What’s your “why”? A question John (Hank) Schuety asked the Clowns when he was Big Clown. Why are you a Shriner? Why did you join the Clown Unit or any Unit? Why do you go to the Unit meetings? Why do you work at Shrine events? Why do you go to the Stated Meetings? A lot of whys and in most cases we all have the same answer. Considering the challenging year we are having maybe we should revisit “What’s your why”? 

We as Shriners have loosened up our masks a little and have started doing more things. More Units are having meetings. Our Wednesday Night Socials are attracting more members every week. Our rentals are slowly coming back. Golf tournaments are popular.

The Twin Lakes Golf Tournament was held Saturday, August 1. We did not get a report on highlights of the event. But with Assistant Rabban Jim Slater and Past Potentate Rich Burns as a twosome and Paul DeYoung and Neil Hlebichuk as a twosome; well, use your imagination or wait until Dick Ericsson comes down from the roof and ask him.

Not to be outdone, the Clown Unit decided to have their Sticky Cup Golf Tournament at Spring Creek Golf Course. This tournament was started by Past Big Clown Brian “Sticky” Schultz who invited me to join them on August 23. The forecasted high was 91°F and tee-times began at 3 p.m., not 7 a.m. when it was only 86°F. Now I know why it’s called the “Sticky Cup”. I went anyway and was assigned to golf with Jeremy “Buckets” Swenson, except we didn’t have a cart as all the carts were gone. Buckets found a cart that was a different color than all the other carts and refuses to divulge where he found it! By the time we hit the second hole I realized this cart was SUPERCHARGED, and with Buckets practicing his dirt track maneuvers I don’t know how I managed to stay aboard. I think this counts for me as TAKING THE EXTRA STEP. Remembering that this was a Clown event you know there is more to the story. Hole number eight and (I will not say his name but his initials are Quentin Everson) lost a golf club. It’s still in the tree. His partner Don Maxon is still staring at “Q” not saying a word, just staring. There are more stories about this tournament but sometimes words alone cannot describe the events. Suffice to say next year you will want to participate in the “Sticky Cup”.

The Football Banquet was held August 31 sponsored by the Fife & Drum Unit. A great evening with the Culinary Unit making sure everyone was well fed. There was a presentation about our Shrine Patient Ambassadors Jaxon and Jeren who were present. These boys challenged Coach Jerry “O” Olszewski to who had the best touchdown moves. Coach “O” learned a few new moves. Jaxon and Jeren were great and I invite you to come to the Fall Ceremonial November 7 to meet them. Thank you to all who were there and for “TAKING THE EXTRA STEP”.

Willow Run Golf Course hosted the 18th annual Shrine Cup Tournament on September 3. Ryan Simmons, Doug Schneider and their team again put on a great fundraising event supporting our Shrine Hospital. It was a little windy but that didn’t stop Bryan James and Jeff Nord from winning the tournament. Shutterbugs President Jeff Smith was there and got some great pictures. On hole 17 as Jeff was taking a picture of that group he asked all to take a step backwards. This included Mike (Big Mike) Petterson of the OB who backed up and stepped into a mud hole. Big Mike…this is not what I meant when I said “TAKING THE EXTRA STEP”. Mike’s golfing partner Don Maxon just stared at Mike and didn’t say a word (again)…that’s not true as we all laughed. On the tee-box for hole 16 as we watched a group tee off, Assistant Rabban Jim Slater (playing hole 15) took aim at Chairman Ryan Simmons’ fez. Ryan’s quick catlike reflexes saved him from a lump on the head. Again, Jim… this is not what I meant when I said “TAKING THE EXTRA STEP”. It was a great day and thank you to all involved.

The Blast & Cast traveled to Waubay on September 11 and 12. These are the same guys that have their meetings in boats while on the water. I’m sure that President Dean Thiesen brought back a few stories that are a little fishy. Another Unit that “TAKES THE EXTRA STEP”. You probably shouldn’t do that while you’re in a boat.

On September 13, Marshall Scott Denney and Captain of the Guard Steve Haase took a couple of vans to Magnet, Nebraska. The Magnet Bar sponsors a hotdog feed and donates the proceeds to the El Riad Transportation Fund. It was a quiet ride home after indulging in too many hot dogs and adult beverages. Thank you to all who made that trip.

September was busy with a lot of fun. On the September 18, Chief Rabban Les Kruse and Past Potentate John Whitelock organized the annual Pote’s Golf Tournament at River Ridge Golf Course. All golfers had a good time, made it home safe and were well fed. On September 20, we did a first. We had an all Shrine drive-by parade at the Sanford Premier parking lot. The Units got a last chance to get out and show off before the weather cools down. September 26, Chief Rabban Les Kruse and Lady Gloria chaired the Noble’s Party. It was a little challenging as this year has been but Les, Gloria and the committee organized a great event. Thank you to all.

October is now here. What will we do? Sportsman Classic Chairman Jeff Landborg and the Sportsman Committee say come and see us on October 6. This year’s event is going to be just as fun filled as in the past. Don’t forget the Stated Meeting on October 14. Please try to be there. The Monthly Rush party is on the October 21…TAKE AN EXTRA STEP and bring a friend to the party. Remember, we are all on the El Riad Membership team. The Oriental Band hosts their Halloween Bash on the October 31. It promises to be another fun night at our Shrine.

Please continue to “TAKE THE EXTRA STEP”. As Shriners our backgrounds and interests are diverse but we are bound together by our shared values and a desire to have fun, do good and build relationships that last a lifetime.

Thank you for being a Shriner.

Fraternally Yours,

Al Zahn 

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