El Riad has had a very busy summer, but I will have to say it’s also been extremely gratifying! 

We can all be very proud of our communications systems here at El Riad! An impartial panel of judges reviews magazines, newspapers, emails, websites, etc., from Shrine Temples all over the Americas to determine the winners. I am extremely proud to announce that Shriners International has awarded TWO FIRST PLACE 2018 DROMEDARY AWARDS to El Riad Temple! They are in the categories of Email Communications for the Weekly Shrine Schedule and the El Riad Facebook Page! A big shout out and a huge thank you goes to Rocky Hayes for creating both of these for our temple! 

Now, let me start off with the Pote’s Parade! It was again a fun time in the great town of Tea. The folks in Tea make it easy for us to have a good time without jumping thru hoops. Alan Machmiller and Larry Miller had things in perfect order. They work great together as a team, and I want to thank them both for their efforts. The Culinary Unit did an unbelievable job in making the Nobles and their families welcome by serving everything hot and tasty, and having plenty of it on hand so no one went home hungry! Lady Marla and I greeted everyone as they entered the food line and there were times I thought we were feeding the entire city of Tea! What a fantastic turnout of our Shrine families, and we thank them all for coming out in the heat of the day!

The following weekend we celebrated Shrine Family Day at the Great Plains Zoo. The weather was great and the event went very smoothly. Leo Baumgart had everything in order, and the Culinary Unit once again fed us all in the fashion that we have come to enjoy. Our own Pote’s Aides made sure we were hydrated and that the ice cream bars flowed like water. Thanks, Steve Haase, and your amazing crew. 

The circuses in the cities of Yankton and Winner were great successes! We had several volunteers from Sioux Falls attend both events to help. As you know, WE ARE ALL EL RIAD and work together to be the best Shrine Temple in the system. A big thank you goes out to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to help out with those two circuses! It was very much appreciated!

2018 Shrine Imperial Session in Daytona Beach was a busy time with several things to vote on in the business meetings. I know we are all glad to be done with the three years of Florida meetings and are looking forward to going to Nashville next year and supporting John Whitelock and his mighty men for the year 2019. Nashville will be a great time, as entertainment is everywhere and there should be something for everybody! 

This month we will be going to Midwest Shrine Association in Deadwood. This will be a much shorter distance then in previous years and should be a great time. The number of nobles going is very good and I want to thank them for their time and efforts. “Here’s to the Nobles! They have class! Here’s to the nobles! They’re a h…………….!” We also know that every unit who competes will take pride in putting their best foot and/or wheels forward and will make El Riad very proud! I know you’ve all been putting in hours and nights of practice which will again pay off in trophies!

Lady Marla and I want to take this opportunity to remind you about the Pote’s Party on August 25! The committee headed by Chief Rabban John and Lady Ralynn Whitelock is up to speed and planning a great time. The theme is “CARNIVAL!” and you can imagine what could be in store for the guests! We will again be providing childcare at the Masonic Lodge lower level, which will be manned by the Jobs Daughters. This will be free, as we want the younger Nobles to come and have a great time without the expense of a babysitter. Look at the ad in the Cactus for all the details, or check your invitation and RSVP to the Shrine Office. NOTE: There will be a surprise which will not be divulged until the night of the party, so you won’t want to miss out on this opportunity to have a great time! The Culinary Unit will be providing the eats, and we will also have the Crabgrass Crew entertain us for a short period of time following dinner. Please join us for an evening of fun, games, music, and laughter!

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Membership Team. They have done an amazing job of recruiting, signing, and making sure our new nobles have all the information they need to become a member of El Riad! On June 27, they organized what we now call “The Lukewarm Sands!” It’s not a coldsands or a hotsands of the desert. Let me explain, we had 10 – let’s count them – 10 new Nobles join our ranks on that night! The Ritualistic Unit, along with the Directors Staff, did an amazing job initiating them into our fold. The versatility of both units allowed them to make changes to their program and they did it seamlessly! I thank you all for your hard work! The membership team is still working hard to reach our goal of 75 new Nobles in the year 2018 and we are still only half way there. We need the names of your best friends or relatives – someone you would want to enjoy the benefits of being a Shriner, and a member of El Riad. Get those names to our membership team and let’s make it happen! On the third Wednesday of EVERY month there is a rush party so bring your candidate on those nights and let us invite them to be one of us!

 In closing I would thank the Nobles of El Riad for their timeless efforts to keep us the best Shrine Temple in the system. 

In closing, remember to HAVE FUN and KEEP INSPIRING someone to step up and do a great job each and every day! THANK YOU! 

Maury “Big Moe” Richard
2018 Potentate, El Riad Shrine