November was again a busy month for El Riad as always! November 1–5, lots of us went down to Las Vegas to help Marshall the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. This great high profile PGA event was well attend by many people and seen on TV all over the world. This was my first time getting to do this and I enjoyed it a lot. Thanks to Charlie Brown, PP to help organize this great effort to support this event once again. El Riad has the biggest group in Shriners attendance. I hope to be able to go again! For information and 2018 get a hold of Charlie Brown. 

Then, on November 8, I was invited to attend the Annual Law Enforcement Dinner held at the Ramkota here in Sioux Falls. This special and great event honors law enforcement, first responders and other groups that help keep us all safe. Special thanks to Gene Abdallah, his family and others for helping organize this event. With Gene’s help and his generous sponsors, they give back to area Children’s Charities here in South Dakota. The El Riad Shrine/Shriners Hospitals for Children was again selected to receive this help. A $5,000 donation was again made to the Hospital. Thank you, Gene! 

November 11, we held are Fall Ceremonial here in Sioux Falls. We made a big effort to revamp this event to try a few new ways of doing things. The morning session was mostly for mentoring our new candidates. The Ladies held a lunch and then joined us at the Temple at 2 p.m. for our new opening. This ceremonial was dedicated to all the men and women who have served in our armed service in anyway. With it being Veterans Day, we wanted to pay special attention to our veterans. We invited all that served down to the dance floor and it was almost full! It was great to hear how and where they served. Special thanks again for your service! Welcome the new Nobles that were able to participate in the ceremonial.

On November 22, we celebrated the Pote’s (my) Birthday Party at the Shrine. I wanted to throw a big party and spend the night with all my friends and family. I hope all who attended had a good time and enjoyed the night. All proceeds from the night will go to the El Riad Transportation Fund. Special thanks to the Clowns for helping run this party and the El Riad Culinary Unit for the food and snacks!

I hope all have a good Thanksgiving Holiday Week!

December is Christmas Party Month at El Riad. The biggest and best party is the one we put on for our Shrine Hospital Kids. This great event is December 3, I hope all can come out and help! Our Units and Clubs also put on Christmas Parties for their members and are nice enough to invite the Divan. We always have fun trying to get to all of them.

I hope all of you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as we roll into 2018!

2017 is quickly winding down and the year has gone by so fast. Lady Kim and I would like to thank all the Ladies and Nobles of El Riad for a great year. Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to serve as your Potentate in 2017. This has been a special year for me and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

Please always remember – WE ARE (ALL) EL RIAD!

Jim Burma, Jr.
2017 El Riad Potentate