BUCKHANNON â€” The first thing that may come to mind when you hear the word Shriner is a caring individual who is a part of a local shrine club or recollect what the Shriners Hospitals do to help children. Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth with nearly 200 temples, also known as chapters, in several countries and thousands of clubs around the world. The Shriner fraternity is open to men of integrity from all walks of life.
The Shriners collectively support 22 childrenâ€™s hospitals across America. These hospitals provide treatment, physical therapy, and rehabilitation at absolutely no cost to families with children suffering from an array of afflictions. Some of the illnesses include burn victims, amputees, orthotics and prosthetics, cleft pallet, club foot, neuromuscular problems, spinal cord injuries and sports injuries.Â
Locally, Shriners raise funds, donate time, and offer families transportation to and from hospital visits, in addition to otherÂ support for those families.Â The Buckhannon chapter has supported 10-15 families in recent years and helped to get them placed in facilities where they need to be, as well as supporting the hospitals. Members also spend time with children and visit with them while they are in the hospitals.Â
The Upshur County Shrine Club has members of various ages. Some have been a part of the club for as many as 40 years, while some have newly joined.Â The womenâ€™s auxiliary is comprised of the wives and the adult children of Shriners. This auxiliary provides support to the Shriners in various capacities. The Upshur County club is unique in the auxiliary, as not all Shriner groups have a ladyâ€™s auxiliary.Â
The biggest event coming up this year will be the new and improved Fall Shriners Elimination Dinner, scheduled for Saturday, October 19. Brushy Fork Event Center will be the venue. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and tickets can be purchased for $25 each, which will include one roast beef dinner with fixings, an open bar through 7 p.m., and one spot on the elimination board. The grand prize is $1,000. The elimination dinner has been held in Elkins in recent years. For the club to host such a big event back in Buckhannon is very exciting for the Shriners and the community.Â
There will be 50/50, tips, a Chinese Auction, and raffle tickets. The raffles will be drawn for a Remington 30-06, a weed eater, and a leaf blower. Proceeds from the Fall Elimination Dinner will benefit the Upshur County Shrine Club in support of the childrenâ€™s hospitals.Â
The Shriners will also be planning smaller events throughout the next year that will be new to the club. Every fundraiser event the Shriners present is for the support of children and families. Any Shriner will tell you, â€œThe fundraising is great, but nothing compares to spending time with those kids.â€