How Hillbillies Help Shiners Hospitals for Children


If a child needs orthopedic, burn, spinal cord injury, or cleft lip and palate care, they can get it for free at Shriners Hospitals for Children.  We don’t mean kind-of-no-cost or low cost. Care for kids at Shriners is literally free. This includes transportation to and from the hospitals, as well as a room at a close-by hotel for family.

This is possible due to the immense charitable efforts made on the hospitals’ behalf by Shriners, a fraternal organization. Shriners defines itself as a “fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth.” The organization supports Shriners Hospital for Children, at which no child is turned away because of an inability to pay for care.

Enter the Grand and Glorious Order of the Hillbilly Degree

Part of the Shriners, the Grand and Glorious Order of the Hillbilly Degree’s sole purpose is to raise funds for the hospitals and the transportation provided to patients and their families, while also having a lot of fun in the process. Both are activities at which the guys and gals within the Hillbilly Degree excel. That’s a very good thing since, according to the Huron Daily Tribune, the operational budget of all Shriners hospitals amounts to a budget of about $1.55 million per day.

Shriners Hospitals fundraising -- Hillbillies driving a vintage car

Perhaps the largest sideline degree (or club) affiliated with the individual Shriner Temples, there are Hillbillies just about everywhere there are Shriner Temples. Regionally, Hillbilly groups are called Clans, as the word’s definition is “family”. Clans are then further distilled into Outhouses. Depending on the region’s size, each sponsoring Shrine’s Clan may have more than one Outhouse. The various Outhouses throw parties, dinner dances, and other fundraising events. All in service of raising funds to allow the hospitals to continue providing care as well as perform cutting-edge research. Artificial skin for burn victims was developed in part by a doctor at  Shriner’s Burn Institute in Boston!

Chartered in 1982, Hillbilly Clan #55 is part of the North American Shrine, Tampa, FL.

These folks host many fundraising events, including an Annual Summer Fundraiser whose dinner, dancing, and music are fun for everyone.  Event proceeds directly benefit both the hospitals and the equally essential transportation fund.

The transportation aspect of the Shriner hospitals is pretty amazing. Hillbillies will drive hours to pick up a child and their family and deliver them to a hospital! An example of this is that of another Eventgroove customer, Kenzi, who needs regular visits to a Shriners Hospital specializing in orthopedics. All that driving means a fleet of vans and lots of gas! Henry Wandrie, Hillbilly of Clan #55, Outhouse #2, explained to us that the group will also employ planes and helicopters to ensure kids get the help they need when they need it—though there are 22 hospitals, the best Shriners hospital for their needs may be far away.

Shriners Hospitals fundraising -- Hillbillies driving a vintage car

Part of the funds earned at the Annual Summer Fundraiser comes from ticket sales, and for that, the Hillbillies of Clan #55, Outhouse #2 chose Eventgroove! The goal, Henry asserts, is to raise as much money as possible for the hospitals and transportation fund. As a result, they go with a basic, black and white option, such as our All Purpose General Admission Ticket.

We’re super proud to play a small part in such an important, meaningful cause, and hope this year’s summer party is the best yet!

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