Al Shamal Shriners
Al Shamal Shriners are a fraternal organization and part of the world-wide organization of Shriners International, a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth with nearly 200 temples (chapters) in several countries and thousands of clubs around the world.
Al Shamal Shriners, located in Edmonton Alberta Canada are a group of dedicated Masons who are determined to help children with bone disabilities or burns.
Shriners Children’s™ are the major recipients of Shriners’ philanthropy. The Shriners Hospital in Canada is located in Montreal – is to that hospital that patients from Edmonton are most often sent.
Significant resources are used to ptovide transportation and accomodation for patients and their families. The transportation costs are supported by both WestJet and Air Canada.
Much of the work is accomplished behind the scenes. Although Shriners prefer to provide their philanthropy quietly, the following story shows how one family was able to take advantage of the support provided by Al Shamal Shriners.
By Karen Gartner (Ben's Mom)
I believe it was Mr. Rogers who said, “When I was a boy and would see scary things on the news, my mother would say to me ‘Look for the Helpers – you will always find people who are helping’. Well, when our life was a little scary, I could look out and see a sea of fezzes – all volunteering their time to help people like us.
Let me go back a bit and tell you about our ongoing adventure. In 2010 our amazing son Benjamin was born. Both my husband and I were crippled with fear during those first few days after his birth. We knew something was wrong, but we didn’t really know what. Doctors told us to ‘wait and see what happened’. We didn’t want to hear that – we wanted to hear ‘everything is going to be fine’. The omission of those words terrified us.
Our little ball of joy did manage to survive then next few hours…then the next few…and so on and so forth. His first few days of life were inundated with a busyness that no newborn should ever have to endure….xrays, ultrasounds, bloodwork. On our tenth day, after staying in two hospitals, we started sorting out some of what was wrong. Ben was diagnosed with something called Goldenhar Syndrome. It is also called oculoaruiculobertebral syndrome, but I only say this after a few glasses of wine when I’m trying to impress someone. This is just a fancy way of saying he has problems with his eyes, ears, and spine.
To make a long-story short, we didn’t get immersed into the Shriner’s Hospital until our local team of doctors were planning for Ben’s surgery. We had numerous meetings and conversations about what we would do. Finally, one day Jesse and I were called in and they told us they weren’t sure what to do. They knew Ben needed surgery, but they didn’t want to do it as it would involve his complicated cervical spine. They began looking for specialists across the country, Shriners being one of them.
With Shriners in our lives, we have access to two families….our local Al Shamal Shriners family and our not so local amazing Shriners Hospital family. Through this journey, I have had the opportunity to connect with a tonne of parents who are recipients of the generation donations of their local Shrine as well as the amazing medical care offered by Shriners Hospitals in Canada and the US. Every conversation with parents reflects on the gratitude they feel for having Shriners in our complicated lives. Thank you Shriners for all you do to provide exceptional care for children.
Read the full story here.
Al Shamal Shriners support Shriners Hospitals for Children in Canada, the United States, and Mexico; most of our patients go to the hospitals in Montreal, Portland, Spokane and Salt Lake City.
Shriners Hospitals for Children-Canada is part of an international pediatric health care system of hospitals, clinics, ambulatory surgery centres and global outreach. We provide a full range of programs, services and support, caring for children in a welcoming, warm, reassuring environment. Shriners Hospitals in Montreal treat the following, Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone Disease), Orthopedics, Pediatric Rehabilitation, Scoliosis, Club feet, Sports Medicine, Motion Analysis, Limb Lengthening, plus a lot more.
Al Shamal supports all Shrine Hospitals. Affiliated hospitals are Montreal, Portland and Spokane.
Located in Montreal since 1925, our experienced, bilingual care team brings hope and healing. We’re driven to make lives richer, easier and less complex for children and families in Canada and beyond.
Located in Portland in the heart of a world-renowned medical community, our experienced care team brings hope and healing. We’re driven to make lives richer, easier and less complex for children and families in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.
Our experienced care team brings hope and healing. We’re driven to make lives richer, easier and less complex for children and families in Washington, Idaho, Montana, Alaska and Canada, as well as other U.S. and international locations.
Our Clubs and Units
The Nobility is highly encouraged to join at least one Unit or Club. Units and Clubs are essential to Al Shamal, providing members with a meeting place and defined social activities. There is large variety in the Units and Clubs of Al Shamal, each dedicated to the Fraternity and under the jurisdiction of the Al Shamal Potentate. These organizations are composed of men who share a passion, enthusiasm or hobby. Many include Ladies in their meetings or offer activities for Ladies when the Nobles meet. With such a wide array of Units and Clubs offered at Al Shamal, a list has been composed listing a brief description of the mission and when they meet.
Units and Clubs have their own bylaws and, therefore, their own officers. Each Unit or Club defines the officers and terms of office.