At Syria Shriners, we are doing our best to continue keeping you informed as circumstances quickly change and events are canceled or rescheduled, while our Grand Lodge and Shriners International reach decisions and issue statements that affect all of us. While it has never been our intention to flood your inbox with email, we feel an absolute responsibility to maintain the flow of information.
You can view our previous updates and news at these links below:
- Syria Shriners’ COVID-19 Response Update March 29
- Pittsburgh Shrine Center to Remain Closed Through at Least June 1st -R.W. Grand Master
- March 22nd Update on Syria Temple’s COVID 19 (Coronavirus) Response
- Imperial Potentate Defers to Grand Masters on Temple Activities
- 3/16 Update: Syria Shriners Facility Closures and Event Rescheduling
Watch for additional communication, check our website at syriashriners.org, and follow our Facebook page for ongoing information as developments unfold. We'll all get through this together, and if we take proper public health precautions, most of us will not become seriously ill.
Let's continue to pray for one another and support each other through safe social contact (i.e., phone, text, email, FaceTime, Skype, etc.), all the while practicing proper physical distancing to control the spread of the coronavirus. We must all do our part. Even if you think this situation is overblown, please exercise caution, as many of your friends and neighbors are counting on you not to increase their likelihood of exposure or illness.
We are repeating some information below, in the hope that more people will see it. More people are signing up for our emails, and our open rate is improving, but most who receive messages from us continue not to open them, so we apologize for the repetition, and hope you understand that redundancy is not a bad thing when the information is important. There's plenty of new content, though, so keep reading!
Meanwhile, stay well, and stay home. We look forward to being together again soon.
Holy Week and Passover
Our Jewish and Christian Shrine families celebrate important religious holidays this week and next. Today, of course, is Palm Sunday. Passover begins Wednesday night, and many will have a Seder both Wednesday and Thursday. For Christians, Thursday is Maundy (Holy) Thursday, followed by Good Friday, all leading into Easter, or Resurrection Sunday. Passover continues until April 16. With religious services moved from churches and synagogues to online settings, and families separated by stay at home orders, Services, Seders, Last Suppers, Stations, the Vigil, and Easter dinners will all be drastically different this year. We wish you blessings at this most holy time. May our current difficulties not prohibit you from experiencing meaningful holidays.
Chag Pesach Sameach!
R. W. Grand Master Suspends All Masonic Activity in Pennsylvania Until at Least June 1
Bro. Thomas Gamon IV, Right Worshipful Grand Master of Masons in Pennsylvania, has suspended all Masonic Activity in Pennsylvania until further notice, at least through the end of May. Shriners International has directed to follow the Grand Master's lead as it applies to our schedule. Accordingly, by order of the Illustrious Potentate, Donald J. Taylor, there will be no Syria Shriners activities in April or May, other than Onion Sale pickups. For the Grand Master's statement, click the link to the right.
Pennsylvania Announces New Dates and Deadlines
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has recently rescheduled several important dates and deadlines, from Election Day, to drivers license renewals, the REAL ID deadline, and the state income tax return filing deadline. See the graphic on the right for the new dates and deadlines.
Apply to Vote by Mail
For the first time in Pennsylvania history, every registered voter may cast their vote by mail. During the pandemic, all voters are encouraged to use this method. You can exercise one of your foremost rights as a citizen without having to leave home, and thereby put yourself and others at risk. Click the image to the right to apply.
In Case You Missed It - Grand Ole Opry Livestream
With support from Shriners Hospitals for Children®, last night, for the 4,918th consecutive Saturday night, the show went on at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, featuring Ashley McBryde, Lauren Alaina, and Terri Clark keeping the music playing in Music City, once again without a live audience. Click the link to the left and advance 30 minutes to check out the show.
SHC has kept the music playing the last three Saturdays. See all the shows here..
Vidalia Onion Sale Fundraiser Ends Tomorrow
Our VIDALIA ONION SALE fundraiser is still on! The order deadline has been extended to TOMORROW. We will fulfill orders in May, when we hope to be reopened. Regardless, we will conduct distribution of the onions, dressings, and sauces outside in the pavilion, with all proper precautions for physical distancing, and without anywhere near the number of people you would encounter in a grocery store. This fundraiser is even more important to us in light of the other changes we're experiencing due to public health concerns and stay-at-home orders. Click the link above or the onion cartoon at the right for an order form. If you are ordering today, please contact John Koedel at jckoed (AT) verizon.net.
North Hills Home Brew Fest Rescheduled for August 29
The 4th Annual North Hills Home Brew Fest has been rescheduled for Saturday,August 29, from 5pm to 9pm at The Pittsburgh Shrine Center Pavilion. The Battle of the Homebrews returns to the Pittsburgh Shrine Center! The best local homebrewers are set to showcase their best brews. Taste beer and vote on your favorites, win-win!!
VIP blind tasting and judging is 5-6pm - Public tasting and judging is 6-9pm.
We'll have a Brewers Challenge - A 50-50 Raffle - A Live Podcast recorded with HOP NATION - Many amazing Chinese Auction Items to win! The winning beer at V.I.P. tasting event will be brewed & served at PENN BREWERY!
Tickets and information available here.
Ladies Luncheon Rescheduled for August 8
The Annual Syria Shrine Ladies Luncheon, honoring First Lady Eleanor Taylor, has been rescheduled from May 30 to Saturday, August 8. The event begins at noon, with luncheon served at 12:30pm, and entertainment following lunch. Ladies, mark your calendar now for the new date for this fun afternoon Girls' Day Out!
Pittsburgh Shrine Center Closure
The Pittsburgh Shrine Center remains closed until further notice. Please keep our office and facilities staff, and our entire Syria Shriners family in your prayers. We all need to remember each other during this trying period. Call your fellow Shriners, and look after their well-being. Run errands to the grocery or drug store if your situation allows, and theirs does not.
Forward this email to your friends who don't receive it directly, and encourage them to sign up for our email list.
The Potentate's Stag Testimonial Dinner, originally scheduled for March 21, has been rescheduled for Saturday, November 21. Rocky Bleier will join us that day. Hospitality Suite reservations have been shifted to November, and all tickets issued will be honored in November.
The Potentate's Ball, originally scheduled for April 18, has been rescheduled for Saturday, October 24. The same menu, entertainment, and other festivities will be offered in the fall. All reservations have been shifted to the new date.
If you need a refund for either event, contact the Shrine Center office, after we reopen.
The Sportsmen's Bash Early Bird Drawing has been rescheduled for Friday, May 15. Get your ticket stubs in before that date for inclusion in the drawing. The bash remains scheduled for Saturday, June 20. More information here.
The Legion of Honor meetings scheduled for Monday, May 4, have been rescheduled for Monday, June 8.
Canceled & Postponed Events not yet rescheduled
The Quarterly Meeting, and First Ceremonial, scheduled for April 6, has been postponed to a date to be determined. Shriners International bylaws require Temples to meet at least once a quarter, and we will reschedule when we can safely do so. We have a goal date in mind, but it would be premature to announce that at this time.
The Caravan 14 Seafood Stag, scheduled for April 17, has been postponed. The new date has yet to be determined.
The Swing Time dance, featuring the Syria Stage Band, scheduled for April 24, has been canceled. The dances are scheduled to resume on the third Friday in May, and continue on the third Friday of every month through November.
The Directors Staff Spaghetti Dinner, scheduled for April 26 has been canceled. No further information is available at this time.
The 55th Annual Syria Shriners Horse Patrol Open Horse Show, scheduled for Sunday, April 26, at South Park, has been canceled. Watch for other Horse Patrol events at other venues later this year.
The 5th Annual First Choice Wine Festival, scheduled for Saturday, May 16, has been postponed. We are working to reschedule the event as soon as possible.
Sewickley and Coraopolis have each announced they are canceling their Memorial Day parades this year. Several of our units have become accustomed to playing a doubleheader on both sides of the Ohio River in these neighboring towns, but this year, there will be no parade in either community.
At this time, we are scheduled to resume activities in June. We will keep you informed as developments unfold.
Taking care of ourselves and each other
Let's make sure we look out for each other as we navigate our way through the "new normal." While we practice physical distancing, let's be sure no one goes without vital social contact. Reach out to your fellow Nobles, Lodge Brothers, friends, family and neighbors. If your situation allows, run an errand to the grocery store, pharmacy or other essential business for someone who can't, or really shouldn't, be leaving their home right now. And while you're at it, be sure to take proper precautions like those below.
The absolute best thing you can to protect yourself from infection with the novel coronavirus is to stay home. Period. Stay home. You protect yourself -- and others if you happen to be an asymptomatic carrier -- by simply staying home. Take the other precautions below, both at home and when you must go out to acquire essentials. Click the image to the left to read the USA op-ed from a panel of 16 distinguished health care, epidemiology, medical ethics and public health policy experts
Wash Your Hands!
Dr. Sanjay Gupta demonstrates proper handwashing techniques to safeguard yourself and your loved ones against the spread of the novel coronavirus. Public health authorities continue to tell us that this is the most effective thing we can do to protect ourselves against the spread of infectious diseases of any variety.. Click this video link to see how it's done!
Beat Way to Wash Your Hands- Dr Gupta
There is so much misinformation being shared on social media and by email. Do yourself, and all of us a favor, and go right to a trusted source for your information. Please don't pass along things your seen posted or things you've been sent unless they have come directly from a legitimate public health or government authority. Click on the image to the left to visit the federal government's Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FEMA and the White House at coronavirus.gov.
Wear a Mask!
Last Friday, Governor Tom Wolf asked all Pennsylvanians to wear cloth masks when leaving home for essential trips to pick up food, medicine and essential supplies. The CDC has now also made a strong recommendation to all Americans to do the same. Since you can't buy a mask, you might Click on the video link to the right for instructions on how to make a mask at home. You can also download instructions here.
If sewing isn't your thing, or is beyond your skill set, you lcan make a face mask with a piece of cloth and a couple of rubber bands. Check out this video for a demonstration from U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams.