The Ashe Shrine Club (ASC) was recently recognized for being the leader for all Oasis Shrine Clubs and International Temples for fundraising in 2013.
The ASC raised $109,737.94, making it the top club for fundraising in the Oasis Temple jurisdiction, which covers 50 North Carolina clubs, including those in Charlotte, Greensboro and Winston-Salem.
“Oasis Temple has been called the largest philanthropic club in the world,” ASC Treasurer Jim Judson said. “Basically we raise money to help make lives better for other people.”
The club is committed to using funds raised to support the 22 Shriners Hospitals in the United States, Canada and Mexico which provide care to children at no cost, specializing in orthopedic conditions, spinal cord injuries, burns and cleft lip and palate surgeries.
“Presently we have 14 children in the county that are getting treatments,” Judson said. “Their treatment is being provided at no cost to the families.”
Children must be under 18 years of age to qualify for care, and Judson said new Shriner laws stipulate that if the child is covered under insurance, they must utilize insurance first and the Shriners will cover the cost difference for any expenses insurance doesn’t cover.
The Ashe Shrine Club holds a number of fundraisers throughout the year to raise money for the hospital, which Judson said takes over $1 million a day to operate.
The club donates 100 percent of proceeds from plaque, Oasis newspaper and Vidalia onion sales in the county to the children’s hospital.
“We can’t thank Ashe County enough,” Judson said. “This county gives so much and we’re so blessed.”
The ASC also holds two golf tournaments during the year, one at Mountain Aire Golf Club in September, and a NFL Hall of Fame Golf Tournament in Charlotte in June. This September will mark the 30th annual golf tournament at Mountain Aire in West Jefferson.
“We’ve been first place in fundraising for several years,” Mike Adams, president of ACS said. “We got number one in Oasis, and Oasis is number one in the country. That should tell you something about Ashe County.”
Ken Blevins, vice president of the Ashe County Shriners club said donations from Ashe County go above and beyond.
“When I’m doing the paper drive here for a one dollar donation, I regularly have people give me $20 or $40,” Blevin said. “What the county does for raising funds and supporting us and encouraging us is so appreciated, you can’t put a price on that.”
The next fundraising event at the Ashe Shrine Club, a Gospel Sing, will be from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on March 15. Tickets are $5 at the door, and light refreshments will be served.
The Shriners Spaghetti Supper will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 11.
The cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children under 18, children under 12 are free. Take-out is available for the supper, which includes spaghetti, salad, drink and dessert.
Blevins said the club encourages the community to visit the club facilities to learn more about the Shriners commitment to the community.
“I think anyone who is willing to take time to find out what we’re about and what we do will support us,” Blevins said.
Shrine Club Officer and Board updates
The Ashe County Shrine Club recently installed new officers for 2014. Potentate David Sumpter was the installing officer.
The 2014 officers are president Mike Adams, vice-president Ken Blevins, secretary Jim Judson and treasurer Jim Judson. Board of Directors Melvin Roark, Jim Barlow, Johnny Perkins and Jim Hartley were also installed.
Mike Neaves of Ashe county, former president of the Ashe County Shrine Club, was elected High Priest and Prophet for the Oasis Temple and is third line to become Potentate, the highest position in the temple.
The Ashe Shrine Club, which is also available for rent as an event facility, is located at 114 Morphew Lane in Jefferson. More information on upcoming events or rental rates can be found at www.asheshrineclub.com or by calling (336) 977-8668.
Christina Day can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @CDayinWJ