With the vaccines now reaching more and more of our fellow Nobles, our calendars are starting to fill up, and events are taking shape. We sincerely hope vaccine and immunity means that the second half of our Shrine year will be back to “normal”.

While it is not yet the second half of the year, for those who are comfortable to go out in public, on March 27, we will host El Riad Shrine night at the Sioux Falls Stampede, This is a chance to get out of the house and have some fun and fellowship with, not only your brothers in the shrine, but also the friends and neighbors that you invite! $5 of each ticket sold goes back to our Shrine. The clowns are going to be selling pucks for the “Chuck a Puck” contest and all proceeds from those sales go to the Shrine. So please consider going out to the Premier Center and support your Shrine while cheering on the SF Stampede. Buy your tickets online at fevo.me/ElRiad. This sales portal is open till 2 p.m. on 3/27/21. 

We had our business meeting for the winter session of the MSA on Saturday 2/13/21. We learned that the summer Midwest Shrine Association (MSA) in Sioux City will be going on as scheduled. This is an event every unit and club should have on their agenda! Abu Bekr is the closest host Temple to us in the MSA. Plus, It is a chance to get out and parade and compete! Please discuss this with your unit and club and let Kent Quail at the office know how many rooms you need, please respond by March 10. The Abu Bekr housing chairman has indicated that all of our El Riad Nobles will be able to stay in the same hotel.

We also learned from our Imperial Sir Jim Smith that the Imperial session will “absolutely” take place July 4—8. 

The membership committee and the three Sioux Falls lodges are working in unison to increase Masonic and Shrine membership. This is a great time to introduce the benefits of Masonry and Shrinedom to your friends, co-workers, neighbors and relatives. The membership team is working very hard to help create more Masons and Shriners, but they need your help! Degree work is going on right now, and you can contact the membership team for details. Please see the membership article in this Cactus.

Speaking of the Cactus, this is the 100th year of the award winning El Riad Cactus! Congratulations to all the past editors and especially to our current Cactus Editor and Public Relations Director Rocky Hayes. You would think with words like “rocky” and “cactus”, the process might be a little rough and painful, but with Rocky at the helm, it is a SMOOTH ride! Thanks Rocky! 

This just in, the Watertower Days Festival Parade in Pipestone, MN which was scheduled for June 26, has been pushed back to July 31. The reason stated, is that MN has restrictions currently in place, that limit gatherings to 250 people. The planning committee hopes that by pushing it back a month, vaccines will be wide spread enough to allow lifting of this restriction. I hope this new date works for all the units and clubs that plan on parading.

Also, the Fife & Drum will be having their St Patty’s beer pong tournament on March 13. This will be a scaled down version, but it will still be FUN. 

Thanks to all for being Shriners! Together, we can have FUN in 21! 

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