Time flies when you’re having fun, and there was fun to be had in October for El Riad.

TEAM EL RIAD had a great showing and a lot of fun at the 2019 Shriners Hospitals for Children PGA golf tournament in Las Vegas. 23 nobles along with spouses, family and friends made up the 54-member team that took on the task of marshaling holes 7, 8 and 9 at this year’s event. Ill. Sir Charles Brown PP and Lady Paula, who once again organized and managed the team, were very grateful for the large turnout and hard work of the nobility in Las Vegas. They had great weather and accommodations, and a fantastic field of pro golfers. The team also got to mingle with Shrine patients from all 22 hospitals who served as standard bearers for the tournament, and this made the Open a memorable experience for all. Thanks to all who once again proudly represented all of El Riad at this great event. We appreciate what you to do make El Riad stand out on the national stage.

The 2019 Sportsman’s Classic is in the books and this event continues to be a highly successful fundraiser for the fraternity. Chairman Jeff Landborg and his hardworking crew did a great job entertaining over 450 attendees who were hungry, thirsty, and generous in their zeal to win a great prize. This event takes months of planning, and the Sportsman’s Committee spares no effort at ensuring great organization, which ensures that those who buy tickets have a great time. This year, a major change was made by having the Culinary Unit cook the meal which featured steaks provided by Noble Shorty Hofer. I heard many positive comments about the food, and am pleased that the funds for the meal will stay inside El Riad, rather than going to an outside caterer. Congratulations to the Committee and the cooking crew for a job well done, and thanks for doing what you do for El Riad. Note: I was going to mention the noble who won the 50/50 drawing of over $3,400, but I can’t because I’m not sure if he told his wife. So congratulations and I will not throw you under the bus this time.

Now, onto upcoming events that provide more camaraderie and fun for the nobility and ladies. The Fall Ceremonial, chaired by Second Ceremonial Master Don McCoy and Chief of Staff Larry “Fluff” Miller kicks off on Saturday, November 9 with candidate registration starting at 8:00 a.m. and the opening ceremony at 10:00 a.m. There are also activities for the ladies commencing at 11:00 a.m. at the History Club. This is a great time for the nobility and ladies to reunite to celebrate what El Riad stands for, and to welcome new nobles and ladies to the fraternity. The event calendar elsewhere in this issue of the Cactus provides more details on the day’s events. Please come join in this celebration of the fraternity.

It’s not too early to start planning for an always fun event coming up in the future – the 2020 Imperial Session at Kansas City, MO, scheduled for July 5–9. Because the annual MSA summer session is in Regina, Saskatchewan, it’s likely that few if any of our parade units will attend due to the extreme distance. Because of that, I would encourage all units to consider taking the relatively short journey south to Kansas City to have a great time in the city known for barbecue, steaks and craft beer. The center of the fun will be in the Power & Light District, with its more than 50 restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues that offer something for everyone. It’s not often that an Imperial Session comes so close to our territory, so it’s a great opportunity to participate in this international event and experience all that an Imperial Session has to offer. Please support up-and-coming Potentate Al Zahn and consider Kansas City as your July destination.

Lastly, I want to extend the temple’s sincere thanks to Noble Ron Fox of Fox Drywall for providing the trim work for our east door replacement project. The decorative trim is a nice addition to the east exterior of our building, and compliments the work his firm did on the west side of the building. And, the east door is now strong and sturdy due to the efforts of nobles Jeff Landborg, George Hamilton and Joel Baker. This project required some unique engineering to figure out how to attach the heavy steel door to a clay tile wall, and the end result finds a much better outcome than we experienced with a commercial vendor when the door was first installed. Thanks, nobles, for always being willing volunteers to help improve our building for the nobility.

Fraternally,

John Whitelock, Potentate

El Riad Shrine