By Tim Leeds
Local Shriners officially began selling tickets for their fall beef raffle last weekend.
The prizes for the raffle will be one-half beef, one hind quarter and one front quarter. The drawing will be held during the 2000 Havre Festival Days on Sunday, Sept. 17.
Members of the North Central Montana Shrine Club (NCMSC) will be at Gary and Leo's IGA and Albertsons on Saturdays to sell tickets, as volunteers are available.
The calf for the raffle was donated by Shrine member Marvin Works and is being fed by fellow member Fred Bitz until the raffle.
The proceeds from the raffle will go for the maintenance and operation of NCMSC. One of the main functions of the club is to provide transportation for area children to the Shrine Hospitals for free treatment of orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury.
Noel Davidson of NCMSC said the local club averaged providing funds every 11 days for a child and family member to travel to the Spokane hospital, usually the first stop for someone sponsored by NCMSC.
Any child in need of orthopedic care is eligible up to eighteen years of age, and treatment could be continued beyond their eighteenth birthday, Davidson said.
Davidson said local support for the program has been impressive. He said many local residents testify happily to the treatment that improved their lives.
Davidson said the daily operating expenses of the Shriners benevolent endeavor is $1.5 million. He said research and development is an important part of the program.
There are currently 18 orthopedic Shriners Hospitals, three burn centers and a hospital in Sacramento, Calif., that provides orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury care.
The first hospital was opened in Shreveport, La. in 1922.
Davidson said Masonic affiliation is required for membership in The Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (AAONMS.)
He said any person interested in learning more about the Masonic Order is invited to visit with a member.
For more information, call Clark Streeper at 265-2244, Bob Gummer at 265-5004, Sam Clawson at 265-7164, Hank Tweeten at 265-2713 or 265-6753, or Davidson at 265-2523.