140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Shrine East-West Game on the move

The headquarters for Shriners International is in Tampa. There's also a Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa.So it just makes sense to have the annual East-West Shrine Game, which benefits the Shriners, in the Tampa Bay area, too.
That was the thinking behind moving college football's longest-running all-star matchup from Orlando to St. Petersburg, said Harold Richardson, the game's executive director.
"This is where our home is," he said today.
The game will be held Jan. 21 at Tropicana Field and will be televised live by the NFL Network. There also will be a game the following year under the two-year contract.
As part of the event, players and coaches will visit Shriners Hospitals for Children in Tampa to spend time with patients.
"Our intent is to have this game here forever," Richardson said.
The annual game, which originated in 1925, is a chance for scouts and coaches to run their eyes over top prospects. Since its inception, 62 East-West Shrine alumni have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and there currently are 246 players on NFL rosters.
The game is moving from the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, which can accommodate 60,000 to 70,000 fans, to a configuration at Tropicana Field that can accommodate only 27,000 fans.
However, Richardson said a crowd of 20,000 to 25,000 would be more than acceptable, given the plethora of games fans can watch.
Although Richardson had been contemplating the move, it was Ron Helinger, a member of the St. Petersburg Sports Alliance, who contacted the Shriners about having the game in St. Petersburg.
Mayor Bill Foster formed the alliance to bring sporting events to the city after the Tampa Bay Rays announced they no longer would use Al Lang Stadium for spring training games. The alliance also has brought international baseball and the professional soccer team FC Tampa Bay to St. Petersburg.
The East-West Shrine Game also fits the mission of Sunburst Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of the Rays that seeks ways to use the Trop when the baseball team isn't playing. The Shriners' two-year contract is with Sunburst Entertainment.
At today's announcement at the Trop, Foster told the bevy of Shriners, "Know this city embraces you and loves you for the work that you do."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

San Joaquin Valley Shriners

Shriners screening for kids
The San Joaquin Valley Shriners will hold a free Shriner's Hospital Screening Clinic for children up to age 18 who have orthopedic conditions, burns (active, or severe scarring from burns), spinal cord injuries, cleft lip or cleft palate. Acceptance is based solely on a child's medical needs, and care is provided free to patients. It will be on May 7 from 9:30 a.m. to noon at Mercy Hospital Family Care Center, 315 E. 13th St. Bring child's birth certificate or affidavit as to date of birth and immunization record.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Open Door - Public Tours

Take a tour with Utah's not-so-secret Free Masons

SALT LAKE CITY— I am walking around inside the Masonic Temple in downtown Salt Lake City and no, I did not sneak in.
I rang the doorbell and they let me in. No secret handshake, no password required, other than "I'm here for the tour."
For a little over a year now, the ornate 85-year-old temple — located appropriately on South Temple Street — has been conducting guided public tours every Tuesday and Thursday at noon and 2 p.m. The tours are free and you can bring your camera and any question you can think of.
The tour guide is James Wilson, a 32-year-old University of Utah graduate in art history and a master Mason. It was Wilson's idea to start the tours, which he does voluntarily, making him a true free Mason.
"I love history and I love masonry and how else is somebody who majored in art history going to put it to use?" the unassuming Wilson shrugs as we start the tour.
It's just him and me. It's been raining off and on all morning and that's kept the crowd down. Besides, the Masons haven't exactly put up billboards advertising the tours. Mostly it's word of mouth. Sometimes nobody shows up.
But Wilson is excited because slowly but surely the general public is making its way to and through the temple, where he has a chance to spew facts and correct misperceptions.
"I get to dispel myths — like we don't worship Satan," he says. "We're a fraternity with a cool clubhouse."
The open door policy isn't new — James explains that the doors to the temple have always been open to non-Masons — but the outreach is new, reflecting a gregariousness that old-school Masons would not recognize and probably not be too crazy about.
There are three requirements to become a Mason: 1) You need to be a male over 18; 2) You need to believe in a Supreme Being; and 3) On your own you need to ask to be considered for membership. Masons do not recruit, period.
But after decades of declining membership, James explains that instead of being totally stoic about it, Masons are now starting to mention to non-Masons that while they can't ask them to join they would like them to know that if they're interested, it's OK if THEY ask.
It's bearing fruit. Utah has seen 165 new Masons initiated over the last year, out of a total Masonic population of about 2,000 in some 34 lodges across the state — representing the first net increase in Utah Masonry in more than 30 years.
James passes on such tidbits as he moves past the temple's entry gate and unlocks the doors to the temple's four lodge rooms and the 900-seat auditorium, where 97 different backdrops can be lowered onto the stage for different ceremonies. (That's where the costumes, handshakes and passwords come in, don't ask).
For the rest of the story go to the Desert News paper.  Thank you Mr. Benson for the Story

Gizeh Shriners Segway

Shriners give gift of mobility

Riley McLean hasn’t stopped smiling since he got his Segway.
“It’s so much fun. People are coming up to me and asking me about it. They all think it’s cool. Now I’ll be able to go on hikes with Scouts and I won’t get so tired all the time walking wherever I want to go. I say thank you so much to the Shriners for getting it for me,” said the 11-year-old Grade 5 Beairsto School student.
He has arthrogyropsis, a congenital condition which does not allow him to bend his knees and elbows and causes him to have  brittle bones.
The Segway Personal Transporter is an electric battery-powered, two-wheeled vehicle which was developed as a green alternative to cars. The user stands on it which suits Riley fine since he can’t sit down.
Anne Ross, occupational therapist for the Vernon School District, did the research and determined that the Segway would be the best mobility device for Riley, who finds it difficult to walk. Purchasing the Segway was turned down for provincial government funding because it is not a traditional mobility aid.
“I was lucky enough to meet the Shriners and that they provided the Segway. This will save Riley’s joints from the impact of walking, his knees would get very sore, and allow him to keep up with his peers. He’s very happy with it,” she said.
Riley was able to try out a Segway at the Spinal Cord Research Unit at Vancouver General Hospital last summer to make sure it was suitable for his needs.
Riley’s classmates are also pleased to see their friend get the Segway.
“It’s great how the Shriners help him so he can have a nicer life,” said Mason Christensen.
There will be a presentation about Riley and his Segway for all of the students in the school so they can learn how to help him use it safely in school and on the grounds and to join in activities. He will be using the Segway to get to and from school.
“All of the students and the teachers are happy to see him have it. Everyone wants to try it but we can’t allow that. We want the students to understand that this is a needful tool, not a toy,” said principal Wendy Varley.
Riley’s father Keith McLean tells what life has been like for his son up until now.
“This is one more step for Riley, doors open for him, miracles are standard in his life,” he said. “Riley came to us (mother Odette) when he was 20-months-old as a foster child. We didn’t know if he would ever walk or talk. But he has learned to walk in his way and talks well and is very bright. He has been in Beairsto since kindergarten and has lots of friends and swims and skateboards, which was difficult to learn since he has only his hips to move to balance and  control the board.”
For his parents, there is one miracle which they will never forget.
“As foster parents, we didn’t have the right to adopt but two weeks before we wanted to apply there was a court ruling that said it was unconstitutional to disallow foster parents to adopt. We were able to adopt him. He is an important part of our family. He’s a treat,” said Keith.
Riley has four older brothers and a sister, all adults and a large extended family with lots of cousins. His sister, a kinesiologist and coach, developed an individualized work-out program for him.
“What keeps him going is his drive. He really wants to do things and he fights for every little thing. He asked me about six months ago, ‘Dad, what does it mean to be handicapped?’ I said, ‘I think it’s something that happens to other people.’ We never focus on what he can’t do but what he can do,” said Keith.
“He’s a typical boy. Every day he gets up and makes the most of every single moment.”
The Segway cost $8,000, much less than a wheelchair and specialized van would cost, and has lower maintenance costs. The Segway can be easily transported in the family car.
The Shriners of B.C. and Yukon Vernon Shrine Club #7 provided the entire cost of the Segway. There has now been an application made to see if Riley can have further treatment at one of the Shriners children’s hospitals in the U.S.
“We saw that Riley had a real need for this equipment and we wanted to help him in every way we could,” said Jake Terpstra, with the Vernon Shrine Club.
He was the driver for four years of the Care Cruiser, the specialized Shriners bus that takes children and their families to medical treatment in Vancouver.
“You feel pretty good about being able to provide a service like that. And we feel good about helping Riley. He got that Segway and he was gone. He was one happy youngster. We’re glad we were able to provide him with this mobility.”

Friday, April 22, 2011

More Stories on Megan- Read the Federal Way Mirror

Federal Way resident Megan Johnson was named the 2011 winner of the Washington State Jefferson Award. She is shown with a copy of her book
Federal Way resident Megan Johnson was named the 2011 winner of the Washington State Jefferson Award. She is shown with a copy of her book 'Growing up Different,' which has sold nearly 10,000 copies and earned Johnson a letter from first lady Michelle Obama.

Megan Johnson: Inside the mind of Federal Way's mega-volunteer | The Mirror Interview

By ANDY HOBBS   Federal Way Mirror Editor

Federal Way resident and mega-volunteer Megan Johnson was recently named the winner of the Washington State Jefferson Award.
The award is like a “Nobel Prize” for public service. Johnson will represent the state in Washington, D.C., for the national Jefferson Award in June.
Johnson is no stranger to public service, having donated thousands of dollars to charities through multiple endeavors. It all began at age 10, when she started Megan’s Mission to provide homeless people with blankets, clothing, food and more.
Johnson has also authored and illustrated three children’s books. One of those books, “Growing up Different,” has sold nearly 10,000 copies and earned Johnson a letter from first lady Michelle Obama. Furthermore, she regularly speaks to children in local elementary schools and travels the country as a spokeswoman for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Johnson sat down with The Mirror last week to talk about her outlook on life — and what she would do with three wishes.
What drives you? What gets you to put your shoes on every morning and go do what you do?
I’ve always had compassion while helping others in need, especially the homeless because now in the economy, there are more people who end up living the street because they lost their job or something. If I see a need, it just drives me like, “oh I really need to do something.” I mean somebody’s got to do something.
Is there a particular highlight or moment for you that you’re most proud of?
One thing that keeps me going is, whenever I give out blankets or a pair of socks or just a hug, for example. Just seeing how thrilled their smiles are — how their frowns turn upside down and turn into a smile. Just seeing the outcome. The way they react too — as if you had given them a million bucks — over a pair of socks, for example. It’s just wonderful to see how really appreciative they are just to receive something. Just to let them know they’re listened to. They want to be listened to because people tend to ignore them and don’t want anything to do with them. They just love the fact that there’s somebody out there that just cares about them. That’s what keeps me going. That’s one of my highlights, just to see the outcome and reward, seeing the people’s reaction. Some will even cry. They just cry joy and even hug you and just say “thank you.”
Do you feel like the people you help are ignored?
One of the reasons they are ignored is that in society, people see the homeless as lazy, bums, drug addicts, mental illness. They just don’t want anything to do with them. They look at them as dirt, inferior. They don’t want to have any involvement with it. It’s just sad.
Who are your role models? Who do you look up to?
I have a couple. One of them is my parents of course. They brought me up with a really good family. They’ve given me confidence and courage. They show me love, especially. One of my big role models — have you ever heard of the Shriners, with the red hats? Of course, my dad’s a Shriner now. I look up to Shriners. They’re my big role models because I go to Shriners hospital, where they give medical care at no cost regardless of how you can pay. They do wonderful, great work. They help others and they do philanthropy work as well. They help those less fortunate, helping kids receive medical care at no cost to their families. I see them as just being my heroes for what they have done for me. I just had my 28th surgery, so I’m all swollen.
At Shriners, you had your 28th surgery?
Yeah, I’m almost done. I have probably one or two left. And I think my other role models are those — anybody like (Federal Way resident and FUSION founder) Peggy LaPorte, who was one of the Jefferson Award winners, or Jim Theofelis (Mockingbird Society founder). They’re also making a difference as well, helping the community and making the world a better place. Anybody that’s trying to make a difference is my role model.
If you had a magic wand that could fix one thing, what would you fix?
Well I’ve always had three wishes. Probably a big one: I wish that there’d be no such thing as homelessness. Anything I guess that could be unfortunate, like a disease, like AIDS — I’d try to find a cure for that and anything that could cause something unfortunate. I wish there was no homelessness.
Did you start to say you had three wishes?
Yes, I have three wishes! One is that there would be no such thing as homeless or world hunger or anything like that. Another wish was, I was born with — I have several medical conditions, but one is, I wish I had 20/20 vision. I have one eye that’s legally blind. I can see you, but not with details. I can’t see your eyes or pupils. I can just see your image, your jacket color ...
And my large noggin?
(laughing) No, you don’t have a large noggin! I’m hoping someday for stem-cell research that they’ll find a cure, a way — I was born with really small optic nerves, that’s the issue. I was thinking the other day, what was my third wish? I can’t think of my third wish!
Let’s think of one right now. What comes to mind?
I don’t know. I’ve always wanted to grow taller. I was always the shortest kid in class! (laughs) I really wish I was good in math. Math has always been my weakest subject.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Well, I’m going to Highline Community College right now and hope to transfer to Wazzu (Washington State University) — yeah Cougars! I’ve always wanted to do something in the medical field, probably because of growing up in hospitals most of my life. I’ve always wanted to become a nurse. I love helping others, especially children that have disabilities or some kind of medical condition because I know what it’s like being different. Even though I am going to become a nurse, I’ll always do Megan’s Mission, no matter what. I plan on doing it for the rest of my life, as long as I can, and even pass it down to my children. I’d love to become a pediatric nurse. I’m also getting my degree in human services like social working. I also want to help those who maybe are depressed or something. I’m almost done with my nursing prerequisites. I’ll graduate with my pre-nursing next summer.
How old are you again?
I just turned 20. I’m going through a mid-life crisis here because of just the word twenty — I’m not a teen anymore. (laughs)
Aside from most people in their teenage years, it’s a challenge to get adults to do the things you’re doing.
It’s never too late to volunteer. Anybody can volunteer, even if they’re old or young or middle aged. Volunteering is a great thing to do. It gives you a rewarding and warm feeling that you accomplished something by helping someone or just making the world a better place. A lot of people have potential to volunteer. They want to volunteer, but they don’t know how to start.
What would you recommend to someone who wants to volunteer, but doesn’t know where to start?
I got to meet (former U.S. Secretary of State) Condoleeza Rice last year, and she gave a wonderful speech about volunteerism. She said a good way to start volunteering is to think of something you’re compassionate about. ... You can use your talents, something you’re compassionate about — you can use those in a way that makes the world a better place. If anybody wants to volunteer and help pass out blankets with me, they’re welcome. We do it every year around Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Tell me about how it feels being named the state’s Jefferson Award winner.
I was completely shocked. ... It’s something I never would have expected. Even from the beginning when I started Megan’s Mission when I was 10, I never expected to get all this attention, all these awards. I never knew it would be known all over the country. It’s just something that I love doing, something I care for. I was really really surprised when I found out I get to go to nationals in D.C. It was quite a tough competition as you can see. Here I am, just a little kid here.
Does the attention bother you?
No, I like attention, but I never expected all this attention. I get to meet all kinds of people. I like people. •

Federal Way Mirror Editor Andy Hobbs can be reached at editor@fedwaymirror.com or 253-925-5565 ext. 5050.

Vale HS Student Queen of Oregon Shrine East West Game

Local student crowned East Queen of Shriner’s East-West football game

During a School assembly at Vale High School,  Felicia Nelson, a Vale High School student,  was crowned as East Queen of the 2011 Shrine East-West Football Game, to delight of the Vale High School student body. The annual game, for the benefit of the Shriners Hospital for Children,  will be played for the 59th  time at Baker City, July 31.

The game will feature 24 exceptional high school players, each from eastern and western Oregon. The players have been selected from the nearly 140 high schools classified as size A1 to A4, and will be playing their final high school game as All-State players.

Young women who are selected as queens of this football game are selected from a very special group from these same high schools.  Qualifications for queens mean that, each queen must have been a patient at a Shriners Hospital for Children. Contestants are recommended and sponsored by a Shrine Club within Oregon and are selected at the same time as the All-Star football players themselves.

This year’s queen, Felicia Nelson, was born with a degenerative spinal condition that had her growing hunched over,  she faced extreme pain as well mental abuse at school. She underwent a surgical procedure a couple years ago,  when it was determined that growth was slowing, and she instantly grew four inches in height and became a beautiful young lady.

Nelson,  who was a patient at the Portland Shriners Hospital,  will have numerous duties as qqueen.  She will appear in parades throughout the Treasure Valley and eastern Oregon, and will be honored
and hosted at clubs and civic groups.

Nelson will meet with the football players and join them when they visit the Portland hospital. During game week in Baker City,
Nelson will have dinners and receptions in her honor, will view football players and her own special display in the windows of the merchants of Baker City.
Nelson will be prominent in the Shrine Parade on game day, the largest Shrine parade in the Northwest, and she will be introduced to the fans at the game and to the television audience of the live broadcast of the Shrine football game.

The Shrine hospitals are achieving miracles every day, the 22 North American hospitals operate on a $2.6 million daily cost, which adds up to almost a billion dollars a year,  all provided by the North American Shriners.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Like all Clowns - Megam keps on Giving

Megan Johnson to Represent Her State at National Jefferson Awards

Megan Johnson Photo by Tom TrindiPatient Ambassador Megan Johnson will represent the state of Washington at the national Jefferson Awards ceremony in Washington, DC. Megan was one of five local winners of the prestigious award for volunteerism and community service.
An online vote decided which of the five would represent the state at the national ceremony and the winner was announced at a breakfast at the CityClub in Seattle, on April 13.
The awards were co-founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, U.S. Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard to recognize, inspire and activate volunteerism and public service in communities, workplaces and schools across America.
Megan, who just turned 20, is a one-woman powerhouse who put aside her own challenges and started her own charity — at the age of 10 — called Megan’s Mission which continues to provide and personally deliver hats, scarves and gloves to the homeless of Seattle. She has authored, illustrated and published three children’s books to benefit charity; speaks to school groups to help children understand differences in people to help stop bullying; and is a tireless fundraiser (and cheerleader) for Shriners Hospitals for Children®. Megan also provides financial contributions to several local charities focusing on the homeless and at-risk children.
Megan has grown her mission to include a unique partnership with the Monroe Correction Complex in Monroe, Wash., called Giving Back, where inmates have made hundreds of hats that are distributed to the homeless and other in need.
Megan has been a patient of Shriners Hospitals for Children since she was five years old, where she has undergone treatment for bilateral cleft lip and palate, a condition where the tissues of the mouth and lip form improperly, causing serious cosmetic issues as well as problems with hearing, eating, breathing and speaking. Additionally, she has hemifacial dysplasia which is a condition where the bones in her face grow at different rates. In March 2011, Megan underwent her 28th surgery at the Shriners Hospitals for Children in Portland, Ore.
Megan is a nursing student at Highline Community College in Seattle.
We are very proud of Megan, her remarkable accomplishments and dedication to her community and to Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Northern California Shriners Hospital for Children

Giants' World Series trophy raises spirits at Shriners hospital in Sacramento
By Cathy Locke  clocke@sacbee.com
Published: Thursday, Apr. 21, 2011
A symbol of athletic triumph brought hope and encouragement Wednesday to children who are striving to overcome physical challenges.
For two hours, the San Francisco Giants' 2010 World Series trophy occupied a place of honor in the foyer of the Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California in Sacramento.
Patients and their families, along with hospital staff and volunteers, lined up to have their photos taken with the emblem of a hard-fought victory.
For the children the hospital serves, the event was part of the healing therapy, staff members said. The hospital provides specialized pediatric care to children with orthopedic conditions, spinal-cord injuries, burns and scars.
"It's important these children know that they can accomplish things beyond their imagination," said Kathy Rosario, a nurse in the hospital's inpatient unit.
For 17-year-old John "Luigi" Sellem of Antioch, the opportunity to have his photo taken with the World Series trophy was the highlight of his 10-month hospital stay.
Sellem was severely burned in a vehicle accident last Father's Day. He is to be released in 10 days but will return for additional surgery.
A Giants fan, Sellem was in intensive care and sedated during the World Series, but his father, John Sellem, talked to the unconscious boy about the games.
"I'd relay to him what happened here and what happened there. After he was out of critical condition, I relayed everything. It was part of the healing process," John Sellem said.
"It was exciting," Luigi Sellem said after viewing the trophy. "Like, just wow! It's an amazing trophy, it's so nice."
Staci Slaughter, the Giants senior vice president for communications, said the team has a long-standing relationship with Shriners hospitals, dating from the years when the college football East-West Shrine Game was played at the Giants' ball park.
Slaughter noted that Sacramento was the trophy's first stop outside San Francisco in January, when it was exhibited at the state Capitol and City Hall. Since then, the trophy has traveled about 20,000 miles and visited about 50 communities.
The visit to the Shriners hospital is one of the last stops before the trophy goes on the road to New York. It will be displayed next month at the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., and in Troy, N.Y., the town where the team was founded, before returning for permanent exhibit at AT&T Park.
Luigi Sellem also is looking beyond his recuperation. He has a another year of high school, but after that, he said, "I'm thinking about going to college and becoming a registered nurse."
He said he would like to return to the Shriners hospital one day as a member of the medical staff.

Giants Fever At Shriners Hospital - Video - KCRA Sacramento

Giants Fever At Shriners Hospital - Video - KCRA Sacramento

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sweet Onions & Shriners

Shriners accepting onion orders

The Zelzah Shriners are once again bringing in field-fresh Vidalia onions from Georgia. Orders are being accepted at the Zelzah Shrine Center, 2222 W. Mesquite Ave. (near Rancho Drive), Las Vegas,Nv., between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays. The onions are due to arrive April 29. ...

There are other Shrine Centers that are selling the Vidalia onions but I don't have a list, but check with your local shriners.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Loss of a great Mason

World's oldest man dead at 11

GREAT FALLS, Mont., April 15 (UPI) -- Walter Breuning, the oldest man in the world, died Thursday at 114, in Great Falls, Mont., the retirement community where he had lived since 1980 said.
Breuning was the second-oldest person, the Gerontology Research Center of Los Angeles said. Besse Cooper of Georgia is 26 days older.
Stacia Kirby, a spokeswoman for Rainbow Senior Living, told the Great Falls Tribune Breuning died of natural causes. He had no near relatives since he never remarried after his wife's death in 1957 and they had no children.
Breuning, who started working for the Great Northern Railroad at 16 and retired at 99 as a secretary and manager for the Shriners, attributed his longevity to staying active.
After a childhood in a South Dakota farmhouse with no running water or electricity, Breuning lied about his age to get his first job and remained with the Great Northern for 50 years, meeting his wife there.
Tina Bundtrock, the Rainbow's director, said Breuning in his later years took no medications except aspirin and saw doctors only twice a year for checkups.
Breuning did not want a funeral, Rainbow officials said. He asked that anyone who wanted to honor him make contributions to the Shriners Children's Travel Fund and the Scottish Rite Language Disorder Center.
© 2011 United Press International, Inc.

Read more: http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/04/15/Worlds-oldest-man-dead-at-114/UPI-29291302842560/#ixzz1JiZqIKtT

Shriners accepting onion orders - Entertainment / Neon - ReviewJournal.com

Shriners accepting onion orders - Entertainment / Neon - ReviewJournal.com

Fun and Friendly 'Hillbilly Days' Helps Sick Children

Fun and Friendly 'Hillbilly Days' Helps Sick Children

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Early Detection

Shriners hosts screening clinic for local children
Christine Stopka’s son Luke is a happy, active, toddler, and like most children who are about to turn 2,  he doesn’t sit still for long.

But as a mother, Stopka does have some concerns. Shriners Tony Archuletta and Ron Crawford hand out balloons and information to Christine Stopka and her children Luke, 2, and Sonia, 4,

Carie Canterbury/Daily Record

Early Detection

She brought Luke in to the Al Kaly Shriners free screening clinic on Saturday to see if he is eligible to have a Shriner doctor take a look at Luke’s feet that turn in.

Stopka has taken her son to a pediatrician and an orthopedist, but  thought it would be a good idea to get another  opinion.

“So, I waited a few months, and I thought it looked like it was getting worse because every time he would run, it seemed like the foot would go in and he was  tripping,” she said.

Stopka heard about the clinic through Rocky Mountain Children’s Discovery Preschool and brought Luke in on Saturday.

Shriner Tony Archuletta, hospital representative for Fremont County, filled out the necessary paperwork and required information that will be sent to a Shriners Telemedicine Clinic. 

“Sometimes they’ll diagnose the child through a telemedicine in Colorado Springs or Alamosa in conjunction with the Salt Lake hospital,” he said. “Then, the doctors in Salt Lake actually are viewing the child and diagnosing the child through the telemedicine - the filming and the camera.”

Stopka is fairly familiar with what the Shriners offer.

“They’re amazing because I remember my cousin in Florida went to a Shriner’s hospital in Florida and they treated his legs,” she said. “It was amazing what they did for him.”

Archuletta said once doctors review Luke’s information, they will contact his mother and possibly set up an appointment to be seen.

The Shriners provide treatment for children ages birth through 18 years, and sometimes beyond.

Because of the HIPPA law, Archuletta said he does not know what happens to the children once he sends in the paperwork to the clinics, but sometimes the families and children choose to stay in touch by sending cards and photos. He loves to see the progress the children have made.

Some of the Shriners’ specialties include  treating cerebral palsy, club foot, gait abnormalities, burns and more.

Shriners provide treatment based on need, and do not discriminate based on race, religion or financial condition.

The Shriners do accept insurance, but anything that is not covered is picked up by the Shriners.

The Shriners host the local screening clinic  about once a year in the spring or fall. They also will have an information table  set up outside the First United Methodist Church  during the blossom Parade on May 7.   

For more information on the Shriners services for children, call 544-0658, or visit shriners.org.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shriners Kid Helping the Shrine and Others

Ali Qazi, a senior at Cathedral City High School and Shriner "kid" isn't letting any dust settle under his wheelchair.  Recently he accompanied Shriner Don Cook to the Tour de Palm Springs to support Incight, a Palm Desert nonprofit dedicated to engaging youth with disabilities in recreational sports.  Ali was going to ride in the Incight pedicab but once there, he chose to ride a handcycle alongside 30 amputees who were in attendance.  Since then Ali  has become a part of the advisory committee developing events for riders with disabilities in the Coachella Valley.

Ali, who was injured in a car accident as a child, is applying for college in anticipation of going to medical school and has applied for a scholarship through Incight.  Between his studies and volunteer commitments, Ali can be seen wheeling around town.  He has not intentions of letting his disability prevent him from getting the most out of life.

Ali is very appreciative of all the help and support he has received from the Shriners as well as Incight.

Judy A. May
Resources for Self Empowerment

Joy – and stress – as girl comes home after infection, amputations - Medical News - sacbee.com

Joy – and stress – as girl comes home after infection, amputations - Medical News - sacbee.com

Friday, April 8, 2011

Al Kaly Shriners will sponsor a free screening clinic

Shriners to host free screening clinic
People look forward to their units when they march in a parade.

They are the ones with a funny looking hat, also known as a ‘fez.’

But behind their facade, they have a serious side to them that may not be visible otherwise.

The Al Kaly Shriners will sponsor a free screening clinic from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Fellowship Hall at the First United Methodist Church at Ninth and Main streets.

“If a child has a medical condition that they can benefit from a Shrine Hospital, (parents are urged to) bring the child and medical information (to the clinic, where)  Shrine staff will interview and make assessments.”
During the morning, the Shriners will be able set up schedules for children to visit one of the hospitals.

“Anybody in the community can come,” Shriner Richard Mills said. “They don’t have to have a Masonic affiliation.”

The screening clinic helps to identify children, who have such problems such as spinal deformities, missing limbs, scoliosis, clubfoot, spina bifida, dislocated hips, missing arms or legs, as well as burn victims.

And the clinic is a good way to learn about the expert care in which the Shriners Hospitals provide for children around the country and the world.

Children between the ages of 1 month and 18-years-old are accepted to participate in the clinic.

Another benefit is the Shriners will help with transportation for children and parents, who may need to go to a Shrine Hospital.

Those who come to the screening clinic are asked to bring a birth certificate and immunization records.

“All care provided at Shriners Hospital is absolutely free of charge,” Mills said.

For more information, call the church at 275-0681.

Monday, April 4, 2011


 Want to be a part of History but don´t have the time?  Win for you and
Due to the overwhelming requests from riders who simply do not have the time
to complete the entire Guts & Glory Rally Across America, We are Proud and 
Honored to introduce:

The Guts & Glory : RIDE 4 a REASON This timed SINGLE LEG event is 
open to all makes and models of motorcycles.

Just like the Rally Across America, every motorcycle will be tagged with a timing
chip and GPS unit during registration, which will begin 1 day previous to that leg. 
The “Leg Rider” with the closest time to the legal riding time of each leg will 
receive $1,000. and other prizes. 
The RIDE 4 a REASON riders (Leg Riders) will be staged 60 minutes AFTER
the Rally Across America riders (Long Riders) at each checkpoint, and will 
compete only within their own group. All other rules of the Guts & Glory apply 
to all riders. See application for rules.

SPACE IS LIMITED ! We are limiting the number of Leg Riders in the 
Guts & Glory RIDE 4 a REASON to 500 riders per leg. For your entry fee and
donation to our charities, you will receive a T-shirt, hat, bandana, patch 
and pin at registration, as well as a timing chip and GPS unit (which shall be returned). 
Unlike the Rally Across America Long Riders, no hotel rooms will be provided,
however, you are welcome to sleep in Camp Guts at each checkpoint.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Changes to Shriners Hospitals for Children

Shriners International must approve Erie hospital's plans

Erie Shriners Hospital for Children has a plan to reduce its costs and continue treating children from throughout the Great Lakes region.

It's just taking a lot longer than expected to implement that plan.

"Shriners International has asked us and all other Shriners hospitals to submit our plans for review," Erie Shriners Administrator Charles Walczak said. "Those plans were due (Friday). ... We anticipate a decision from them within the next few months."

Erie Shriners announced in November 2009 that it planned to move all inpatient surgeries to UPMC Hamot, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Shriners Hospital for Children -- Philadelphia.

The hospital, 1645 W. Eighth St., would become an ambulatory surgery center. Its inpatient area would be converted into pediatric specialty clinics. Erie Shriners would continue to oversee outpatient surgeries and clinics, rehabilitation and the motion-analysis lab.

Nearly a year and a half later, Erie Shriners still performs most of its own inpatient surgeries, and the pediatric specialty clinics remain in the planning stages.

"Until we get a final decision from Shriners International, we are continuing with the status quo," Walczak said. "Some of our inpatient surgeries are being done at Hamot, Children's and in Philadelphia, while some are done here."

A call to Shriners International in Tampa, Fla., was not immediately returned Friday.

Erie Shriners came up with its plan as a way to reduce costs after Shriners International delegates considered closing six of its hospitals, including Erie, in 2009.

The delegates chose not to close any Shriners hospitals but encouraged all of them to partner with other area hospitals.

"In terms of the general concept, there are no changes in the plan we submitted from what we announced" in 2009, Walczak said. "Some details, such as what certain venues will look like, have changed."

The pediatric specialty clinics would be staffed by Children's Hospital and run by Allied Pediatric Health, a nonprofit organization created by Erie Shriners and a dozen other health-care organizations.

Clinics would focus on pediatric specialties not seen in Erie, such as gastroenterologists, pulmonologists, dermatologists, neurologists and endocrinologists.

"These clinics will not compete with local pediatric services," Erie Shriners spokesman Bob Howden said. "These will fill gaps and provide services families otherwise must travel out of town to get."

Erie Shriners still plans to bill health insurers for its services beginning in September. The hospital provides its services for free, though it allows Hamot and Children's Hospital to bill for treatments at their facilities.

"We will still pay out-of-pocket costs and all costs for families without health insurance," Walczak said.

DAVID BRUCE can be reached at 870-1736 or by e-mail.