and invitation to all car lovers and auto enthusiasts across the United States. The incredible Concours D'Elegance style event showcases beautiful Italian Sports Cars, Exotic Cars and Vintage Race Cars and also offers specialty displays with more beautiful European and Italian model girls just ready to pose for perfect pics.

The La Dolce Vita Automobili event takes place on Friday, August 14, 2009 during Monterey Car Week, the most significant week on the global collector car calendar. For decades, more than 100,000 car enthusiasts have descended on the Monterey Peninsula each August to attend what have become more than one dozen public events over a 7-day period...

There are classic car auctions (RM, Gooding & Co, Bonham’s, MECUM and Russo and Steele), a high-end motorcycle auction (Mid America), multiple car shows (The famed Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, Carmel Concours on the Avenue, Concorso Italiano and The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering), Vintage Races (Rolex Historic Races at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway), Automobilia Expos (Automobilia Monterey and Pebble Beach Retro Auto) plus numerous rallies, tours and more.
For more information go to examiner.com and read Kae Davis story at www.examiner.com/x-9044-Exotic-Car-Examiner~y2009m7d21-2009-Monterey-Car-Week-La-Dolce-Vita-car-show-invites-nation-FBO-Shriners-Hospital-for-Children

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wild Fez

About ten years ago, Masket Temple began taking in some new members in their twenties and thirties who wanted to help all the Units, and try to do some things that was new and innovative. They asked to form a new, noncompetitive unit that could help in the success of all our members. Many were already members of one competing unit or another, and intended to stay in their unit. They wanted an opportunity to help Maskat Shrine in any and every way possible; they wanted to do more for Maskat. So, they asked the current Potentate for permission to form a totally new and different unit, designed to help in all unit activities, and concentrate on raising money for Maskat Shrine. He gave his approval, and the Wild Fez Unit was formed.

I took these young men a few years to "come into their own", so to speak, but they had plenty of support. They were nearly all members of other units, and as word got around, they began to grow in membership. Now they have many older members who want to help in their endeavors, and the wholehearted support of every active member of the Maskat Temple.

Their officers decided four years ago that they wanted to spearhead a fundraising project for Maskat, so they put their heads together with then High Priest Mark Terry, and started making plans to put on an open air concert on Maskat Temple's thirty acres of land. It took a year of planning, expense, and hard work on the property, but in 2006, we had our first concert. I would like to say it was a complete success, but we had weather problems [some rain and winds that kept the crowds at home], and did not cover expenses. But we considered it a work in progress with unlimited potential, and we tried it again! Last year was much better and has a great turnout, and the Wild Fez Unit covered expenses for both years and made some money for Maskat temple!!

JT and Smokey

Smokey Robinson to join Justin Timberlake for annual Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Pro-Am event in Las Vegas
Filed Under: Articles, Betting, CA, Celebrities, Celebrity, Events, Las Vegas, Las Vegas Events, Las Vegas Golf, News, Nightclubs, Nightlife, Poker Tips, SEC, burn, fan, golf, golf events, hot, information, las vegas charity events, players, rehab, s, sin city, summer, tour by: admin

Award winning Motown composer and performer Smokey Robinson has recently confirmed his participation in the annual Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open Pro-Am event in Las Vegas.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Pro-Am to support such an amazing organization. The Shriners Hospitals provide outstanding care for children every day and this event is a great way to show support while partaking in a sport I enjoy.”said Robinson in a statement.

The Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open is an official PGA TOUR event running from October 12th to 18th and held at the TPC Summerlin golf course. The 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open returns for the second year of a five year commitment between the two parties and to continue the tradition of a PGA TOUR event in Las Vegas. The collaboration between Shriners Hospitals and Timberlake to act as Title Sponsor and Host has helped the organizers to create a truly unique and world-class event for players and fans alike. A host of well-known golfers and celebrities will travel to Sin City to help support the Shriners Hospitals’ mission, and enjoy a series of special events and parties held at some of the hottest Las Vegas Nightclubs.

The 2009 tournament will feature more than 132 PGA TOUR professionals and a $4.2 million purse including a $756,000 first prize. In addition, Tournament’s host Justin Timberlake will headline a celebrity Pro‐Am on Wednesday, October 14th , 2009. All proceeds will benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children, an international health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to provide care for congenital and acquired orthopedic conditions, rehabilitative care for burn injuries, rehabilitative care for children with spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Arizona DeMolay

The Arizona DeMolay Conclave will be held on August 8, 2009 at El Zaribah Shrine. The Opening Session will begin at 9:30 AM, followed by an Initiatory Degree. There will be a lunch at Noon (cost $20/person), followed by the DeMolay Degree at 2:00 PM and the closing session. Their Grand Banquet and Ball (cost $30/person) will begin at 6:30 PM. Anyone interested should contact Pat Nance by email at nancesandy@qwest.net. You must RSVP by 07/27/09.

I believe supporting our Masonic Youth Organizations is very important and these youth are always very appreciative of our presence. If you have never seen the degrees of DeMolay, I assure you that you will be impressed with their teachings. I encourage as many of you as possible to attend this Conclave, particulary since it is going to be held at our Temple. It would be nice to have a sea of Red Fezzes showing our support.

I hope to see you there.

Jim Miller
Potentate 2009

Shriners East/West game & Parade

As the Shriners Parade begin heading down Central Avenue in Great Falls, Montana on Saturday, July 18, 2009, the temperature was already at 90° and getting warmer by the minute. This parade welcomed the big East -vs- West 63rd annual Montana Shrine Football game. Shriners from all over participate in this parade, bringing smiles to kids of all ages.

This years parade included the Great Falls Shrine Club Pipe Band, Missoula Motor Patrol, the Midget Patrol and the Whoopee Wagon, to name a few. Potentate Toby Sorensen cruised by in a ‘Skunk Bug’ that even batted it’s eyelashes. And, of course there were clowns…lots of clowns! The parade summed things up with the East Team Float and the West Team Float.

The game was won by the West 20 - 17 in overtime, where a crowd of about 3,500 witnessed the first overtime game ever in the Shriners game series.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Cheerleading more than just pep for Shrine game

Shrine Bowl activities are already underway and the big game is right around the corner, but the game is about more than football. KRTVs Shannon Newth sat down with Devon Hassa, a Shrine cheerleader who has plenty of spirit.

Hassa said, "Even from the time I was a little girl, I dreamed of being a cheerleader and cheering for the Havre High Blue Ponies."

And that dream came true for Devon Hassa, who is now a proud Shrine Bowl cheerleader - but Saturday's game means much more than her last hurrah as a high school cheerleader.

When Devon was six-years old, she was diagnosed with arthrogryposis, a rare congenital disorder often characterized by multiple joint contractures and can include muscle weakness and fibrosis.

She's had two reconstructive surgeries on her face and three on her feet and ankles. Devon said, "It's been difficult...I can't do a lot of the jumps or a lot of the high kicks, but I can still get out there and cheer on my team."

Devon's family got connected with the Shriners in Havre, who have greatly assisted with medical and travel expenses for her visits to the Spokane and Chicago Shriners' hospitals. "They don't turn anybody away - if you have a problem they accept you with open, welcome, warm arms," explained Devon.

And those open arms give more than just than assistance with medical needs, Devon said. "They're like a second set of grandparents to me. I see them every Christmas and I see them all the time. Its like when you have a bond with someone that's helped you so much through your life, it's a bond that can't be broken."

And when she runs onto the field for Saturday's game, Devon will be cheering just as loud for the Shriners as the football players.

She explained, "I feel like its such a great opportunity to thank the Shriners for all they've done for me. I can't even put into to words how much they've done for me and it's just an honor to repay them by doing this awesome fundraiser for them."

Devon is one of 25 young women to make up this year's Shrine Bowl Cheer Squad.

The cheerleaders come from all across the state, from small towns to AA schools. To make the squad, they were required to submit an application and three reference letters.

And even though the football players have a week and a half to practice, the cheerleaders get just 12 hours together, and perform four to five times before the game, including a performance at Thursday evening's Alive @ Five last night. They also find time to teach a kid's camp.

Julie Shepherd, Shrine Bowl cheer coach, explained, "These girls are the best cheerleaders in the state and they love to cheer and work hard and that's why they're here...and they also know that they're here to help support the hospital, and that's our biggest reason why we do this, and for a lot of girls it's their last time they get to cheer, so its a really good experience for them to be able to do."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

7-year-old badly burned in condo fire

by: Jeffrey Wolf for more on this story go to ABC TV news, Littleton, Co.
LITTLETON,Co. - A 7-year-old boy is hospitalized at Shriners Hospital in California with serious burns on 80-percent of his body after a condo fire on Friday afternoon.

The West Metro Fire Department says the fire broke out on West Phillips Drive near Garrison Street just before 5 p.m.

Miles was taken to Swedish Hospital and later transferred to The Children's Hospital with severe burns. Later on Friday he was flown to Shriners.

The boy's mother was also hospitalized with burns to her feet and hands after pulling her son from the fire. She was released from Swedish Medical Center on Saturday.

The boy's father was flown from an army base in Missouri to be with his son Saturday morning. Dad is reporting his son is responding in a positive way to his father's presence.

"I heard her [the mother] say, 'Don't touch your skin, don't touch it, don't touch it,'" said next-door neighbor Erika Bordner. "I saw the little boy sitting there, burned pretty much from head to toe."

Bordner says the windows of the condo blew out and the flames came out of the front.

"It was one of those things that you see in the movies," Bordner said. "It was just an explosion. The front window blew out, a lot of debris and glass flew all over. I just saw the flames shooting out the side of the house and kind of up the front."

The fire was contained quickly, but West Metro Fire says it was still putting out hot spots in the evening. The condo has severe damage, according to firefighters.

A fund has been set up to help the family with medical expenses. The fund is at Wells Fargo bank in the name of Bernadette Gusich for the benefit of Logan Miles and family.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Shriner’s Open Tee On Sale Now

The official 2008 Shriner’s Tournament polo is going on sale for the special price of $15, which includes shipping! The polos are unisex and come in XS, S, M , and L, and can be purchased by phone at (702)-589-4956. Check out what the tee looks like:


Mexico - Presidency - Margarita Zavala Visits Children Injured in ABC Nursery Fire at Shriners Hospital in Sacramento

Margarita Zavala, the Mexican President's wife and President of the National DIF, traveled to Sacramento. California yesterday to Shriners Hospital where she visited children injured in the ABC Nursery fire in Hermosillo, Sonora.

On her arrival, she was met by Minister Carlos Gonzalez, Mexican Consul General in Sacramento and Mrs. Holly Mann, Head of the Advisors to Maria Shriver, the wife of California Governor Arnold Schwarznegger, who accompanied her throughout her visit.

The President of the National DIF visited three children staying in the Intensive Care Unit and another six in the Treatment and Observation Area, where she spent time with them and their relatives.

She subsequently met up with the administrative and medical authorities of Shriners Hospital as well as representatives of the Michou and Mau Foundation to find about the progress in the children's recovery and the hospital's plans to collaborate with Mexico.

Shriners aided success story

Twenty-three years ago my great-grandson was born, and upon entering this world both legs were broken during delivery. He was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). The Shriners performed many operations in the ensuing years, and despite the fact that he has spent his life in a wheelchair he finished high school, attended college and last year got his bachelor’s degree. By working part time (computers) and with scholarships, he attained his dream for an education. Now he hopes to get a master’s degree.
He has a fantastic mind and will, no doubt, continue to do great things. Thank you, Shriners.

Bertha B. Booth
Spokane Valley

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

SCH gets visit from Mexico's First Lady

The first lady of Mexico Margarita Zavala de Calderon with Mexican pop singer Danna Paola. visited Sacramento Shriners Hospital for Children yesterday July14 to check on the nine children injured in a day care fire in Hermosillo, Mexico. The burn unit is treating.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

World Record for the most people wearing a Clown Nose

Yes July 27 is World Record Night and the Springfiels "Cardinals" baseball team and the Shriner Clowns are going for the record!
Everyone is invited to help set the record. Seats are $9 or $12. If you want to set in the Shriners block of tickets call (417) 832-3020.

I know Springfield, Mo. is in the Mid West. But I got this flyer and I thought the Idea was great and could be a challenge to other Shrine clown Units to work with their local sports clubs.
Bump a Nose!

Monday, July 13, 2009


The Shriners may wear funny-looking hats, but their purpose and mission is no laughing matter. For the second year in a row, truckers joined together in Galt, California on May 29-30 to raise money for a good cause - and to have a good time! And with over 100 cool trucks, a few awesome hot rods, perfect weather, a party-like atmosphere and plenty of food and drink, what more could you ask for?

Although this show has been around for a while, it is only the second year that it has been held at the Galt Flea Market, which is a great, fully-paved venue. And for the eighth year in a row, all of the proceeds from this show went to Shriners Hospitals for Children. It is kind of strange to see Shriners walking around a truck show wearing their weird-shaped hats with tassels, but it is kind of neat at the same time. At many of the charity events we attend, we often do not see anyone from the benefitting organization in attendance, but at this one, the Shriners were out there in full force, helping out where they could, educating the public and supporting the event.

Pick up a copy of the July 10-4 magazine, for the rest of this artical and pictures of trucks from Ca.,Nv.,Or.
You can go to www.tenfourmagazine.com to find out where 10-4 is sold.

Win the Trike

2009 ZZ4 Boss Hoss Trike Proceeds benefit Shriners Hospital
The link to winning this Bike www.Bosshoss.com/shriners is on is also on my links listed on the side of this blog.

Plan Now-Spokane

Volunteers needed for #Spokane #Shriners Booth at #Kids Day 8/8 at Riverfront Park. Lots of fun! Call 509.623.0424 for info.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Nick Thomas-Imperial Recorder

Shriners International Imperial Divan
Nick Thomas of Fontana, Calif., became the Imperial Recorder of Shriners International during the Shriners’ 2009 Imperial Council Session held in San Antonio, Texas, July 5-9. He served as Imperial Potentate (president and CEO of Shriners of North America) in 2006-2007.

Thomas was the owner of Thomas Furniture Mart for 20 years before retiring in 1992. He was a teacher for 10 years at Fontana High School, where he coached football, basketball and baseball. Thomas was a founding director of Secure Savings Bank and a six-year member of the San Bernardino County Assessment Appeals Board. Thomas also served as a 10-year member of the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He holds a master’s degree from Azusa Pacific College and a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Redlands.

Thomas was raised a Master Mason at Fontana Lodge #653 in 1964. He joined Al Malaikah Shriners, the Los Angeles chapter of Shriners International, in 1966 and served as Potentate in 1993. He was chairman for the Imperial Membership Committee from 2001-2006, and he also served as chairman for the Imperial Athletic Committee from 1996-2006.

Thomas is a member of the Royal Order of Jesters, Royal Order of Scotland, Red Cross of Constantine, National Sojourners and Order of Quetzalcoatl. He is a Past Master of Fontana Lodge, having served in the position in 1971, and is a 2000 Hiram Award winner. He is a member of the Scottish Rite and York Rite bodies and holds the honorary 33rd degree from the Scottish Rite. Thomas is Past Master Councilor of the Fontana Chapter of the Order of DeMolay, and he was awarded the Legion of Honor and Chevalier Degree from DeMolay.

Thomas is a member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Christian Church. He is a skier, golfer and an avid boater.

Cash squeeze forces Shriners hospitals to begin billing insurance carriers

By Cynthia Hubert chubert@sacbee.com Published: Friday, Jul. 10, 2009

The gleaming Shriners children's hospital on Stockton Boulevard in Sacramento stands as a powerful symbol of the fraternal group's history of offering free care to needy children around the globe.

Thousands of people, from young war victims to children with disabling orthopedic problems and spinal cord injuries, have undergone state-of-the-art treatment at Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California since it opened in 1997. Remarkably, no insurance forms were needed and no medical bills sent out.

But Shriners, famous for the tasseled red fezzes worn by members, has fallen on tough economic times, and change is coming to the group's network of 22 hospitals.

At a national meeting in San Antonio this week, the Shriners, in an effort to avoid financial collapse, considered closing six hospitals, among other dramatic changes.

On Thursday, the group decided that all facilities will remain open for the time being – but the hospitals will begin collecting insurance payments for the first time in the group's 87-year history.

Douglas Maxwell, newly elected president of Shriners Hospitals for Children, said in a prepared statement that the organization's leadership finished its meeting "with a renewed vision for our hospital system" that will involve collecting insurance reimbursement.

Shriners "will continue to provide world-class care for children" 18 and younger, as well as engage in important research and medical education, Maxwell said.

Money to operate the Shriners hospitals until now has come from the group's endowment fund, which is maintained through gifts, bequests and annual assessments paid by the 400,000 or so Shriners members. The fund, battered by the recession, has shrunk from $8 billion to $5 billion in the past year, former chief executive Ralph Semb told The Bee in April.

Shriners gets about $250 million a year in donations and can earn another $250 million from its diminished endowment, but this year's budget is $856 million, said Semb, who was succeeded this week by Maxwell.

Until now, to avoid cumbersome paperwork and bureaucratic interference, Shriners hospitals have not requested or accepted insurance. But investment losses, declining membership and a leveling off of donations prompted the group to reconsider that policy. In an effort to keep the system afloat, Shriners will allow its hospitals to bill the private or government insurance plans of patients who have coverage. Endowment money will continue to be used for patients who are without insurance.

It was unclear Thursday how soon the changes would take effect at Sacramento's hospital.

"We don't really know what the impact will be right now," said Catherine Curran, a spokeswoman for Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California. Curran declined further comment and said administrators were unavailable to discuss the issue.

A member of the hospital's board of governors, William "Doc" Greelman, said the changes are necessary given the Shriners financial picture. But he predicted the local facility will continue to thrive.

"We're not really structured for this sort of thing," Greelman said of the insurance issue. "We don't want to accept it. We have no choice. But we have a wonderful hospital. There's no way in heck anyone is going to play with Sacramento. We'll be fine."

The Sacramento facility, which opened in April 1997 and replaced a hospital in San Francisco, has 80 beds and cost $79 million to build. It is the flagship Shriners hospital, offering treatment in all three of the network's major medical focuses: orthopedic care, burns and spinal cord injuries. Shriners also repairs cleft palates in children.

It accepts about 300 new patients a month and has treated about 40,000 children since 1997, Curran said.

The only other Shriners hospital in California is in Los Angeles.

Greelman said the Sacramento facility maintains a high patient count and operates within its budget, which Shriners has said is about $60 million a year.

The hospital works closely with researchers and physicians at the University of California, Davis.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday's Vote at San Antiono

Shriners oust CEO, address funding

By Laura Elder, The Daily News Galvinston,Tx Published July 8, 2009

Caught between a hard financial reality and a desire to continue their traditional role, delegates at a national Shriners convention made an unprecedented decision Tuesday to accept third-party payment for treating children at the organization’s 22 hospitals, including its island burns hospital.

Meanwhile, delegates voted out controversial president and CEO Ralph Semb, who, citing a $3 billion dive in the organization’s national endowment, headed a drive to close six of those hospitals.

Never in its 87-year history has Shriners charged to treat a child at hospitals specializing in burns, spinal cord injury and orthopedics.

The only requirement is that patients be younger than 18 and treatable.

The philanthropic organization, however, would continue to accept all children at all its hospitals regardless of whether they had insurance or other ability to pay, Tommy Lambright, a delegate from Texas City, said.

The momentous decisions came a day after delegates voted to reverse a plan by the organization’s Tampa, Fla., headquarters to permanently close the 30-bed Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston, known worldwide for advances in treating badly burned children. Five other Shriners hospitals considered for closure also won reprieve. But while determined to keep the hospitals open, delegates say the operations face sharp budget cuts and fundamental changes.

Although Ike damaged the island hospital, it was a $3 billion shortfall in endowment funds caused by disarray in financial markets that threatened the hospitals, Semb and others had argued. Money for the island hospital’s $34 million operating budget comes from the endowment.

Just when the island hospital at 815 Market St., closed since Hurricane Ike, would reopen and how much money it would have was unknown, Lambright said.

The hospital also would have to receive accreditation and approval from the Texas Department of Health to reopen.

Some have questioned the logic of delegates trying to keep the hospitals open with serious budget shortfalls, Lambright said.

“The underlying message is that we’ve won a victory but could lose the war,” he said. “The reality is that we’re doing other things at this convention to address the budget shortfall and new sources of income.”

The island hospital, which once employed about 325 people, would have to reassemble a staff and teams of surgeons.

Delegates are expected to approve budget issues before the convention ends this week in San Antonio.

Meanwhile, Semb, who drew fire for his insistence that the island hospital would have to remain closed after Ike, lost his bid for a sixth term as president and CEO of Shriners hospital system to Doug Maxwell.

Semb did not return phone calls.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shriners delegates vote to reopen Galveston burn hospital

Vote on children's facility comes at national convention in San Antonio
for complete article see the 2009 Houston Chronicle July 6, 2009, 8:45PM

GALVESTON — Delegates at the national Shriners convention meeting in San Antonio voted Monday to reopen a world-renowned burn hospital for children in Galveston, closed since it was damaged by Hurricane Ike in September.

Convention delegates voted to keep open all of the 22 hospitals nationwide in the Shriners system and, in a separate decision, voted 756 to 482 to reopen the Shriners Hospital for Children-Galveston.

The leadership failed to convince delegates to close hospitals in Shreveport, La.; Spokane, Wash.; Greenville, S.C.; Erie, Pa.; and Springfield, Mass. Delegates will vote over the next two days on proposals to save the money-starved system without closing hospitals.

The vote followed months of lobbying by the 1,000-member El Mina Shrine, based in Galveston. Tommy Lambright, the Shriners Hospital for Children Galveston board member who led the lobbying effort, said every one of the 1,500 delegates to the convention was contacted by phone.

The Galveston hospital, known for its advances in burn treatment, was kept closed after the storm by the combined boards of the International Shriners and Shriners Hospitals for Children after the endowment for the hospital system shrank from $8 billion to $5 billion because of the economic downturn.

Repeated attempts for comment from the governing boards were unsuccessful. A spokeswoman for the 135th Imperial Council Session responded to an e-mail requesting comment by saying that a news conference was scheduled for Thursday.

The vote was welcomed by the hospital’s chief of staff, Dr. David Herndon, a celebrated burn surgeon.

“I’m immensely gratified,” said Herndon, who also is head of the University of Texas Medical Branch’s Blocker Burn unit, in a telephone interview from San Antonio.

“Very few hospitals can take care of the massive burns we can anywhere in the world,” Herndon said. “This is vitally important to our area.”

Herndon said the burn center is the only one in the Houston region and that the immediate care given burn victims has suffered without it, including the death of a burn victim from Mexico who had burns over 40 percent of his body.

The hospital offers free care to burn victims from Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and some parts of Colorado.

Gordon Pranger, 35, of Dickinson, was one of three burn victims treated at the Galveston burn center who traveled to San Antonio to lend moral support. “It means everything in the world that it’s still here,” said Pranger, who survived after being burned over 99 percent of his body 21 years ago.

Convention delegate Stuart Simms, a member of the Galveston hospital’s governing board from San Antonio, put forward the proposal to reopen the burn center. Simms said he did it “because in my judgment there was a need for medical care in regards to burned children, and this was the most efficient way to meet it.”
‘Positive medical impact’

Lambright said over the next two days the combined boards could introduce new measures to keep the hospital closed.

The hospital’s reopening is the second reversal in fortunes for the city of Galveston, which will eventually regain about 300 jobs that were lost when the hospital failed to reopen, Galveston Mayor Lyda Ann Thomas said.

Earlier this year the Texas Legislature forced the University of Texas Board of Regents to reverse a decision to drastically scale back operations at its Galveston Medical Branch.

Thomas fought hard to bring back UTMB and backed efforts to reopen the burn center because of the economic damage the closures inflicted on the city, still struggling to recover after Ike damaged 75 percent of its structures.

“Children have come from all over the world and many lives have been saved because of this facility,” Thomas said. “It’s a positive medical impact and a positive financial impact on the city.”

Lambright said it’s too early to know when the hospital will open its doors. All the building lacks is some sheetrock on the first floor, but the hospital must be reaccredited and many of its skilled employees have moved on to other jobs, he said.

The hospital opened in 1966 and has treated children from 43 states and 49 countries. It treats about 250 severely burned children each year and keeps treating them until they are 18. In 2007, the hospital admitted 1,575 patients, including 548 severe burn cases.


Early vote favors keeping Shriners Hospital open

08:31 PM PDT on Monday, July 6, 2009


SAN ANTONIO, TX. -- Board members gathering in Texas this week to decide whether to close six Shriners Hospitals across the U.S., including one in Spokane, cast an initial vote to keep the hospitals open Monday.

Spokane's Shriners Hospital will find out July 9 whether it will close.

A Spokane Shriners Hospital spokesperson tells KREM 2 News the vote is still preliminary, but expresses the board's support to keep all locations open.

The final vote is expected on Thursday. Officials say it is possible the vote could change between now and then.

Shriners Hospitals have also been given permission to pair up with other local hospitals for improved services.

Spokane Shriners Hospital officials say they are interested in teaming up with Sacred Heart Children's Hospital for collaboration on unspecified services and programs.

ISCA Clowns action in San Antonio

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Supporters rally to ‘Save Our Shriners’

July 2, 2009 The Spokesman-Review

Marie Firestone holds a sign at a Save Our Shriners rally outside the Shriners Hospital for Children in Spokane Thursday. Firestone once was a patient at the hospital. That sign said it all: “I can walk because of Shriners.”

Every Thursday for a year she and her mom would drive to the Shriners Hospital for Children where doctors would cut the casts from her little feet and legs, measure the progress in reversing a birth defect described as a cross between pigeon-toes and club-feet, and then affix new casts.

She later had to wear corrective shoes every hour of every day.

Firestone grew up in a poor family and still marvels at the free medical care given to 125,000 children each year at 22 Shriners hospitals stretched across the United States.

Now, at age 43, she hopes that her story and the thousands like it across the Inland Northwest will reach the men gathering in San Antonio next week to vote on a dramatic proposal to close six Shriners hospitals, including Spokane’s.

She was among dozens of former patients, politicians, local Shriners, and others gathered for a “Save Our Shriners” rally outside the hospital on South Monroe Street.

The economic meltdown has cost the national Shriners organization. Its endowment has fallen from $8.5 billion to $5 billion. Meanwhile, the cost of providing medical care continues to climb, further draining the endowment.

Making matters worse is the drop in new cash gifts that made the endowment possible in the first place.

Ralph Semb, chairman of the national Shriners board, has called the situation a crisis and has asked the board to carefully consider closingthe six hospitals.

Local Shriners have other ideas.

Von Chimienti, a member of the El Katif Shrine in Spokane, expects the vote will fail. Instead, he anticipates that Shriners will adopt other measures that include billing insurers and Medicaid for the first time, and meting out budget cuts of 6 to 7 percent across the hospital system beginning this year and perhaps even deeper next year if the financial outlook doesn’t improve.

Budget cuts worry the 170 hospital employees, who contend the facility already runs lean to meet the 8,500 patient visits each year, said Jay Smith, another local Shriner.

Semb and other national Shiners leaders contend the Spokane hospital doesn’t treat enough patients. They point to the hospital’s inpatient count of about six children – a 20 percent occupancy rate for the facility with 30 beds.

Closing the hospital would force children and their families to travel to Portland or Salt Lake City for care.

Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat, and Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers, a Republican, joined together during a Thursday press conference to highlight the successes of the local hospital and urge the organization to avoid closures.

Mike Prior said at a time when officials are making serious decisions about industry bailouts and health reforms, allowing charities such as Shriners to struggle and possibly close children’s hospitals is unthinkable.

His 14-year-old daughter Barbara had surgery this week for scoliosis that was growing so severe that it might have turned fatal.

“If I could trade places with her I would,” he said, waving a sign in support of keeping the hospital open, “but she’s going to be OK. She’s strong and so are the people here.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Letter from Bob-Cherokee Truck Show

As I sit here about to write thank you's to all who attended this year's show ,I can't help but think about all of the kids & families in Mexico who were affected by the fire over the weekend.
What little part we as a trucking family have now played in their lives by giving our proceeds and hearts to the Shriners Children's Hospital Of Northern Calif. None of us ever want to be where these families are at this point in our lives,but the hospital will take care of these kids as if they lived next door to you or me .
People have always asked me why the Shriners, now you all know why. I'm not one of the guys in the funny hats ,just a person who like to see kids happy & healthy . We all take for granted the health of our kids until something like this happens.That is why none of us need to ever walk with our heads hung low ,always walk with your head held high knowing that in some way we all as group may be helping these kids right now.
On behalf of myself ,my co-sponsors, A & L Truck Supply ,BrannonTire ,Yokohama Tire ,Cherokee Truck Parts ,Tony & Raymond at the gate to all of the volunteers who always are there to help make sure this show is CLASS ACT,the manufactures who always donate, the people who bid at the auction and the people who just plain like to see why so many trucks are in one place at one time ,thank you.AND DON'T FORGET
ABOUT THE FOOD!IT WAS AU SOME AGAIN! At a time like this nothing else need be said.
I think at this time you all should know that next year the show will be The Shriners Cool Truck Show. I know that a lot of you came to me during the show and said --Bob ,you put on a great show ! It wasn't me that did it,I'm just the guy that said let's have a party --you are the ones that made it fun! Thanks to the City of Galt ,Calif. for all their
help also.

El Zaribah Hospital Benefit Nov.14th.09

Check out what El Zaribah Shrine is planing for the later this year to benefit the SHriners Hospital for Children.
They are inviting the whole city to a gala evening.
Dinner and Live auctions, Silent auctions, A evening for the community to help the Shriners help the over 2000 Shriner Kids in Arizona
Doors open at 4:30 with Dinner at 5:30 with fun and frolic activities all night for a $20 donation
Tables are open for corporate sponsorships.
Check out their web site for more information. www.el-zaribah.org/night_of_the-Chhild/index.html

What are you doing July4th?

The Apple Valley Shrine Club are taking their little Red Trucks (yes-the same one's that were in Car & Driver)the Red White and Cruise at the AAA Auto Club Raceway in Fontana,Ca.

Several of the Shrine units will be in San Antonio for the Imperial Parade.
But many Shrine Clubs will be out in the local community- Let us know what is going on with your club.

Rhythm On The Vine – Shriners Helping Kids Defy The Odds

Tom Plant | June 30, 2009 | 6:01 pm

This past Saturday evening, music and the smells of barbeque filled the air at South Coast Winery. 1200 folks gathered for Rhythm on the Vine, a fund-raiser for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. Rhythm on the Vine was started last year and at least five concerts are on the agenda for this year. Last year’s efforts raised more than $515,000 for Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles. 100% of the proceeds go toward helping the Shriners provide health care at no charge to children up to age 18.

A silent auction featured some amazing pieces of sports memorabilia: signed baseball bats by Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez and others, a signed Muhammad Ali robe, signed Wayne Gretzky and Michael Jordan jerseys, a signed Jerry Rice helmet and more. I wound up with the winning bid on an autographed Ken Norton boxing glove.

Food and South Coast’s award winning wines were plentiful. Music was blissful, with Sax For Stax featuring Kirk Whalum and Gerald Albright opening for Jeffreymjordan jersey Osborne. Kirk and Gerald played tribute to Michael Jackson by performing Albright’s composition Never Can Say Goodbye.

While the stage was being set for Jeffrey Osborne, South Coast owner Jim Carter offered a couple of incredible packages from the Winery and Spa to raise more money during the live auction. There were some notables in the crowd including ventriloquist Ronn Lucas and Leave It To Beaver’s Jerry Mathers.

Aside from helping raise money for the Shriners, the crowd was there to hear Jeffrey Osborne. Let me tell you, he delivered. After a sweltering day, the evening breezes were refreshing and the music was incredible. Next up for Rhythm on the Vine at South Coast Winery is Kenny G, September 12. Tickets will undoubtedly go quickly.

For pictures and more of this story go to, wineormous.com/rhythm-on-the-vine-shriners-helping-kids-defy-the-odds/