Beneath The Fez

Jun 03, 2017 -

Tuesday, May 30th, like everyday for the Shriners, was about the kids. Whether they wear Fezzes or clown costumes these men dedicate their time and care to children day in and day out. This care was exemplified at the Shrine Bowl: Beyond the Field event.

 Each Shriner is involved for their own reasons, but all care deeply for the health and happiness of children. Gary Kruz, a Potentate sees in his own family the good work the Shriners do. His granddaughter was born missing her thumb. When her family consulted doctors, they said they could do nothing, so they went to the Shriners Hospitals for Children. It was with the Shriners she found the help she needed, they performed a successful surgery, and now she is able to function fully and play volleyball and basketball.

Andrew Borske, a former Potentate and member of the Shriners Hospitals board of governors, provides a particularly unique insight into the Shriners’ efforts. As both a patient and member he truly knows all sides of the Shriners. Borske explains, “You understand what the feelings are, the perspective, what the needs are… Sometimes you can talk about something, you can read about something, but when you’ve lived it it’s a different perspective.” His work with the Shriners is in part out of  personal appreciation, “I always wanted to get involved with the Shrine, to give back to the organization that had given so much to me, for 19 years they took care of every need I had, whether it came to my prosthetics or anything else I needed.”

Don Day, a Shriner, finds the organization and it’s work to help children fulfilling, saying that his involvement in the organization “probably added 4 or 5 years onto my life.” Day remarks on the Shrine Bowl saying “It was started so long ago and it’s still successful.” The Shrine Bowl creates great opportunities for all involved, and it is all made possible by the men beneath the Fez.

The Shriners spoke to the the players, patients, and parents with grins and enthusiasm, brightening the entire event. They showed pride in their work, yet showed humility towards the children they were helping who faced hardship every day. In the words of Mr. Day, “It’s done for the good of the kid, it’s what we do to help people, that’s the whole ball game.”