Posted: Sunday, June 15th 2014 at 11:15am
Confetti, fun fly as Shriners return to Helen
By Rob Moore Editor
Jason Stribling and members of the Directors Staff have fun as they enter Main Street during Saturday's parade. (Photo/Rob Moore)
HELEN - Just after 2 p.m. Saturday there was no doubt that the Shriners had returned to Helen.
The group came back to the city this year for its Yaarab Shriners Helen Summer Ceremonial, culminating in Saturday afternoon's parade.
Helen Police Chief Jim Couch estimates some 4,000 people turned out to watch Shriners' antics in that parade.
But what are Shriners, some may ask.
Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth.
Atlanta's Yaarab Shrine, founded in 1889, is one of 195 chapters of Shriners International.
According to the Yaarab Shrine website, Atlanta Shriners have been raising money for 125 years to support Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the more than 4,000 members contribute more than $800,000 annually to those hospitals.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a healthcare system of 22 hospitals that provide care for children up to age 18 with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate.
Helen Mayor Judy Holloway is pleased the Shriners came back to Helen this year after an absence.
"It's a lot of fun for one thing to see all of them and talk to them," Holloway said. "They do a great job with all the charity work they do. We're fortunate to have them back and hope they all enjoy themselves."
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