By Tim Leeds
Mr. Fez will be a celebrity of prime beef interest at the Festival Days celebration in September.
The North Central Montana Shrine Club will draw the names of three winners in its raffle of a full beef, from a steer affectionately nicknamed Mr. Fez. The sale of raffle tickets began at the Great Northern Fair.
Shriner Fred Bitz, who ranches near Box Elder and is feeding and caring for Mr. Fez, estimates there will be about 1,000 pounds of beef to divide among the three winners.
The beef will be cut, wrapped and packaged to the winners' specifications.
Proceeds from the raffle will support the club's travel fund, used to pay for transporting local children to the Spokane Shriners Children Hospital. Children are provided diagnosis and treatment free of charge at Shriners hospitals.
Shrine clubs also sponsor visits by doctors and staff from hospitals to communities for diagnosis and follow-up work for patients.
The North Central Montana Shrine Club helped 38 children, an average of more than one every 10 days, to go to the Spokane hospital.
There are now 22 Shriners hospitals, including three specializing in burn treatment and one, in Sacramento, Calif., that combines orthopedic care, burn treatment and spinal cord injury care.
Any child can be admitted to one of the hospitals if she or he is under 18 and the physicians at the hospital believe the child can be helped.
The major funding for the hospitals comes from substantial endowments, and from gifts, bequests, hospital fund-raising events such as the Shrine Circus, and an annual hospital assessment paid by every Shriner.
Call Shriner Noel Davidson at 265-2523 with any questions.