Shriners events this weekend
Some may associate Shriners with colorful parades, cute red hats or crazy cars, but when Craig resident Isidro Quezada thinks of Shriners, he thinks about the profound effect they’ve had on his daughter’s life.
“What they’ve done for us is really unbelievable,” Quezada said. “We are so thankful to the Shriners in Craig and in Colorado.”
Quezada’s 16-year-old daughter, Virginia, was diagnosed with severe scoliosis — her only treatment option was a brace that she would have to wear 16-hours a day.
“She was very sad,” Quezada said.
He shared the story with a friend, Larry Neu, who was a Shriner. Neu connected Quezada with the Shriner’s hospital in Salt Lake City.
The therapy Virginia’s had in the two trips they’ve made has decreased her spinal curvature by 13 percent and the almost-constant pain she was in has decreased to sporadic pains
“The doctors that are seeing Virginia are the best in the whole world,” Quezada said. “They know what they’re doing. We’re lucky that we were connected to the right people.”
Shriner’s hospitals provide treatment at no cost until a child turns 18. Quezada said he even has been offered reimbursements for travel and hotels.
“It’s a really good program,” he said.
Virginia will continue getting treatment twice a year until she turns 18. By that time, Quezada hopes she’ll be done.
The Shrine of North America was started in 1872 by a group of 13 fun-loving men looking for good times and fellowship. Fifty years later, the group turned to philanthropy through the establishment of Shrine hospitals — providing free medical treatment to children suffering orthopedic problems, burns and spinal cord injuries.
There are nearly 30 members of the Northwest Colorado Shriners, a group that exists for the fun and fellowship that the founders intended, though they do host two fund-raisers each year to contribute to the operation the 22 Shrine hospitals.
The Northwest Colorado group is made up of residents from Craig, Hayden, Steamboat Springs and Meeker.
Charles Dial has been a member of the Shriners for nine years. The group meets monthly for food and fellowship.
“I thought when I joined I was going to get one of those little corvettes, but no,” Dial laughed.
Dial is a perfect representation of the Shriner’s philosophy — having fun, while not forgetting the seriousness of the group’s mission.
“We’re here, and if people have any child the Shriners can help, we’re here to do that,” he said.
To become a Shriner, a person must first be a Mason during which they undergo training and meet other requirements.
Dial was a Mason for a year before becoming a Shriner.
“I liked the involvement with children and the hospital, the companionship and the people involved in the brotherhood and the good that they do,” he said.
This weekend is the time for local Shriner’s to shine. They’ll be joined from other members across the state who will play in the Northwest Chapter’s fund-raising golf tournament on Friday.
Shriners will participate in Saturday’s Hayden Day parade as well as provide a barbecue lunch afterward in the Hayden park. They also will cook a Dutch oven breakfast Sunday — accepting donations for the food and labor.
Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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