Greetings Nobles and Ladies,
The Sportsman's Raffle is officially a wrap for this year! Illustrious Sir Phil Brack is still tallying numbers and hopes to have a financial report available for the May business meeting. But a "seat of the pants" estimate of the event tells me we did very well! I have been told we had over 1200 people show up to Circus Park for the Raffle. We were blessed with a sunny day with the temperature reaching nearly 80 degrees. That was a good thing, as it allowed the majority of our crowd to sit outside under two large tents and enjoy the fresh air. We had our best 50/50 raffle yet, paying the winner $3300. Next time you see Assistant Rabban Greg Cartwright, have him buy you a drink with his winnings! I can't thank our Events Committee and our Sportsman's Raffle Committee enough for putting on such an awesome event! Thanks to all the volunteers that showed up and helped out. Your hard work was greatly appreciated.
There is an addition to our calendar for May. We are going to have a Circus Park cleanup day on Sunday, May 15th. There are some limbs down on the property that need to be moved, flowerbeds that need attending to, and general outdoor maintenance that needs to be addressed. And if the stars align and everything falls into place, we may try to put our flagpole at the entrance up then and tend to a few lights that need some work. Those repairs will depend on the weather and availability of equipment. Regardless, if you feel like lending a hand, we'd be happy to see you there.
Don't forget our May business meeting on the 11th. Dinner will be served at 6PM and the meeting will start at 7PM.
June 4th we will be having our Shriners' Run 5K event at Circus Park. The event is open to runners and walkers, and participants that register before May 22 will get an official Shriners' Run shirt. Also, the first 200 registrants will receive a finisher medal! The best part, if you are busy that day and still want to support the Run, you can register for the Virtual 5K and run it at any time. As long as you register early, you will still get a shirt and finisher medal. Visit our 5K Run page on our website - www.ekshrine.com/shriners-run and register today.
June is also our next "Open" business meeting! We are excited to have Bob Conley, Past Grand Master of Michigan Masons, and his wife, Dr. JoNeil Conley as our guest speakers. If you haven't had a chance to hear them speak, you need to be at the June business meeting. And as an open meeting, everyone is invited - spouses, neighbors, friends, and anyone else! We will eat at 6PM and start the meeting at 7PM.
Keep our sick and shut-ins, military and first responders, and especially our Shrine kids in your prayers!
Potentate - 2022
Welcome to March! Spring is just around the corner and with it comes warmer weather. Parade season will be coming soon, and I look forward to seeing our parade units in action. If your unit has a parade scheduled, let me know – Lady Laura and I would love to come out and support you!
Just a reminder that we will “spring forward” on March 13th. Personally, I look forward to the later sunsets. It will give Lady Laura and I a chance to get out in the yard and get things tuned up for summer.
March is also a busy month for Elf Khurafeh. We start with our first “Open” business meeting on March 9th. Bring your ladies and guests to our meeting – they do not need to be Shriners to attend this meeting. We will have the Pizza, Puzzles, and Beer night on Friday, March 11th. Assistant Rabban Greg Cartwright has a fun night planned for you all. Lady Laura will be hosting the Ladies Luncheon on Sunday, March 13th. Rumor has it the Divan will be waiters, dressed in their tuxes, there will be a skit for entertainment, and there will be a guest speaker. GLSA is bringing back the mid-winter session on March 19th – a one day session with discussions on Membership, Leadership. Fundraising, and reports from the Chicago and Dayton Hospitals. The Snowbirds Luncheon is scheduled for March 21st in Sarasota, FL. We will be having a Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, March 25th at Circus Park. The blood drive is not a money maker for us – it is a chance for the community to see that Circus Park is still open and still the home of the Shriners. We close March with our second Poker Room at the American Legion in Davison, Michigan. Oriental Guide Phil Gean did an amazing job with our first Poker Room, surpassing our budget for the year in the first event. Great job Phil!
Our Easter Party is set for April 3rd at Circus Park. Committee Chairs Jon and Bonnie Jacobs have been working hard to put on another awesome party for the kids. We hope you all can join us and make the day special. There will be a Driver’s Seminar on Saturday, April 9th in Alpena. If you honestly want to learn and see why we do “what we do,” attend a seminar and get scheduled to drive a patient to one of our hospitals – you will NOT be disappointed! Saturday, April 9th is also Installation of El Said Court, our Lady Shriners. Those of you not attending the Driver’s Seminar are invited to watch our own first lady, Laura Downing be installed as High Priestess of El Said. This just goes to show that the Downing’s don’t know how to say no. I am proud to share 2022 as Potentate with my wife, my confidant, and my soulmate at the helm of El Said. I have no doubt she will give her best effort to inspire the ladies of El Said to greater things!
We are also closing in on our April 23rd Sportsman’s Raffle. This event is likely to be our biggest fundraiser of 2022 and all help will be greatly appreciated. We will need all hands-on-deck for this event. Please contact Illustrious Sir John Arnould or Illustrious Sir Phil Brack if you can help – we will need help in all aspects of this event. Also, if you have tickets and money to turn in, please get them to the office as soon as possible. We need to put a payment on the prizes very soon, and the remainder is due by the Raffle date.
Lastly, I want to thank everyone for all that you do for the Shrine and for our Shrine kids. As we see the light at the end of the tunnel for the COVID pandemic, and we start getting back to normal, it is great to see so many nobles and ladies getting involved and being involved in what we are doing. We had an amazing circus; we had a lot of fun at the Indoor Ice Fishing/Chili cook off; and we look forward to many more fun-filled events and activities. And none of them are possible without you, the Elf Khurafeh Shrine Noble!
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to email me, or send me a text message or voice mail. I’m more than happy to hear any comments you may have which will improve our journey through 2022.
Thank you all, and God bless our Shrine Kids.
Potentate – 2022
Elf Khurafeh Shrine
Nobles and Ladies,
And so it begins!
I can't say thank you enough to everyone for all of your support during my Divan journey. It all culminates this year with you placing your trust in me to lead Elf Khurafeh Shrine in 2022. As many of my predecessors have noted, it is very humbling to be given the honor to be elected to lead the Shrine, and I intend to do my absolute best this year as your Potentate. But I will need everyone's help. Your 2022 Divan, Divan Ladies, 1st Lady Laura, and I have a lot planned for the year. Don't wait for someone to ask you to help! If one of our events or activities catches your eye, reach out to the chairperson of that event and volunteer to help. We will take all the help we can get.
Speaking of our events, we just completed our first event of the year - the 2022 Elf Khurafeh Shrine Circus. Over the course of two weekends, we saw full houses in both Flint and Saginaw, and we had a large number of volunteers that helped pull it off. The final numbers are still being calculated but we know we turned a profit. In fact, it looks like we earned more than budgeted! The Circus Committee plans to reveal actual numbers at the Circus Appreciation dinner on Tuesday, February 15th at 6pm. None of this would have been possible without all of the volunteers that showed up every day and made sure everything went off without a hitch. Thank you volunteers! Also a big thank you to the Event Committee for being fluid and adapting to a much better opportunity when it was presented. Thanks to you all as well.
Watch your calendars and our website (www.ekshrine.com) for upcoming fun! February has the Onion Kickoff (1st), the Business Meeting at Circus Park (9th), the Circus Appreciation (15th),and our Chili Cookoff and Ice Fishing Contest (26th). We will also have a Poker Room from February 27 - March 2. Oriental Guide Phil Gean is still looking for help - if you're interested, reach out to him.
Thank you for all you do!
Illustrious Sir Jeff Downing
Elf Khurafeh Shrine
Nobles and Ladies,
Thank you for electing me to serve as Potentate for 2022. I can't say enough how honored I am to serve you. Your 2022 Divan and I are looking forward to doing all we can to grow Elf Khurafeh Shrine, increase membership, and have fun!
Those of you that attended installation heard me speak about Risk and Trust. For those of you that could not make it, let me explain. I was listening to a speech by Bob Conley, Past Grand Master of Masons in Michigan. I had been thinking of ways to change some of what we do, but I know it's human nature to resist change. Rather than ask you to change, I want to ask you to trust me. When a leader achieves trust from those he leads, he is able to take some risks with the intent of making things better.
In 2022, we are taking a few risks that need your trust. We have doubled the number of fundraisers we normally do. In addition to our Circus, Sportsman's Raffle, and 5K Race, we have added a "Feztival of Trees" event, an obstacle course mud race, and a $100 raffle. Details will be coming soon on those new things.
We are also going to change up how our ceremonial is done. We plan to combine our ceremonial with a Noble's Ball. We have also added a few new activities aimed at getting the public involved. We need to let them know that the Shrine is alive and well!
We are also going to open up three of our business meetings to visitors. These meetings will be abbreviated versions of our regular meeting, just touching on a few pieces of business, then we will have a guest speaker to inform our visitors about what we do. If you have a neighbor that is interested in learning about the Shrine, or a brother Mason in your lodge that isn't sure about joining, these meetings are for them. You may also bring your wife (or girlfriend) so they can hear all about the Shrine. We will have open meetings in March, June, and October. Make sure you attend our standard business meetings to hear more about this.
We are taking risks this year, and hope you will trust us. You can show us your trust by coming out to business meetings, helping out at our fundraisers, getting petitions for new nobles, and being an advocate for the greatest fraternity, and greatest philanthropy in the world.
I hope to see you at a business meeting soon!
Potentate - Elf Khurafeh Shrine
Elf Khurafeh Shrine
Dear Nobles and Ladies,
Thank you for electing and entrusting me to lead Elf Khurafeh Shrine for 2021. I am honored and humbled by this trust. The Divan including myself will strive to be transparent and aboveboard with every aspect of the Temple business.
We have endured a very troublesome year through no fault of our own and these troubles will continue for at least a portion of 2021. We will do our best to weather this storm and try hard to get through these difficult times. Our membership has dropped to unprecedented levels and our traditional fundraisers do not produce as in years past. Therefore, we must concentrate on membership, both retention and recruitment, plus creating new fundraisers to once again achieve financial stability. This can only be done with everyone's dedication and support.
Hopefully our clubs and units will be able to get back to some normalcy and function as they have in the past. I will do my very best to visit each and every one of you at least once. Feel free to call on me if you need help or advice. I may not always have it but will do my best to get it.
May God bless the Shrine and our children.
Yours in the faith,
Ill, Sir Philip "Phil" Brack
Elf Khurafeh Shrine
Due to the increased cases of COVID-19, the Governor and MDHHS restrictions, and the Grand Master of Masons in Michigan’s edicts, we have been forced to postpone our December Business Meeting and Officer Elections until the January 13, 2021 Business Meeting.
The January 13 meeting will be very busy as it is our Annual Meeting, Business meeting, and now Election of Officers, and possible the Installation of Officers. You will need a current Dues Card to attend this meeting so please make every effort to get your 2021 dues paid.
While 2020 has not been the year any of us planned, Elf Khurafeh Shrine is finishing it strong. The Sportsman’s Raffle was held virtually on November 21, and we made a surprisingly good profit. I want to thank Phil Brack, committee chairman, and all the Nobles who worked throughout the year to make it happen. Also, all the Nobles, Clubs and Units, and Friends who sold and / or bought tickets. And lastly a big thank you to Larry Hennesee, who at the last minute stepped in to make our broadcast both professional and successful. We have also had several other favorable financial events in the past month.
Please make every effort to get your dues paid. This is the easiest way to support the Temple. Purchase and sell the 2021 Cash Calendar. This fund raiser is simple and fun!
Finally, I thank the Divan members, Past Potentates, Clubs and Units, and all Nobles and their Ladies, for your support and help throughout 2020. Hopefully, our work and struggles this year will have lasting positive impacts on Elf Khurafeh Shrine and our communities.
God Bless each of you! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May 2021 be brighter and better for all of us.
John E Arnould
Dear Nobles and Ladies.
I hope this letter finds you well. The past six months have been exceedingly difficult for all of us. For those still working, the economy has been slow. We have been isolated from many of our friends and colleagues. We have not been able to participate in many of our usual activities. Summer has flown by without our usual parades, events, and parties. I have heard from some members who have had a family member or friend become ill with COVID-19, but fortunately, we are unaware of any deaths caused by it,
Elf Khurafeh Shrine has survived through this most unusual summer, but we are in an extremely difficult financial situation. Just as our clubs and units have been unable to participate in their usual fundraising activities, neither has the Temple. The Sportsman's Raffle has been postponed until November 21st, but it will be a virtual drawing with none of the usual extra money-making activities, and ticket sales are down so we hope to break even on this. The Onion Sale had to be cancelled due to State restrictions and concern for our member's well-being. Almost all hall rentals were cancelled or postponed till next year. In Saginaw, Bingo has been cancelled. The Pulaski Club has not been able to operate normal hours and are several thousands of dollars in arrears of their rent. In addition to this we have several Nobles who have not paid their 2020 dues as of this time.
The Divan, Finance Committee, Past Potentates, and our Financial Advisor have all worked hard to minimize expenditures as much as possible. But necessary bills continue to come and must be paid. Fundraising activities will not take place until Spring of 2021, or later.
I am asking each of you to help ensure Elf Khurafeh Shrine continues for years to come. Please search your hearts and remember why you became a Shriner - to help children with debilitating medical conditions. To continue this mission, we need your financial help now!
If you are in arrears of your dues, please make that payment now.
If your 2020 dues are paid, 2021 dues are coming due, please pay these as soon as you can.
Please consider making an additional donation to Elf Khurafeh Shrine in any amount you are able to.
Your checks can be mailed to the Temple at PO Box 1, Clio, MI 48420, or paid on line through our store at ekshrine.com.
Thank you for your urgent help. May God bless each of you and keep you safe.
John E. Arnould
I've been asked to share a brief email discussion regarding the current and future status of transporting children to our hospitals.
I'm sure you've heard that we have been unable to transport children to our Chicago and Cincinnati hospitals due to Covid-19. For the safety of our hospitals, drivers, and especially kids, Shriners International along with the Board of Directors and Board of Trustees of Shriners Hospitals for Children closed transportation early in the spring. Any child needing a check-up or follow-up appointment has been able to do so using a system called Fast Track. Fast Track is similar to Zoom or Go To Meeting - it is a way for people to meet over the internet where they can talk to and see each other. This has been very beneficial in that our kids can still see their doctors, and the doctors can note the progress being made by each patient without the risk of potentially infecting each other.
But now, as the world is slowly opening up from it's Covid-19 forced slumber, there are questions about transportation. Illustrious Sir Ron Stanley, the Elf Khurafeh Board of Governors representative to the Chicago Hospital had a brief discussion with Mark Niederpruem, FACHE who is the Administratos of the Chicago Hospital. Here are the highlights of their conversation:
Illustrious Sir Ron: Mark, when do you think transportation will start up again?
Mark: Some Shrine Centers are currently transporting kids so it is up to the Shrine Centers and the individual drivers if they are comfortable transporting at this time.
Illustrious Sir Ron: Telehealth in Saginaw - is it going to stay active?
Mark: I do not know the long term answer to this question. However, at this time it will remain active. Since March when Covid hit, Shriners Hospital for Children - Chicago has significantly increased telehealth, but using personal devices in patient homes. I suspect this will continue and eventually the Saginaw site will then be reevaluated to see if [it] is used enough to keep it going.
Illustrious Sir Ron: Will we need all the vans in the future?
Mark: If telehealth ramps up in the coming year like it has recently, I project the number of trips need[ed] will decrease. What I don't know is by how much. Sorry I can't be more precise at this time.
If you have any questions regarding the current situation for transportation or what lies ahead, feel free to contact Illustrious Sir Ron Stanley. He will try to answer all of your questions.
So much has changed since I first wrote an article for this issue of the Arabian Knights. We have gone from two very busy months to everything is cancelled or postponed. All of April’s Shrine events are cancelled. Both Circus Park and Saginaw Shriners Hall are closed.
May’s Shrine events are cancelled or postponed. We will have digital business meetings in April and May. As government restrictions are lifted, and safety concerns lessen, we will reevaluate resuming meetings.
The Sportsman’s Raffle has been rescheduled for June 21. This is not an ideal day (Sunday), but Circus Park is rented every Saturday through mid-October, so our options are limited. We will not cancel a rental for a Shrine event as the income is even more needed than normal at this time. New tickets have been printed and are available from Phil Brack. Please get out and really push these tickets. We need this to be a major event for the Temple.
The Easter Party, Oasis Craft Show, and property cleanup are cancelled. The Arab Patrol Raffle Party is postponed to later date to be determined.
May’s Spring Ceremonial and the Scottish Rite Reunion have been cancelled. The Ladies Luncheon has been postponed and will be rescheduled when possible.
June events are still on for now. The Shriner’s Run is moving fast! Arab Patrol’s Steak Fry is cooking. The Car Show on June 21st is canceled but is being replaced with the Sportsman’s Raffle. We are waiting on updates from the Chicago Hospital, but it appears they will be cancelling the June 7 Hospital Day. We will keep you updated on this.
The Divan and Finance Committee are working diligently to establish policies and procedures for the handling of Temple funds. By the time you read this many of these policies will be in place. Our goal is to be able to generate realistic budgets that are attainable and manage funds to meet our obligations on timely schedules. Once we get the Temple policies in place, we will be working on the Association budget.
The 2020 Shrine Dues are past due. We still have several Nobles that have not paid their dues. Please get this into the office as soon as you can. You can pay online at www.ekshrine.com or by USPS mail. If you, or a Noble you know, are having financial burdens that make paying the dues difficult, please contact the Recorder or me. We can help you through this and maintain your Shrine privileges.
These times are trying. Please take care of yourselves and family. Your health and well being is of utmost importance. If you are healthy, strong, and able, please remember the many less fortunate in our communities. If you are able to volunteer in any way, please do. There are so many things that need to be done. You can assist at local foodbanks, deliver meals or groceries, sew masks for first responders, call shut ins. Remember the three principal rungs of Jacob’s Ladder – Faith, Hope, and Charity. The greatest of these is Charity!
We will update you to new developments as they occur. Visit our website, www.ekshrine. com; Facebook, Elf Khurafeh Shriners, and Instagram. Or call a Divan Member.
Prayers to our sick and shut ins, may you have a speedy recovery. God Bless our Temples of Mercy. May their hands heal our Shrine Children!
Your humble servant,
John E Arnould
Updates from the Elf Khurafeh Shrine Divan