Hello, and so glad to have you in the best Shrine in North America – El Riad! 

Spring Ceremonial was a great success! A new group of Nobles was brought into the Shrine on May 19, and their Ladies were able to meet some new Shrine sister/friends! Leo Baumgart our first Ceremonial master was in charge, fine job. They all enjoyed a spring day like they have never experienced before! 

Getting to know the people in El Riad is one of the most important things we can all do to welcome them all into our Shrine Family! If you see a new Noble or Lady please invite them to join you or your group. We’ve encouraged them to come to the Wednesday night socials and the parades so they can be an active addition to our Shrine family, so help us make that happen! 

I want to personally thank everyone who worked so hard to help El Riad achieve this portion of the 2018 goal at the Spring Ceremonial! It was a real honor for me to dedicate the Spring Ceremonial to Stan “Stumpy” Cadwell; he has done so much for El Riad during his years as a Shriner, and has been a real friend to so many of us! And Lady Marla appreciates the decorating and assistance given at the Ladies Luncheon! 

The Hospital Day bus trip on May 19 was also a success! We had many participants go who did not have a previous opportunity to visit the hospital before! The Back 40 Boys (B40Bs) also performed on the center patio again this year, and entertained so many appreciative listeners! Just as in the past, they had several interested bystanders who were more than happy to join in their songs and laughter! Thanks, B40Bs, for taking another opportunity to show how El Riad is a great supporter of the Twin Cities Shrine Hospital for Children! And a big thank you also goes out to the members of the Clown Unit who went along to make the day so colorful! You, too, are always a favorite at this event!

The upcoming summer months will prove to be very busy, as they have also been in previous years! Parade Season is upon us! If your unit has not yet done so, be sure to submit the request/permission slip for all of the parades you hope to participate in. Remember – this is mandatory!

June and July will be two busy months! It starts with the Potes Golf Tourney on Thursday, June 14. John Whitelock and his crew are working diligently to make this another great success, and we hope to enjoy good weather and a lot of past participants! 

Next up would be the Pote’s Parade on Saturday, June 16, at Tea SD during their Tea Pot Days. This parade is always a great time in Tea, and they love our units and the fun we bring to their event. Plus, our families attend and are able to see how much fun we have while “doing our thing” for the kids! And it’s a blast to see so many faces we know at that parade! COME ON OUT, EVERYONE – JOIN US IN THE FUN! Remember that there will be an Oasis after the parade for El Riad Shriners and their families; be sure to join us there for food, drink, and relaxation! It’s a day that will be sure to be full of fun festivities (and – hopefully – NO RAIN) right Rich?!?

Next on the list is the Circus in Yankton on Friday, June 22. That is a big event for the area, and they might need some extra hands. If you have the time, go down and help them enjoy a great circus there. The next day, June 23, is the Winner circus; again they would appreciate some help to make it a successful circus. We have done this for several years now, and it is always appreciated! They work just as hard as we do to make their circuses a success! And, as an added bonus, you’ll get to see lots of kids with smiles on their faces and you’ll most likely have a lot of fun in the process!

Following those busy two days and evenings, the 2018 El Riad Shrine Family Day will be held on Sunday, June 24, at the Great Plains Zoo. This will include not only our local shrine families, but also the families of our Shrine patients. Last year we had a fantastic response to this and hope this year will be the same! Please encourage any new Nobles to bring their families and enjoy this outing; it’s a great way to meet them and for them to meet all of us!

Now we move on to July and Imperial Session, which will be held from July 14 – 18 in Daytona Beach, Florida. The Divan will represent El Riad in the business matters, and might even find time for a little fun along the way! It’s always interesting to see parade units from across the country show off their skills. And although we never (?) compare them to El Riad, we know we have just as much fun as they do when our units perform their amazing routines! Next year Imperial Session will be in Nashville, Tennessee, which will be much closer and easier for El Riad units to participate in! Lady Marla will be sending out information to the Ladies who will be going.

Since this issue includes the months of June and July, I also need to make mention of Midwest Shrine Association 2018 in Deadwood. It will be held from August 16 – 18. The units have been busy registering and finding rooms as they’ve been making their plans to attend. The units who are competing have also been practicing and fine-tuning their routines! Keep up the great work, Nobles! You are the reason El Riad has been so consistently successful during these sessions! Good luck to all of you during the competition rounds! Once again, Lady Marla will be getting the pertinent information out to the Divan Ladies so they will be aware of any functions they will need to attend.

PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THIS PARTICULAR ANNOUNCEMENT! Unity Lodge has received dispensation from the Grand Master to have a one-day event on June 9. If you have someone in mind or know someone who wants to become a Mason/Shriner, now would be the time to contact either PP John Archer or PP Charlie Brown to get your candidate on the schedule. This will really help El Riad reach the goal for the Fall Ceremonial and achieve positive growth in 2018!

In closing, I would again like to thank all of the Nobles, their Ladies, and their families for making El Riad what it is – “THE GREATEST TEMPLE IN THE SYSTEM!” Thank you! In closing, remember to HAVE FUN and INSPIRE someone each and every day!

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