One of my goals for 2019 was to create an avenue for all El Riad promotions to come under one roof and be coordinated by one group. This would allow for future El Riad promotions to have a similar branding, similar goals, a structured and cohesive function, and a more efficient use of fiscal assets. This has been accomplished via the creation of the El Riad Marketing Group. An important aspect of this group was to have within its membership nobles who have worked in media, purchased media, created media campaigns, or otherwise have experience with promoting and advertising. We were successful in that aspect as well, as the group is capably coordinated by Ill. Sir Jim Burma PP, El Riad Public Relations Director Rocky Hayes, and Imperial Donor Development team member Reid Jensen. Joining the group as advisors have been nobles Dennis VerHey, Chris Morrison and Gavin Wigg. Since its inception in January, the team has been primarily focused on working with the Circus Committee on updating Shrine Circus promotion. The team has created a new look circus logo, is exploring a new or updated television promotion, and has been researching various media options for effective circus advertising. Among future endeavors for which the Marketing Group might focus upon beyond the circus are assisting the Membership Committee with recruitment campaigns; helping the Hospital Representatives with marketing our periodic screening clinics and Shrine healthcare seminars; and, providing guidance to the Shrine Cup and Shrine Football game committees.

Speaking of screening clinics, El Riad will host a free screening clinic on Saturday, April 13, at the Orthopedic Institute in Sioux Falls. Staff from Shriners Healthcare for Children – Twin Cities will be on hand to meet children with bone, muscle or joint problems and determine if SHC can serve as a resource for the child’s orthopedic condition. We are very grateful to our friends at Orthopedic Institute for hosting our clinic and aiding our efforts to make lives a little better for the kids were serve. And, a special thanks goes out to our Hospital Representatives team, co-chaired by Roger Risty and Paul Buriak, for always making this a great event for El Riad.

Speaking of clinics once more, the possibility of a future offsite outreach clinic of SHC — Twin Cities being located in Sioux Falls looks a bit more promising than it did when I spoke with many of you at the unit Christmas parties. Nothing is certain yet, but your El Riad representatives at the recent MSA Winter Session in Aberdeen learned that the Joint Boards of Governors at Imperial Headquarters are favorably viewing Sioux Falls as a location for a telehealth installation. As we keep our fingers crossed on this one, be assured that your Board of Directors will be doing everything we can to make this possibility a reality for our temple, our nobility, and especially for our Shrine kids and their parents.

Yours in the Faith,

John Whitelock, Potentate

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