02/12/13 — Mount Olive native to again hold Shriner office

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Mount Olive native to again hold Shriner office

By From staff reports
Published in News on February 12, 2013 1:46 PM

Mount Olive native Bennie Smith, was re-elected to his 16th term as the recorder for Sudan Shriners at the annual Sudan meeting and election of officers held Jan. 26 in New Bern.

As the Sudan recorder, Smith is the operations officer for the 5,500-member organization and a member of the board of directors.

Smith and his wife, the former Laurie Mitchell, who is also a Mount Olive native, make their home in the Saulston community north of Goldsboro. They have two married children and four grandchildren.

Smith is retired from the N.C. Highway Patrol having served his last years at the Patrol headquarters in Raleigh as its public relations officer.

Sudan Shriners offices are located in New Bern. Sudan is one of the largest of the 195 Shrine temples that are located throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Panama, Philippines, Germany and Puerto Rico.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a unique health care system consisting of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, research, and teaching programs for medical professionals.

Children up to the age of 18 who have orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patient's ability to pay.

Sudan Shriners are currently sponsoring 582 children in eastern North Carolina. Most are treated for orthopedic issues in the Greenville, S.C., Shriners Hospital for Children. However, 31 are being treated for burns at the Cincinnati hospital, 20 for spinal cord injuries in Philadelphia, three in Montreal for brittle bone disease, and five in Chicago and one in Houston for pectus excavation or caved-in chest.

More than $114,000 have been spent by Sudan in transportation of patients and families to the Shriners hospitals. The Sudan Roadrunners -- Shriners who drive the vans to the hospitals -- drove more than 160,000 miles and volunteered 1,412 hours.

For more about Shriners Hospitals for Children go to shrinershospitalsfor children.org, or beashriner now.com.

Anyone who knows of a child the Shriner can help should call 864-271-3444 or 866-459-0013.