Posted by: texasaggie04 | January 25, 2010

Shriners of Utah Officer Installation Banquet

On Wednesday, January 20th, the El Kalah Shriners of Utah held their Public Officer Installation Banquet.  I was blessed with the honor of becoming an officer with the El Kalah “Divan” (governing officers) as the “Outer Guard”.

The Shriners Hospital for Children

Public Installation of 2010 Shriners Divan Officersis the most noble and effective philanthropy that I have ever witnessed. Every patient in the history of the Shriners hospitals has NEVER been charged for the services they receive - the Shriners facilities will treat a patient from birth to the age of 18, completely free of charge!!

My good friend Scotty Cunningham and I were fortunate enough to be able to visit the hospital on Christmas Day.  Around 10 children in the hospital could not be flown home for the Holidays due to logistics and the distance to their homes.  There was a hospital employee dressed up like Santa who passed out gifts to all of the children while the Shriner Divan officers and hospital staff cheered for the children.  Every child there was Hispanic, from Mexico, Latin, or South America.  Almost all of the children and their parents could not speak English, but they were so full of joy and were smiling and laughing the entire time.  Ironically, my wife Shelley had to be admitted to LDS Hospital at 5AM Christmas morning.  LDS Hospital is only a few blocks from the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City.  Shelley and I had planned on attending the Christmas event at the Shriners Hospital, making this event a “family tradition” for us every Christmas day.  Unfortunately, Shelley couldn’t come, but Scotty and I were able to witness something that made us both immeasureably proud to be Shriners and Freemasons.  Seeing the smiles from the patients that morning was the best Christmas gift that I have ever received.

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