Author Topic: The Simadi Shriners Return to Deerfield!  (Read 7722 times)

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Offline W1RC

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The Simadi Shriners Return to Deerfield!
« on: February 15, 2008, 10:53:49 AM »
at The Deerfield (NH) Fairgrounds, May 2nd and 3rd 2008


DEERFIELD, NH: February 15th 2008.

As we all know, beneficiaries of the Hosstraders events were the Shriners Hospitals in Boston, Springfield and Montreal.  Thanks to the generosity of Norm, WA1IVB (now W1ITT) Joe, K1RQG and Bob, W1GWU, over 1.3 million dollars was donated to this wonderful cause. 

The Shriners of the Simadi Shrine Club were the mainstay of Hosstraders for over 30 years.  They did a great deal of the work before and during the 'Fest.  We all fondly remember the fez-adorned Shriners selling tickets and manning the gates at Deerfield, Rochester and Hopkinton as well as the stern-faced men in suits on a mission wheeling around in their golf carts, maintaining order and telling W1RC to "park your @#!&* Crown Vic and stop cruising the grounds looking for more goodies."  Ah, those were the fun days...........

At NEAR-Fest I and II we relied exclusively on volunteers to perform these tasks but something was definitely missing.  Last year many people asked me if we were going to continue to work with the Shriners so we might help them raise more money for the hospitals.  It seemed like the thing to do but NEAR-Fest's goals are different, albeit not humanitarian.   Many of us involved with running the 'Fester regretted that we could not carry on that aspect of the "Grand Tradition" and continue to help the Shriners raise money for their hospitals. 

Don't get me wrong; we are eternally grateful to our volunteers for helping us with running the 'Fester without whom it could never happen.  We realize that it's very hard to be standing by the gate when all your friends are inside grabbing all the goodies and having fun.  I'm afraid that our volunteers will "burn out" quickly if asked to perform this important and necessary function.  With this in mind, since NEAR-Fest II we have been looking at "outsourcing" ticket and gate management to a commercial enterprise who offered us their services in this capacity.  However, a wonderful solution to this situation has presented itself that we like much better.

Thanks to the efforts of "an old friend" of both Hosstraders and NEAR-Fest I am happy to announce that starting with NEAR-Fest III we have invited the Simadi Shriners to join us and return to Deerfield to sell tickets and with manage the gates in return for a contribution to the Simadi Shrine Club so that their good work may continue.   This contribution would equal what the commercial management people would charge (plus a bit more) for equivilent services and we feel this represents a reasonable and fair amount for freeing up my staff and volunteers by relieving them of this responsibility.

I have been asked if we would have any objections to the Shriners accepting donations at the gates to which I replied: "of course not; it's a wonderful cause."  In addition we discussed the idea pf placing a suitably-marked container in the Relaxation Grove should anyone care to make a donation.  I promise we won't nag you for contributions, but encourage your participation.  So, if you score that "deal of a lifetime" or "make out like a bandit" tailgating you might wish to share your good fortune with the Shriners.  We assure you that every penny that is contributed to them will go to the hospitals.

This does not mean that we are abandoning our stated mission and goals.  Our first Project at the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium is well in progress and we are planning a couple more such projects for 2008.  However we've always wanted to continue helping the Shriners with their good work and this looks like a wonderful way to share the magic of NEAR-Fest.  After all, they're an integral part of the "Grand Tradition" we are carrying on and we definitely want them involved.

It will be great to have the Shriners with us at Deerfield again.


MisterMike, W1RC