P;umas County News-for complete story go to- http://www.plumasnews.com/news_story.edi
Alicia Knadler Indian Valley Editor 8/11/2009
Ben Ali Shrine members from Plumas and Lassen counties converged in Susanville last month for the state visit of Potentate Chuck Brooks and his contingent of officers, or Divan as they are known, from their headquarters in Sacramento.
Members were especially pleased to welcome little Kayla of Janesville, who was a patient at the Shriners Hospital for Children.
Shriners hospitals around the country are supported by the efforts of such club members, who ceaselessly organize fundraisers that combine family and fraternal fun with philanthropy.
Children have traditionally received free care for orthopedic needs and burns from these hospitals, and several local children like Kayla have benefited.
The Shriners Hospital for children in Sacramento is where children may receive expert care for orthopedics and burns.
There is never a charge to the patient or parents for any medical care or services provided at a Shriners hospital. Any child under the age of 18 may be treated at a Shriners hospital if there is a reasonable possibility the child's condition can be helped.
In an emergency situation, the treating physician can call the hospital chief of staff to arrange emergency medical care for a burned child. The number for the hospital in Sacramento is (916) 453-2111.
In 1997, a new Shriners hospital opened in Sacramento, where children may receive burn treatments in addition to orthopedic and spinal-cord injury care.
The doctors and staff at Shriners hospitals are considered pioneers in burn treatment, and many of the advances in burn care have been the result of their work.
In addition to offering a wide range of specialized medical and rehabilitation services, Shriners hospitals use a family-centered treatment approach that provides multiple benefits for the patients. The philosophy stresses that while medicine might heal the child's body, tending to the child's sense of well-being is equally important to his or her recovery.
The 2009 Potentate Chuck Brooks talked to Lassen and Plumas members about the economic challenges faced by the hospitals. With expenses rising and fundraiser revenues diminishing in a tough economy, the hospitals are losing about $1 million a day.
The losses are being paid for from the endowment principal, Brooks explained, which means even less revenue from interest during years to come.
We voted with out hearts and not our heads to keep them all 22 Units open, Brooks said.
There is a lot of work to do in fundraising and membership recruitment. Hence his motto, Pulling for the Shrine in 2009. Brooks also encouraged the formation of more Masonic youth clubs that offer opportunities in community service and leadership development.
There are several fraternal and family-style activities and fundraisers on the Ben Ali and local Shrine clubs calendars.
Members of the Ben Ali Shrine and Scottish Rite will host their annual family picnic Sunday, Aug. 23, from 10 a.m.to 3 p.m. The fun, food and games will be served to families and friends at the Ben Ali Picnic Area at 3262 Marysville Blvd. in Sacramento.
The annual Shriners Day at the Circus will be Sunday, Aug. 30, in Sacramento, and discount tickets will be available through Saturday, Aug. 15.
The 2009 Golf Ball Drop fundraiser will be Friday, Sept. 11, at the Tuscan Ridge Golf Club in Paradise. Up to 3,000 numbered golf balls will be dropped over a designated cup and flag on the driving range, and 10 cash prizes will be awarded, based on the gross sales of balls. Deadline to buy balls is Tuesday, Sept. 1.
The Nevada City Constitution Day Parade will be Sunday, Sept. 13, and the Command Parade Directive includes participation from a number of Shrine clubs, including the Keystone Cops, Ben Ali Clowns, Classic Autos, Pipes and Drums, the Million Dollar Band, the Cameleers and many other units.
Members of the Nevada Lodge No. 13 will serve a pre-parade meal, and parade assembly will be at the top of the hill on East Broad Street at 1 p.m., one hour before the start.
Information for Ben Ali activities and the opportunity to buy balls is available online at ben-ali-shriners.org or by phone to (916) 920-4107.