Shriners prepare for Pike Co. Fair

Published 12:00 am Friday, September 29, 2000

Staff Writer

Sept. 28, 2000 10 PM

During the Pike County Fair next week all the fun and good times will be in the name of helping children.

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The Troy Shrine Club, which sponsored the annual fair for almost 50 years, uses the money raised for operational costs with the remaining going to the Alcazar Temple in Montgomery.

After paying the fair operational expenses, such as $14,800 for insurance, the Troy Shrine Club gives as much as it can to the Alcazar Temple.

Although money from the Pike County Fair is for Temple operation only, it brings recognition to an organization that helps crippled children and those young people severely burned.

Shriners Hospitals for Children have been helping children, free of charge, since 1922.

The hosptals include18 orthopaedic hospitals, three burn hospitals and one for orthopaedic and burn care for children up to age 18. Orthopaedic hospitals help children with problems of the bones, joints or muscles while three hospitals help those who have been seriously burned or need reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation as the result of burns.

"That is our prime responsibility," said Ralph Fowee, a member of the local Shrine club.

Shriners will transport, house and care for the injured person and the victim’s family and never "take one red cent" from those who need the care, said Shriner Sam Dismukes.

"If you ever take one trip to one of the hospitals, you can never do enough," Fowee said of raising money to help the children’s hospitals, such as the closest one in Greenville, S.C.

In 1999, 21,264 children were admitted to the Shriners orthopaedic hospitals, 3,294 to burn hospitals and 258,595 were seen by doctors for outpatient care.

To date, more than 625,000 children have been helped at the 22 Shriners hospitals.

And, it takes a lot of cents to keep all the hospitals running. As a matter of fact, it takes almost $2.8 million per day to run them.

Most of the Shriners hospitals are also engaged in research to find cures for crippling childhood diseases and better treatments for burn injuries.