10/10/05 — Opinion -- And Say, 'Thank You'

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Opinion -- And Say, 'Thank You'

By Gene Price
Published in News on October 10, 2005 1:48 PM

Sometime back, I did an editorial commenting on the Shriners hospitals that have treated upwards of a million crippled children suffering from birth defects, from injuries suffered in accidents and from severe burns

Those hospitals also have attracted and provided the nation -- and world -- some of the best-trained doctors in those specialized fields.

Treating children for crippling defects and injuries and for burns is long-term. It takes doctors and nurses and therapists with special training, skills, patience and compassion.

The Shrine hospitals have the best in the world. And that's enormously expensive. How in the world have more than 735,000 children, many of them whose parents are of limited means, been able to afford such treatment?

Because it hasn't cost them a dime.

Those guys we see wearing the funny red hats and riding around in parades in ridiculous little cars and trucks during parades take care of the costs. They've been doing it for years since they founded the first hospital many years ago.


An important part of their funding comes from fish fries held annually in communities across our great country. The same guys with the funny hats -- they call them "fezzes" -- who drive the miniature cars in the parades and perform other antics will be seen sweating over the frying pans and dishing out the fish and slaw and cornbread.

You will be able to see them Friday at Herman Park and Herman Park Center in Goldsboro and next to Roberts Machine Shop on N.C. 55 at Mount Olive Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m.

The Shriners not only are great entertainers, they are excellent cooks. And where in the world can you get a good fried fish dinner for $5?

Over the years, some of us have made it a point to go by and pick up take-out plates for our families and friends or fellow employees.

You might want to consider that.

And on the way through the line, think about those children whose twisted limbs and painfully burned bodies are being "made better."

And say, "thank you" to the fellows in the funny hats.