By Jim Slater
On April 13, I got an opportunity that I just could not pass up. I was asked to go to Pasadena, CA, and attend the dedication of our newest Shriners for Children Medical Center. This hospital was the replacement for Shriners Hospital for Children in Los Angeles, CA.
Let’s back up and start from the beginning.
How did it happen that I would get this opportunity to attend to the dedication of a new hospital in the shrine system? Gary Greenleaf asked if I would like to accompany his godfather, Linda and Gary, to the dedication.
A littler history on Stan Gary’s Godfather Stan—he has been a long time Member of Al Malaikah Shriners and Stan is a long time member of the Clown unit at Al Malaikah Shrine in Los Angeles.
Stan loved to spend time at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and he loved it so much that he spent over 4,000 man hours at the hospital volunteering over the years. Stan’s love for Shriners Hospital did not stop there—when he heard that the new hospital was going to be built he decided to dedicate some money to the new hospital.
For all of his time and donation to the hospital, a visitor’s room was dedicated in Stan’s name with a marker and some pictures of him in his clown costume. I had the opportunity to meet Stan in Sioux Falls and then again in Mesa, AZ. I was honored to be asked to go along on this trip. What a great opportunity for Stan to see this new hospital and to have his Godson, Gary Greenleaf, Linda Forest, and me, join him.
As we arrived at the hospital there were lot of Shriners and their wives coming to see the new hospital, and some patients along with the Imperial Officers and Grand lodge Officers were also at this event.
As I walked through the new hospital I had the opportunity to see this hospital before any or our kids were admitted to the hospital. This hospital will be treating cleft lips, orthopedic problems, and from time to time speech therapy. Just like our Twin Cities Hospital it is very kid friendly with colorful hallways. There is also a wall that kids can play different games upon as it’s reactive to touch and movement. There is a new EOS machine and a state of the art prostatic lab and fitting area.
We had the opportunity to see their new full surgical suite with great recovery and rehab areas. If the patients need to stay for a extended amount of time there is an arrangement with a local hospital just a few block away.
The dedication for this new hospital was started by a Masonic ceremony of placing items in a time capsule and then placing it in the corner stone. It was very interesting to see this ceremony and also to watch two of our kids get the opportunity to place the capsule under the corner stone.
As in most dedications there were many speeches and appreciative comments for all the time spent and the many years it took to raise the over 70 million dollars to build this hospital. The best part was the emcees of the this event which were four young patients that had a great time poking fun at the Imperial officers and the board of directors of the hospital.
This was a opportunity that I am glad that I was able to be a part of and please take the time to visit our hospitals with your family, friends, and interested shrine candidates.