Sunday, July 12, 2009

Al Koran Shriners

The Al Koran Shrine is just a few miles from my house.

Years ago, I did a story about the Shriners for a local paper. They might seem like a strange group from the outside, but the Shriners raise money to fund Children's hospitals that service the very poorest kids with the very toughest problems: severe burns, amputations, etc.

The Shrine itself is quite a place. There's portraits of all the past Imperial Potentates on the walls (the one on the upper left is from 1903), a life-sized stuffed camel in the lobby and a clubby lounge with tons of clown pics the walls. There's fez's all over the place too.

People aren't as drawn to this sort of social/charitable organization as they once were and the Shriners are a fading piece of Americana. But we can love 'em until then, especially those little orange cars that they race around all the local parades.

Here they are at the 2009 July 4 Parade in Chesterland, OH:


Anonymous said...

You can't do it without your fez on.


Kirk Jusko said...

Is this Al Koran fellow on Fezbook?

philbilly said...

Chicks dig the fez.

Fezbook, good one.

Big Mark 243 said...

I wonder what the 'fez-ing out' of shriners says about our culture. I mean, they were once such an important part of us getting to know each other ... fezbo--, er, facebook, twitter, doesn't seem to have the same social impact as the shriners.

Who is going to pick up the slack? And why isn't it me??

(S)wine said...

yo them feckers is all right wif me.

Tony said...

With the fun and good there is the bad. Why so secretive?

kamper said...

I used to think these guys were rather silly, but now I know a little girl who goes to a Shriner hospital, where she receives world-class, life-saving treatment for a rare disease, all free of charge. I still have no idea how they raise money driving around in those little cars, but these guys are bona fide heroes in my book. Drive on!

Larry Foore said...

Thanks, Erin, for the story. Check us out here:

Watch the video. Read up on us a bit. Stop by the building for a social event. These kids and their parents need our support.

Regardless of what you've heard, it really is all about the kids.

Thanks again,