140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lance Burton’s Aug. 22 benefit assists Shriners Hospitals for Children

By Lance Burton, guest columnist

The Shriners has been my favorite charity for as long as I can remember because of the work they do. Once again, I’m calling upon my magician friends to put on a benefit show in my theater at the Monte Carlo. It will take place at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 22, and feature some of the most talented people in Las Vegas.

I’m mostly impressed with the Shriners Hospitals for Children scattered throughout the United States, and there is one each in Mexico and Canada. The Shriners members volunteer their time and get doctors and nurses to volunteer their services to give medical services for children. It’s a crusade of sorts because there are more children needing services than there are providers.

This is why I try and make it an annual event. I also call upon my entertainer friends to perform at the annual Christmas party at the Zelzah Shrine Temple. Bob Hope and Bing Crosby began that tradition in the late 1940s during The Golden Age of The Shriners.

The Shriners have to undergo joining two other organizations before they can become members. First of all, they must be Masons, and that involves some work and dedication. The next step is to join the Scottish Rites or York Rites.

The nearest Shriners hospital to Las Vegas is in Los Angeles. The Shriners from Las Vegas drive the vans with children in need of treatment. The main office is run out of the Zelzah Shrine Temple.

There are about 900 clients under the auspices of the Zelzah Shrine Temple and 300 more on the waiting list. I’ve helped to purchase the vans used to take the children to the hospitals. Zelzah is a very active temple, and I recently had lunch at one of their fundraisers where they had a crafts fair.

The other hospitals in the West are in San Diego, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. Many of the physicians are surgeons who are tops in their field. The work that they do will radically change the life of a child.

I recently learned of an inspiring story of a 10-year-old girl who doctors said would never walk again after being hit by a car. With the help and dedication of The Shriners Hospital in Chicago, she overcame her spinal cord injury. The young dancer who was ejected from her family’s minivan is now walking again.

Getting the word out is equally important to me so people will know that this is a true charity. Shriners International supports 22 hospitals and has 350,000 members in their fraternity. There are 191 temples (chapters) in the United States, Mexico, Canada and Panama.

Children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lips and palates are eligible. Neither they nor their families are under any financial obligations for medical services. The Shriners are dedicated to improving their lives through pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs.

The Shriners have accepted cases from overseas countries such as Poland. I’m aware of one boy who through a benefactor was brought to Shriners. The doctors made a toe into a thumb so that the boy could have a working hand.

I will continue to do my share in aiding The Shriners. I need your help by coming to our show Aug. 22 by buying a ticket at $25, $30 or $35. Call (702) 382-5554 or stop by the Zelzah Shrine Temple during business hours. It’s a great cause!

Lance departs the Monte Carlo on Labor Day weekend after a 15-year headlining run.

For more information & Pictures go to http://www.vegasdeluxe.com/blogs/luxe-life/2010/jul/15/lance-burtons-aug-22-benefit-assists-shriners-hosp/

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