140 year of Shriners

140 year of Shriners

Friday, November 30, 2012

Landmark decision:Spokane’s historic Masonic Center is for sale.

The downtown landmark – once one of the city’s foremost entertainment venues – faces an uncertain future, its current owners say.
The nonprofit that manages the facility has decided the five-story building on Riverside Avenue is too expensive to operate. Ron Cunningham, president of the Masonic Temple Association of Spokane, said maintenance costs can’t be covered in a down economy.
The association board hired Spokane realty firm NAI Black to market the building nationwide.
A second factor in the decision, Cunningham noted, is the steady decline in the all-male Masonic membership. There are still more than a dozen area lodges or related groups, including women’s auxiliaries, but their collective membership is steadily falling, he said.
“We have a hard time competing with young men who have families, who have to work two or three jobs,” Cunningham said.
The social goal of the Masons hasn’t changed, however; it continues to be “the betterment of people,” he said.
“But we don’t recruit. People have to come to us to be a member,” he said.
The building’s asking price is $1.75 million. Spokane County lists the assessed value at $1.3 million. This is the first time the building – originally the Masonic Temple – has been for sale.
It’s been continuously occupied throughout its 107-year history, said Carlton Oakes, CEO of the Masonic Temple Association of Spokane.
Opened in 1905, the original, smaller Masonic Temple twice was visited by President Theodore Roosevelt. A member of the Masons, Roosevelt dedicated the 1903 laying of the temple cornerstone.
In 1911, Roosevelt made a return visit and took part in a Masonic ceremony inside the building.
In the 1920s the membership of the nonreligious fraternal group swelled. That led to the decision to enlarge the building to its present size, roughly 110,000 square feet.
Flanked by the former Elks Temple on the west and the original Spokane Chamber of Commerce building on the east, the center’s iconic features are 18 gray stone columns lining the building’s 220-foot-long fa├žade on Riverside Avenue.
In recent years the building has been rented for proms, parties, weddings, fundraisers, company meetings, social events and even boxing matches, Oakes said. But those events have dropped off by 48 percent since last year due to competition from other venues.
“The reason is primarily weddings. We’re not (booking) as many weddings as we did before,” Oakes said.
For more than 20 years the center also has housed the nonprofit RiteCare Spokane clinic. The clinic offers free speech therapy to area youths between 2 and 7 years old. If the building is sold, the RiteCare clinic will relocate and continue to be supported by the Spokane Scottish Rite, one of the area’s Masonic groups, Cunningham said.
To cut costs while the building is on the market, Oakes said he’ll stop renting it to outside groups. The Masonic Temple Association will continue letting area Masonic groups use the building while it’s for sale.
Money to keep the building open comes from outside rentals, from fees paid by the local Masonic groups who meet there, and from an annual stipend by the Spokane Masonic Temple Foundation.
This year’s operating budget so far has been $390,000, Oakes said. If not for the annual support from the Masonic Foundation, the building’s budget would be in the red, he said.
There are two large performance areas in the building: a lower-level auditorium and the 7,000-square-foot ballroom. Several other meeting rooms, such as the Rose Room and the Blue Room, are historically preserved shrines recalling the days when the building hosted Masonic ceremonies, business group gatherings and six-course dinners for Spokane’s rising middle class.
The building is part of the federal Riverside Avenue Historic District. In 1991 it was added to the Spokane Register of Historic Places. Because of that status, changes to the exterior have to be approved by the Spokane Historic Landmarks Commission.
But changes inside the building don’t require that, said Kristen Griffin, the Spokane city/county historic preservation officer.
Ron Wells, a Spokane developer and historic preservation advocate, said he sees potential for the building as a performance and event facility, with a solid marketing campaign to support it.
“I hope someone buys it with the right attitude about preserving and protecting its distinctive history,” Wells said, adding he’s not likely to consider adding the structure to his roster of projects.
The building has been a regular location for Spokane-based film company North by Northwest Productions Inc. Rich Cowan, a company founder, used the Masonic Center for at least four films shot in Spokane.
“It’s historically authentic and has plenty of other rooms so that you can use one area to film and another room to stage and organize stuff,” Cowan said.
A recent North by Northwest film, “Camilla Dickinson,” is set in New York City in the 1940s. Cowan used a number of rooms inside the Masonic Center to evoke a restaurant and other locations.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Car Designed for Wheelchairs/ SHC

 Former Patient Demonstrates World’s First  Factory-Built Car Designed for Wheelchairs 

Kristina Shepard Rhoades, a former Shriners Hospital patient and the 2005 Ms. Wheelchair California, drove to Shriners Hospitals for Children® – Northern California on Tuesday, Nov. 20, in the world’s first factory-built, wheelchair-accessible automobile. Known as the MV-1, the wheelchair friendly car is manufactured by VPG (Vehicle Production Group). Rhoades, who is spokesperson for the manufacturer, demonstrated the features of the car for patients, guests and the community. 
Rhoades suffered a spinal cord injury when she was 10 months old and has used a wheelchair most of her life. She was a patient at Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California from 1997 to 2004. Rhoades now lives in Georgia with her husband and their one-year-old daughter. A graduate of Brenau University in Gainesville, Ga., she worked in radio for many years before becoming spokesperson and manager of social media for VPG. More information about the MV-1 can be found online at www.vpautos.com. 
To learn more about how you can join Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California in building a caring community, please call the Public & Community Relations Office at (916) 453-2018 or send email to ncal.info@shrinenet.org. 
A New Set of Wheels (from top to bottom): Kristina Shepard Rhoades was reunited with Shriners Hospital Nurse Ed Miles when she returned to the Northern California Hospital to demonstrate the MV-1. Local television stations interviewed Rhoades about the car and her experience as a Shriners Hospital patient. The MV-1 has a built-in retractable ramp, and provides plenty of space and headroom for people in wheelchairs. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

EL PASO, Texas – El Maida Shrine Circus

Sgt. Jonathan Thomas
Performers from the George Carden Circus International thank the audience for their attendance during the El Maida Shriner Circus at the El Paso County Coliseum, Nov. 11. In addition to offering families entertainment under the big top, the annual event raises funds for the El Maida Shrine. (Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Jonathan W. Thomas, 16th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment)
The 61st annual Shriner Circus packed the El Paso County Coliseum Veterans Day weekend, but on the fourth day, the Shriners took a moment away from the circus atmosphere to honor past and present service members.

“Veterans Day brings a tear to most of our eyes and a little hesitation to our talk, because we do appreciate our veterans, almost all my shriners [here] are veterans,” said John Wood, Shriner marshal for the El Maida Shrine. “Even though we’re out of the military, the military is still in our hearts.”

The George Carden Circus International provided the featured entertainment for the event, with a series of acrobatic feats, death defying stunts and comedy. Hosting the event were the Shriners, an offshoot of the Freemasons, from the El Maida Shrine here.

“The event is an annual celebration that we have,” said Wood. “It commemorates the services and joy we bring to the community through the help we give to those in need.”

In addition to offering Families entertainment under the big top, the annual event raises funds for the El Maida Shrine.

“We’ve had four [sold out] shows in the past four days,” said David Millis, Chief Rabban for the El Maida shrine. “This will help us continue the ongoing operations of our temple so that, in turn, we can help [the community].”

Entertaining and community service are deep-rooted values in the Shriner organization.

“Shriners have two main goals in life: we have fun and we take care of children, that’s what we’re here for,” said Millis. “You can’t believe how much fun this is, this is just flat-out fun. You can go out there and watch the acts and really enjoy yourself. The kids are enjoying it and we’ll be able to maintain our operations for some time to come.”

Read more: http://www.dvidshub.net/news/98312/shriners-raise-money-entertain-honor-veterans#.ULOxnOOe_6Y#ixzz2DM0CkV1u

Friday, November 16, 2012

Shriners Guide to school re-entry

Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California has published a Guide to School Re-entry for teachers, administrators, counselors, nurses and other school personnel who deal with children returning to school with physical limitations that may impact their school experience.

At our Shriners Hospital in Sacramento we care for children whose lives have changed dramatically as a result of a traumatic burn, accidental loss of limb or spinal cord injury.

Some are paralyzed and some are scarred. During their hospital stay, these children attend the Shriners Hospital School where they are taught to be independent in the classroom, says Margaret Kugler, Educational, Vocational & Transition Services Coordinator.

As these children transition back to their communities and home schools, we have found that ongoing communication with their teachers, counselors and administrations is vital to a student's success, Kugler adds.

We organize school re-entry programs for patients to re-introduce them to their teachers and peers.

We believe the Guide to School Re-entry will help foster continued to success by providing an organized and straightforward reference.

The comprehensive guide discusses the role of the teacher in preparing for a student's return and outlines considerations that must be made in dealing with children returning after burn and spinal cord injuries.

Special sections cover  use of adaptive devices in the classroom.

The Shriners Hospital School is a joint project of Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California and the Sacramento City Unified School District.

The school provides bilingual regular and special education to patients in grades K 12 to ensure that children maintain continuity in their education while in the hospital.

Teachers and school personnel interested in obtaining a Guide to School Re-entry may contact Margaret Kugler by calling 916- 453-2109 or sending email to ncalinfo@shrinenet.org.

Portland Shriners Hospital for Children Screening in Seaside

Shriners offer free screening for children Saturday

SEASIDE — The Shriners Hospital for Children in Portland is inviting anyone who thinks they know a child who could benefit from orthopedic and burn/scar care to refer them to a free screening clinic.
It is being held 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Providence Seaside Hospital, 725 S. Wahanna Road, Seaside. For information, call 503-791-5482, 503-836-2411 or 503-861-1368.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Rose Parade is near

The Rose Queen and her Court , Al Malaikah Shrine 2012 Potentate Dave Wehmeyer along with our kids show off a picture of the 2013 Shrine Rose Parade float

Monday, November 12, 2012

Child ID & Shriners Booth at AFB


Working together to help our community’s kids
SATURDAY AND SUNDAY 10 And 11 of November!

Brother Mike Clark, Brother Dick Brisbois’ , Brother Bob Norton

Brother Jerry Eitel , Brother Paul Grandstrom, Brother Bill MCcarty
And his wife Alvita, Brother Frank, Brother Miguel, Brother Tom
(I am sorry I can not remember the last names) Brother Darion Nixon and His lady Jackie. Brother Fred Horn .

Our special guest Brother Howie “Fez Head Fred “Wynia,
Brother Bill Wisenhunt , Brother Clown Jack “ Hi jack “ Berman ,
Clown Reggie “Put – Put “Underwood, Brother Gary Grissett

Brother Joe Alvarado, wife Harriett, Son Mike, and 86 year young mother-in – Law Betty , Mrs. Leslie Acevedo , Her Brother Brian and her son Max .

While the rest of our Masons, Shriners and families were otherwise occupied ,With  Grand Lodge and other official functions ,

The above individuals sacrificed some of their time and effort to accomplish a very successful public relations event and service to our community’s children!!!!

AMR & GPRMF Teams on Donkey's for Charity


Monday, November 5, 2012

2013 El Zaribah Golf Classic

We are really turning it up for the 2013 Shriners Golf Classic, an El Zaribah event that benefits the El Zaribah General Fund, and we are asking for everyone’s help.  This 16th annual edition of the Classic, which is open to the public, promises to be the biggest one yet. 

We are really making some changes for this tournament beginning with the young ladies of The Cactus Tour (professional women golfers) joining us for the Shriners Golf Classic and some local celebrities and radio shows promoting our tournament and sponsors.  Articles will appear in three popular golf magazines promoting Shriners, our tournament, the Title Sponsor and The Cactus Tour tournament being held the three days following the Shriners Golf Classic.

The format for the Shriners Golf Classic is a four person scramble.  Entrants may submit a three person team and will then be paired with either one of the girls from The Cactus Tour or one of the celebrities by a blind draw.  Entrants may choose to submit their own four person team and elect not to have one of the Cactus Tour Girls or a celebrity.

A new program book is also in the making. get you ad in now.
For more in formation contact: Tom Calvin, Potentate 2011
Chairman, Shriners Golf Classic  El Zaribah Shriners  Phoenix, Arizona

Friday, November 2, 2012

Where have all the Clown Gone? along time comming

Shrine Klowns fold up the costumes, First ladies close the makeup cases

Posted Nov 1, 2012 By Laurie Weir 

EMC News - Who will send in the clowns?

No one now... the Land 'O Lakes Tunis Shrine 'Klowns' and Facepainters are no longer in service. 

The men, and their first ladies - have officially retired from clowning around and painting faces at local fairs, festivals, parties and events. 

There was still some joking around last week though, and balloon animals were made, photos were taken, and laughter could be heard coming from Lannin Funeral Home in Smiths Falls. It seemed like a fitting place to gather for their last official gig.

The funeral home's owners Bill and Sue Anne Hilton welcomed the group. Bill Hilton was a potentate of the Tunis Shriners, so he offered the chapel as a place for portraits.

"We're getting too old for this and there is no one to take our places," said Ron Stronski, otherwise known as Ronski the Clown. 

The men behind the masks are all seniors. 

J.J., who is Perth's John Hauraney, is 83. 

"I've been doing this for 27 years," Hauraney said. "The trouble is, there are no young people coming in to take our place. We can't do it anymore."

"It's sad really," said Roco who is Robert Cosh, 64. "I will still be a clown though for the Ottawa Shriners. I don't want to give it up."

Cosh loves his alter ego. "It's a relief to be a clown," he says. "It gives you a subset... I don't take things too seriously."

Jim Cassibo, who is Pockets the Clown, takes after his father, Clarence, who was also a Shriner Clown. 

"My father was 'Pops'," said Cassibo, now 66. "He was one of the original clowns."

Cassibo says he gave away all of his father's costumes. "It's gone - as is his persona... the name, everything."

The face-painting by the women in the group came about the same time. 

Beryle Beckett of Smiths Falls says her late husband Omar, who was a long-time Shriner, got her involved. 

"You should have seen the first 'faces' we painted," she said with a laugh. "They were white balloons with those little cardboard feet... well the faces we painted were no hell." 

Connie Ryan, another original face painter, also recalled the early beginnings. 

"We had a little pup tent we used," she said. "It had a kitchen stool."

With practice, the women became better painters and took their makeup cases on the road, accompanying their husbands to fairs and festivals where children lined up to be turned into lions and tigers and even butterflies with sparkles.

The Shrine Klowns are as popular as popcorn and candy floss at local fairs, events, festivals and parades. They start in the spring and travel with the women - who have also officially retired as face painters - all over eastern Ontario. From Perth's Maple Festival through to Elgin Heritage Days, Maberly and Richmond fairs, to name a few, the clowns are part of the scenery during special events throughout the community.


Screening Clinic Nov.3rd in Blackfoot

SE Shrine Club to host clinic Nov. 3 in Blackfoot

BLACKFOOT — The Southeast Idaho Shrine Club, Pocatello, is co-hosting with The Upper Snake River Shrine Club, Idaho Falls a free children's screening clinic Saturday, Nov. 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. at the Bingham Memorial Hospital Medical Plaza, 98 Poplar St., Blackfoot. Appointments are not necessary. 
     Shriners Hospitals for Children treats the following conditions — scoliosis, dislocated hips, club feet, cerebral palsy, head injuries, rickets, absent arm or leg, myelodysplasia, hand, leg or back problems, sports injuries to bones, muscles and tendons, osteogenesis imprefecta (brittle bone disease), Legg Perthes disease, cleft lip or palate, burn scars, short legs, spina bifida, bowed legs and a variety of neuromuscular diseases.
Shriners are offering to provide expert care regardless of the patient's ability to pay.
For additional information about the clinic, Shriners Hospitals for Children or other Shriners activities, please call Ambassador Bill Newbry at 237-9738.

Bowling for Shriners Hospital for Children

Tehama County Shriners award prize for perfect game

Tehama County Shrine Ladies Club President Sylvia Dunn presents Justin Dodson a prize after he bowled a perfect game at the fundraising tournament held Sunday, Oct. 28 by the Tehama Co. Shrine Club Ladies who support the Shriners Hospitals for Children. The event raised a little more than $5,000

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Masons celebrate 140 years in Littleton

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Many issues that come before Littleton City Council are controversial, notes Mayor Debbie Brinkman, but this one she called a “no-brainer.”
Members of Littleton's Weston Masonic Lodge celebrated its designation as a historic landmark, and its 140th anniversary, with a ceremonial cornerstone rededication on Oct. 27.
“The cornerstone is laid according to the ancient ceremonies of the craft,” declared Grand Master Karl Hinkle at the ritual's conclusion.
The lodge was chartered on Sept. 24, 1872, and council officially declared the building at 5718 S. Rapp St. a landmark in July 2011.
“It's an architectural anchor for downtown Littleton,” said Margi Clute, vice chair of the Littleton Historic Preservation Board.
The building has stood there virtually unchanged since 1921. Most Littleton residents are probably so used to seeing it that they forget it's there, and have very little idea what goes on inside.
“It's a group of like-minded men who believe in God, country, morals, friendship, brotherhood and charity,” explained Walt Ashlock. He said Masons don't ask what god you believe in, but they do require members to acknowledge a belief in a supreme being.
Members of the lodge took the opportunity to remind everyone they're a big part of the community and one of its oldest institutions. In 1872, members met next door in the general store (now Three Chimneys/Natural Surroundings). Notable members have included Ed Bemis, Charles Louthan and William Sterne. The lodge created Littleton's fire department in 1890, and owned Littleton Cemetery from 1875 to 1888.
“There's an inextricable intertwinement of the lodge and the city of Littleton,” said Hinkle.
U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, a former Marine, noted that American Masons have an important connection to the Marines. They both were born at the infamous Tun Tavern in Philadelphia — the Masons in 1732 and the Marines in 1775.
“The Freemasons have a long and distinct history in America,” he told the crowd.
As far as charity — everyone's familiar with the Shriners, their funny hats, their little motorcycles and their children's hospitals. But did you know that all Shriners are Masons? Other subgroups, some of which accept women, include Eastern Star, Rainbow Girls, Scottish Rite, Knights Templar and York Rite, all of which focus on a different charity.
Those curious about the Masons or the building are welcome to attend their monthly $5 pancake breakfast each second Saturday. They also run a free child ID program, which was developed by a local Mason and is used by the Texas Rangers, during Western Welcome Week's Festival Day.