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Shriners have fun while helping others
by Cynthia Petersen Correspondent · June 22nd, 2017

The El Kahir Shriners held an open house for Shriners Awareness Day on June 6 in Hiawatha.

Tours of the facility, located at 905 Tower Terrace Road, were offered as well. Guests were invited to get a close-up look of the van used to educate the public about what the Shriners do and how they help children.

A bouncy house and Sparkles the Clown entertained kids, while others enjoyed the free hot dogs and popcorn. The Oriental Band was on hand to serenade the crowd with an interesting playlist.

The Shriners moved from their previous location on Blairs Ferry Road and Council Street in March 2014. According to Director of Operations, Rob Rolfes, they periodically hold events, such as the open house, so the people they help "can have a little fun."

The El Kahir Shrine has played a key role in northeastern Iowa since 1886. From the beginning, the members have had an opportunity to share in fun activities while contributing to the seriousness of its purpose: The aiding of others in need.

The Shriners Hospitals for Children is an international health care system, which is dedicated to improving the lives of children "by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals."

According to Rolfes, all the fundraisers' proceeds go to help support the 22 Shriners Hospitals.

"The Director Staff Unit hosts a Basket Night the second Friday every month from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., and the Revvin' Fez Unit hosts an Omelet Breakfast the first Sunday every month from 8:30 a.m. to noon. Both are open to the public," said Rolfes.

Other upcoming events include a BBQ Fest Contest and a Beach Party, as well as a variety of parades and caravans.

The Shriners' annual fundraisers include a golf tournament the second Saturday of July at St. Andrews Golf Course, a gun raffle will be held at the end of October, and a wild game feed is scheduled for the third Friday of March 2018. The Shriners will also have a food booth this year at the Freedom Festival. Parades, caravans, and a circus are also held throughout the year.

For more information, visit their website at, or find them on Facebook.
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