La Feria News

La Feria Shrine Club Hosts Evaluation Clinic

Shriner Hospital team in La Feria for Evaluation Clinic (l-r): Manuel Lugo, Corpus Christi Al Amin Shrine Club; Cesar Garcia, La Feria Shrine Club; Howard Woolley,(“Fuzzy the clown); Marcelo Cantu, Treasurer, Corpus Christi Al Amin Shrine Club; Ed Barbee, RGV Shrine Club; Marcial Zamora, Anezeh Shrine Club, Reynosa, Tamps. Photos: Bill Keltner/LFN

Bill Keltner

The La Feria Shrine Club provided facilities last week for needy children from both sides of the border as a medical evaluation staff from the Houston Shriners Hospital for Children gave preliminary examinations for later treatment to literally busloads of hopeful children and their families. The familiar La Feria Shrine Club building on the highway took on the look of a huge doctor’s office as a volunteer staff of specialists and nurses from the Houston hospital met and worked with approximately two hundred crippled youngsters who came for clinical evaluation of their condition. They came in from Texas and the interior of Mexico—all as guests of the Rio Grande Shriners.

Dedicated Al Amin Shriners from Corpus Christi and Reynosa and Monterrey, Mexico teamed up with local members for the event. This major clinic event provided an impromptu doctor’s office for their medical staff to evaluate each child, case by case. The facility was filled with hopeful young people– many in wheelchairs; others on crutches; some were carried inside. Some needed major orthopedic work. Others were scheduled for rehabilitation and prosthetic care.

All were grateful for this helping hand Jeannie Keith, Director of Patient Care Services of the Houston Shriners Hospital for Children, flew down with her staff to personally direct the process of helping these children find a better life through the care that only this world-famous hospital can offer. The international fraternal organization of Shriners took on this mission of helping crippled, disfigured and burned children as their organizational challenge some 75 years ago, and the “need just keeps on coming.”

Gordy Millis, RGV Shrine Club President, with transportation bus

The Rio Grande Valley Shriners said they are pleased to be able to provide this convenient clinical evaluation space for the Houston Shriners Hospital. In addition to the Houston Hospital, the Shriners also have dedicated hospitals in Galveston, Texas; Mexico City and Buenos Aires, Brazil.

LA FERIA NEWS asked several Shine club volunteers what they personally get out of their work, as no one is paid and the Shriners pay out of their pockets for all the expenses of children who are accepted for further treatment in their Houston Hospital–that includes all transportation costs, food and housing. Marcelo Cantu, Treasurer of the Corpus Christi Shrine Club said. “The Shriner International based in Tampa, Florida picks up all the expenses so that neither the desperate, little patients, nor their families pay a cent. We are proud and happy to have helped thousands of youngsters from all over the world overcome hardship.”

Gordy Millis, the third-time President of the Rio Grande Valley Shrine Club was asked what do the members personally get out of it. He pondered for a moment and said: “Well, it is hard to put into words the satisfaction we feel after each major clinic like this one. We know it offers a new life to another child who would otherwise have a bleak future. We get to experience the enjoyment of being able to help a child to be able to walk, maybe, for the first time, or to see a pretty little girl smile as she sees in a mirror her new face that had been shattered by a terrible accident or birth defect—that is what keeps this work of love going.”

RGV Shriners join hospital team: (l-r) Cesar Garcia, RGV Shriners; Jeannie Keith, Director of Patient Care Services, Houston,: Susan Cumming, Outreach coordinator, Houston; Marcelo Cantu, Corpus Christi.

Quince Mitchell, Member of the Houston Shriner Hospital Board of Governors, came to help arrange transfers of evaluated patients to the Houston Hospital for specialized treatment. He reminded everyone that this charitable, humanitarian work of the Shriners is made possible only through the generous donations of big-hearted individuals, churches and philanthropic corporations.

President Millis added to what Mitchell said by saying: “Our La Feria Shriners club is in need of heavy-duty work on our parking lot and several other projects to be ready for our next major clinic evaluation event later this year.

Anyone interested in learning more about the charitable work or interested in making a donation to the work of the Rio Grande Shriners can talk with President Millis at 956 572 1471

La Feria Shrine Club opens doors to Houston Shrine Hospital evaluation team

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