Steve Hauff

Hometown: Sioux City, Iowa

What keeps you in Sioux Falls? My family, my business and my friends. Sioux Falls is such a nicer place to live than Sioux City. My father asked me to move back to Sioux City 20 years ago, but I told him that Sioux Falls is more progressive, and that South Dakota was where most of our business occurred. 

Who was your Masonic sponsor, when did you join, and why did you become a Master Mason? Dave Stevens and Truman Phelan. I was raised a Master Mason in March, 2002. My father had been a Mason for 75 years. He never asked me to join but when Dave Stevens contacted me, I agreed to join and at the same time my two sons Curt and Jerry joined. My father drove to Sioux Falls for our installation as Master Mason in 2002. He was 97 years old.

Who was your Shrine sponsor, when did you join, and why did you become a Shriner? Dave Stevens and Truman Phelan were my sponsors. I joined the Shrine in May, 2002 in a ceremony in Yankton, SD. I remember Joe Alick cooking in the kitchen of the Scottish Rite temple. I helped at the Circus in 2002 before joining the Shrine, but both Dave and Truman wanted me to become a Shriner and then a member of the Snack Unit. Dave and I had been friends for 29 years and been members of the Dakota Relays board. Truman had been our banker for 35 years. I joined the Shrine after talking with my father and why he joined. Also, I joined to have fun with a group of outstanding men.

What is your favorite part of being a Masonic Shriner? Volunteering with a group of men with the same goals.

What units and clubs have you been and/or currently are a member? I belonged to the Golf Unit for a few years and have been a member of the Snacks/Culinary Unit since I joined the El Riad Shrine.

What committees and roles have you been a part of over the years? As a member of the Culinary Unit, we are involved with helping a couple of committees. Now, I am a liaison member of the Sportsman Classic.

When did you join the El Riad Shrine Culinary Unit? I joined the Snacks Unit the day I joined the El Riad Shrine. The name was changed to the Culinary Unit in 2013.

What has been your involvement with the Culinary Unit and what has it meant to you? When I joined the Snacks Unit, we made the hot dogs for the Circus and that was our basic function. We helped with the two ceremonials in serving a catered meal. In 2007, I was elected president of the Snacks Unit. One day, the Potentate asked us if we could make the meal as well as serve the meal – this instead of having a catering company deliver the meal. The Snacks Unit agreed to try the Spring Ceremonial by doing the cooking at the Masonic Temple kitchen. From there, more activities were requested.

In 2013, while wintering in Arizona, I stopped at the Shrine temple in Phoenix to see what their food unit did. The name was Culinary Unit, so I came back and changed our name from Snacks to Culinary Unit. Little did I know that there is a process for everything in the Shrine and I did not go through proper channels to make this change. Fortunately for me, Potentate Rich Burns did not kick me out of the Shrine. So, from 2013 until now, we are the Culinary Unit.

The Culinary crew is a diverse group of men who like to gather for fun and for food. Yes, we get to taste what we make. Also, we have been able to contribute funds back to El Riad for the past five years. Our best year was $13,500 plus the purchase of the large refrigerator for $2,400.

There are three events that the Culinary Unit has done which were challenges but were accomplished with pride. One event is the Chamber of Commerce mixers that were done. Another event was the MSA parade meal in Tea. We were challenged to have a hot meal, have small food lines and serve 1,200 people quickly. Thanks to the knowledge of Bruce Boegler, we accomplished this meal in record time, despite the failure of two grills. Had it not been for four guys buying a new grill, this event would have been a disaster. The last event has been the most recent challenge of serving the Sportsman Classic in October. We now have two years under our belt.

How does your Lady feel about your Shrine involvement? Sue has supported my involvement in the Shrine. She does tell me that this involvement is mine and not hers.

How did you feel about the Shrine Football Game being dedicated to you? I do not think this date should be dedicated to me. The Culinary is a “WE” group of men. It is not what I do but what WE do that makes this crew noticed and fun. I could name each person and what they have done for the El Riad Shrine Culinary Unit but that would take up too much room in the Cactus. As in most groups, there are several people who are able to give more of their time and talents, but we welcome all involvement from each member. THANK YOU, GENTLEMEN, FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO THE CULINARY UNIT.

Describe El Riad Shrine in five words: Philanthropy, Fun, Friends, Purpose, You

Other than your son, Jerry, are you a part of a Masonic Shrine legacy? My father Dwight Hauff is a third generation Masonic Shriner. As I mentioned, son’s Curt and Jerry are both Masonic Shriners. I am the fourth generation Mason, and my sons are fifth generation Masons.

What does it mean for Jerry to be a Shriner alongside his dad? This question might be better answered by Curt and Jerry. As for me as the father, I am proud that both sons are members. Curt is a member of the Culinary Unit but has a younger family so does not have much time for the Culinary events, but he does help at the Circus and the Sportsman Classic dinner. Jerry is involved in the Ski Unit, the Motor Corps and the vice president of the Culinary Unit, so is very involved in activities at the Shrine.

What would you tell shriners and their families about joining our family, fraternity and philanthropy? First, when I do talk to prospective Masonic Shriners, I tell them that I did not join until I was 60, so age is not a factor in joining an organization. A person can get totally involved in any organization, but I ask that person how much time they will have to devote to an organization. Second, what do expect to derive from joining our fraternity? Third, as a family, I tell them what is available for the family in the Masonic Shrine kingdom. Fourth, I tell them the cost of each organization and the event costs.

Lastly, I ask them to join us for the Circus to see what we do and why we do it and then hope we can include them in our kingdom.

What else would you like to share with our Cactus readers? I have been involved in several organizations in my career, but I think the Masonic Shrine fraternity has provided me with the most enjoyment and variety in life. As I mature, I have more time to be a Shriner. We welcome additional enthusiastic Shriners to join the Culinary crew. I see several Wednesday night men who would be a welcome addition to the unit. Step forward and join the Culinary crew at our table. Ask the grill mates if there are benefits.