140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Clinic allows Shriners to help children, familie

The Fresno Tehran Shriners held a free clinic Saturday at Sierra View District Hospital. The clinic, which ran from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., was held to evaluate and sign-up eligible children for treatment at the Shriners Hospital in Sacramento.

“We support 22 hospitals throughout the united states, Canada and Mexico, which admit children free of charge, for any child under 18 years old, for certain orthopedic, bones, multiple sclerosis, and other cosmetic surgery,” said Thomas Crosno, recorder for the Fresno Shriners Tehran Temple.  “Any child that we feel we can help under 18 years old, regardless of income, the Shriners will help that child.”

One such child, Ginelle Hernandez, age 3, was at the clinic with her mother, Sandra Andrade.  Andrade spoke of her difficulties with finding treatment for her daughter, who suffers from crooked knees.  “I brought her here because I took her to the clinic, and they weren’t able to help me the way the Shriners have,” Andrade said. “I’ve been waiting for four months and I still can’t get my referral. So to me it’s very helpful.”

A total of 15 children and their parents showed up to Saturday’s clinic, 12 of whom arrived before noon. All of the children who were evaluated were approved for treatment at the hospital. Refreshments, including coffee, juice, and cookies, were provided for the parents and children while they waited, and Beep the Clown, of the Shriners clown unit, kept the kids all smiling with balloon animals and stickers.

“We had a good turnout today,” he said, his smile matching the one painted on his face. “We come to this clinic in Porterville every year. We’ve made some balloons for the kids and took their pictures and gave out stickers and just had a good time.”

Crosno said that he hopes that more parents will turn out for next year’s clinic. On getting parents to come forward, he said “Yes, that’s the biggest problem we have, having people come forward and let us know they have a problem. It’s not charity, it’s what the Shriners do, and it’s what we want to do.”
Saturday’s event was the last free Shriners clinic of the year. There will be roughly six or seven more next year, including another clinic in Porterville. For more information about the Shriners clinics and hospitals,call the Tehran Temple in Fresno at 559-251-1991.

“They can do wonderful things. I’m glad they do this for the community, and it’s wonderful the Shriners can help us,” Andrade said, watching her daughter play with the balloon animal she’d been given. “I’m thankful for them.”

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