The sun shines bright in the summer as does the El Riad Shrine. It’s parade season, and time for our many units and clubs to show off and do what they do best – proudly represent our temple to the many communities both inside and outside of our realm.

What a great way to highlight the parade season but to have an All-Shrine Parade with wall to wall people on the streets and lots of smiles and shouts of encouragement. That’s exactly what we had in Dell Rapids on June 22. It was truly an impressive sight to see the sheer throng of Shriners providing a Shrine experience to the people that lined the streets. This was our third parade there, and it is apparent that the folks of Dell Rapids love a Shrine parade. All the credit goes out to the units and clubs that participated to make it a great day for El Riad and the people of Dell Rapids, and to Chief of Staff Larry “Fluffy” Miller and his able assistant Aaron Zahn for organizing this first-class event that went off without a hitch. Also, many thanks to Illustrious Sir Rich Burns PP for chauffeuring me in his beautiful convertible, and to the Provost Unit for the escort in their new-to-them tin lizzie police cars. Finally, a huge shout out to the Culinary Unit headed by Steve Hauff and the Pote’s Aides led by Paul Berndt for the outstanding food and service to which we have become accustomed.

Summer circus season has come and gone with June shows in Windom, Winner and Yankton. The shows sponsored by the Rosebud Shrine Club and the Lewis and Clark Shrine Club were well attended and blessed with good weather. Our circus in Windom, sponsored by the Gopher Shrine Club, was the first for that club and we are encouraged with the response of the community to the event and the circus promoter’s positive comments about the Windom Arena. The nobles of the Windom club have several great ideas for next year to go along with the learning experiences they had this year. I commend and congratulate all the nobles and ladies from these Shrine clubs for their hard work in making their circuses a reality, and extend my appreciation to all of the nobles from Sioux Falls that traveled to those locations to help their fellow nobles.

Your Executive Divan and several past potentates traveled to Nashville, TN for the 145th Imperial Session in early July. This event is when the business of the fraternity and charity is transacted, and legislation is passed for both bodies. There are several items of legislation that I will highlight. A resolution sponsored by the Imperial Divan to permit them to impose financial assessments upon the temples for special purposes was defeated by the representatives. Also defeated was a resolution sponsored by another temple that would disallow nominations from the floor during the annual election of officers, and rather require that all nominations be made at a stated meeting prior to the annual meeting. A resolution permitting Tripoli Shriners of Milwaukee, WI to join the Midwest Shrine Association was approved. Approved resoundingly by the representatives was legislation to require that each hospital’s appointed board of governors be allowed to vote regarding the closing or relocating of their hospital. This was the preferred option rather than allowing just the Imperial Divan and the Imperial Board of Trustees to unilaterally make such decisions. Also highlighted at the session were plans to move or merge the Houston and Galveston hospitals; relocating, merging or changing the model of the hospitals in Tampa, Springfield and St. Louis; and the merger of the Cincinnati hospital with a children’s hospital in Dayton, OH.

Please save the date for the annual Noble’s Party on September 7 at the Shrine. My lady Ralynn and I will host a summer party featuring the great sounds of the Sugar Daddy band, fantastic ribeye steaks courtesy of Shorty Hofer and flawlessly prepared by the Culinary Unit. Wednesday night drink prices will be in effect and your price for the night is only $25 per person. Childcare will be provided for those who need it. There will be prizes and fun galore. Watch for an email blast to follow soon.

Keep doing what you do. We are who we are because of your efforts.

Fraternally,

John Whitelock, Potentate