Shriners hold a holiday party for children

By Monica Lester


Fifty children feasted, laughed and told Santa Claus what they want for Christmas on Saturday at the Christmas party hosted by the Shriners Hospital Committee of Davenport and Kaaba Hospital Dads.

At the annual party, held at the Masonic Center in Davenport, children requested everything from trucks to surprises. Then, they leaped from Santa's lap and collected teddy bears and bags of goodies from nearby Shriners members.

The party brought smiles to the faces of the children, whom the Shriners helped "get back on their feet," assistant hospital Chairman Stanley Niebuhr said.

Shriners Hospital for Children operates 18 orthopedic hospitals, three burn centers and one orthopedic, burn and spinal-cord injury-care facility. The facilities treat children who suffer from orthopedic deformities, bone diseases, club feet, burn scars, cleft palates and other birth anomalies. Shriners Hospitals perform surgery on the children at no charge.

"When people see 'free,' they think there has got to be a catch," Niebuhr said. "But there is no catch. It is free, and we want people to know about us."

He said it is the patients who suffer when their parents cannot afford surgery and are not aware of Shriners.

Cyrus Fox, chief rabban, agrees. He and Niebuhr said Shriners budgeted more than $25 million for research for the current year.

One patient, 8-year-old Kinzie Hull, said Shriners Hospitals have nice doctors and helped her talk. She was born with a cleft palate that hindered her ability to speak like other children. But after going to Shriners, "she can talk better," said her brother, Drake.

For more information about Shriners Hospitals for Children, call the Davenport office at (563) 386-2526.

The city desk can be contacted at (563) 383-2245 or newsroom@qctimes.com.



Copyright © 2002 The Quad-City Times

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