Shriners plan fundraiser with Janovsky, Ray St. Germain
October 10, 2017 1:11 pm
The Moosomin Shrine Club is planning a fundraiser this Friday with entertainers Martin Janovsky and Ray St. Germain.
But the star of the show may turn out not to be one of the headliners, but one of the youngest people there.
Young Isaac Vint, who the Moosomin Shrine Club helped secure treatment at the Montreal Shriners Hospital, will be at the fundraiser to provide an update.
“This will be our fourth one,” explains Bill Thorn of the Moosomin Shrine Club.
“The first year it was Ray St. Germain and Eli Barsi, then Brad Johner and Eli Barsi. Last year we went with a Buddy Holly tribute show. This year we thought we should bring Ray back because a lot of people really liked him—he’s an amazing entertainer—and we heard a lot of good things about Martin Janovski.”
The event is a fundraiser for the Moosomin Shrine Club and Wa Wa Shrine.
“We have a bit of a unique twist this year because Isaac will be our guest,” says Thorn.
Last summer, the Go Cart Patrol of the Moosomin Shrine Club participated in the parade at Wasagaming (Clear Lake) in Riding Mountain National Park. As the parade wound its way through the streets, Moosomin Shrine Club member Don Middleton noticed a group of young boys cheering and waving from the sidewalk.
Being the last cart going by, Don took a few moments to stop and greet the youngsters who were thrilled to see the cart close up and to talk with the friendly Shriner.
Later on the grandparents of one of the boys stopped by Don and Colleen’s cottage at Clear Lake. They thanked Don for stopping and chatting with the boys, one of whom was their grandson, six-year-old Isaac.
The grandparents shared that Isaac has spina bifida which was the cause for him to be in a wheelchair. Don suggested they send Isaac’s parents over to see if Shriners’ Hospitals could possibly be of assistance.
The parents did come over and Don obtained their contact information. As the family lives in Winnipeg, Don contacted a Shrine Club in the Manitoba capital and told them Isaac’s story, providing the family’s information.
Afterwards the Middletons received a note from Isaac’s parents to thank them and to share the good news that their son had an appointment for an examination at the Shriners’ hospital in Montreal.
Transportation from Winnipeg to Montreal, return for Isaac and one parent was provided at no charge by the Shrine, in cooperation with WestJet.
Montreal Shriners met them at the airport and provided all transportation for trips between the hospital, hotel (also provided at no charge) and the airport.
This was an example of what the money raised by Shrine Clubs achieves.
The Shriners have since received word from Isaac’s father, who emailed Don.
“I couldn’t be happier with the Shriners. It’s been a real relief,” he wrote. “Isaac is doing well. (We are) focusing on getting him on his feet with some standing, then hopefully a little walking.”
“He’s a Shrine kid now, and they’re really excited with his progress,” says Thorn. “He is going to be our guest speaker, so people can come and get a bit of an update on Isaac’s story. The story gives people an idea of some of the good work the Shriners do.”
Sellout every year
The event, held at the Conexus Convention Centre in Moosomin, has sold out every year it’s been held.
The Shriners will buy a round of drinks for every table of eight purchased before the end of August.
“We’ve always sold out, and we’re hoping to sell out again,” said Thorn.
“The proceeds are split 50-50 between Wa Wa and the local club. Mostly it supports the transportation of the kids to the hospitals.
“Over the last few years, WestJet has given us 150 round-trip flights to hospitals, so it’s really helped with the transportation costs.
“Locally, our club tries to do a lot for the community. We paid for the walking track at the PotashCorp Sportsplex, and we put some into the MCC Centre.”