There’s some new recognition for a Calgary group that’s been serving the community for more than a century: the Al Azhar Shiners.
Its members are showing no signs of slowing down, always ready to lend a helping hand.
The Al Azhar Shiners have been doing charity work in the Calgary-area since 1907.
As a world-wide organization, Shriners are known for helping to provide medical care, often for children.
“We have 22 hospitals,” Al Azhar Shriner Jim Brown said. “We also do a lot of other community service – we donate to the food banks, we donate to brown bagging for kids.”
Shriners are also known for being a popular presence at parades, riding along the routes in their trademark small cars and other colourful vehicles.
“Bring smiles on kids faces,” Al Azhar Shriner James Mutzeneek said. “How can it get better than that?”
The Chinook Country Historical Society (CCHS) is now recognizing the Al Azhar Shriners’ many decades of service, showcasing their achievements in a public presentation.
“We want to make sure that they understand how much it means to Calgarians,” CCHS board member Jackie Kleiner said. “They do a lot for children.”
The presentation happens on the evening of Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the Calgary Central Library.
Local Shriners provide many services for the community at the Calgary Shrine Centre.
Some of that activity involves the 16 horses housed in the barns at the centre.
“We do therapeutic riding – you can treat anything from ADHD to traumatic events,” Al Azhar Shriner Rob Allen said. “Horses give a feeling of comfort to children.
“Next year we’re hoping to offer summer camps, where kids can come out.”