GREENVILLE — The Darke County Shrine Club made its annual contribution to the Antioch Shrine Center in Dayton, supporting the Shrine Hospitals’ mission of providing free specialty medical treatment for children.
The Darke County Club was able to present a check for $51,000 this year, which was $2,000 more than last year’s donation. Darke County President David Orrison said the club also is expecting another $5,000 contribution that will be coming soon.
Antioch Shrine, based in Dayton, encompasses most of western and southwestern Ohio, and Orrison said that the Darke County club is the biggest contributor.
“From a small area like here, that’s something to be really proud of,” Orrison said.
Shriner’s Hospitals offer a variety of specialty care for children in 22 hospitals throughout the country.
The hospitals were born out of a proposal at the 1920 Imperial Session, according to Shrine literature. A resolution to create a hospital to provide orthopedic care for children was passed unanimously. The following year, the committee to explore the notion brought a proposal to the Imperial Session that it should not be just one hospital but a network of hospitals throughout North America. That, too, was passed.
The first Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children was in Shreveport, Louisiana. The rules were simple: to be admitted, the child must be from a family unable to pay for the orthopedic treatment he or she would receive (this is no longer a requirement), be under 14 years of age (later raised to 18), and be, in the opinion of the chief of staff, someone whose condition could be helped.
The network of hospitals grew rapidly, and with the advent of the polio vaccine and new antibiotics, the Shriners found they had the means to offer additional services beyond orthopedic care. The network had created a collection of records that made the expansion into orthopedic clinical research a natural fit. The Shriners had always engaged in clinical research, but by the early 1960s, funds were being specifically earmarked for structured medical research.
The nearest Shrine hospital for orthopedic care is the Shrine Orthopedic Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.
In the early 1960s, only one burn treatment center existed in the United States and it was attached to a military center. The Shriners voted in 1962 to establish services for treatment of severely burned children.
Interim wings were set up in some of the existing hospitals while separate freestanding specialized treatment centers were being built nearby. Since being established in the 1960s, the chances of a severely burned child surviving have more than doubled, according to Shrine literature.
Treatment for burn victims is the specialty in three Shriners Hospitals, including the Cincinnati Burns Hospital.
In 1980, the Shriners opened a spinal cord injury rehabilitation unit in the Philadelphia hospital — the first in the country specifically for children and teens. In 2005, the board added treatment for cleft lip and palate.
The Shrine health care system maintains relationship with more than 60 medical teaching and research facilities and fosters and environment committed to high quality medical care and innovative research.
The care offered by the hospitals is freely given, and more than 1 million children have been treated for various conditions regardless of their ability to pay.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a fully qualified 501(c)3 charitable organization under IRS regulations. Donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent provided by law.
This year, the Darke County Shrine Club donated $51,000 to the Antioch Shrine Center in Dayton to support the Shrine Hospitals. These funds are a result of donations collected at the door of local businesses, local individual and business donations, donations from service clubs and fraternal organizations, as well as memorial contributions. The members of the club also collect aluminum cans all year long.
Anyone interested in making a donation through the Darke County club should make checks payable to the Shrine Hospital Fund and send to The Darke County Shrine Club, P.O. Box 623, Greenville, OH 45331.
If you know of a child who needs help, contact the club at the same address.
Reach the writer at 937-569-4354 or on Twitter @RachelLloydGDA. Join the conversation at facebook.com/advocate360 or visit our website at www.dailyadvocate.com.