COVID-19 Response for June 7, Syria Shriners have Gone Green

We have entered the green phase of Pennsylvania's reopening and recovery plan, in all of our oasis excepting Beaver County. Beaver County "goes green" Friday, June 12, so our entire service area will be in the green recovery phase by the end of this week.

Watch for additional communication, check our website at syriashriners.org, and follow our Facebook page for ongoing information as developments unfold.

Meanwhile, stay well. We look forward to seeing you soon.

>>You can view our ongoing coverage and news during the coronavirus pandemic at this link here

Our Readers Write

It’s amazing how some of the most beautiful things in life can come to you by total accident.

by Charlie Zurcher

As a new way of life to get through these unprecedented times, the Zoom platform has been something many of us have learned and actually gotten used to. Old goats can learn new tricks. The email notice that we were going to have a virtual June Quarterly meeting was quite a surprise and certainly welcomed by me. I couldn’t wait.

On that first June Monday, I was getting ready in the comfort of my home office and looking forward to logging into Zoom and enjoying the brotherhood that’s been really missed as of late. Earlier, I had been exercising and had to make a mad dash home to be on time for that 7pm meeting. Hardly dressed for the occasion, didn’t have time to change my t-shirt and jean cutoff shorts. The humidity got to my long uncut hair and it was quite the sight to say the least. All set, logged on, admitted to the meeting, the 7pm meeting. No, but wait! No, it’s not a 7pm meeting but rather a 7:30 meeting. All that rushing for naught. Now I had some time and probably should have at least changed clothes.

As the Zoom matrix began to populate, I was comforted by the familiar faces and smiles of some of my Brothers that I’ve dearly missed through all this. The background music played, and we sort of stared at each other and there was some back and forth conversation going on. My t-shirt and unruly hair were definitely noticed and commented on. It’s all fun and games! Just killin’ time ‘til the start of the meeting.

The background music continued to play, and then it happened. I was stopped cold. In total awe, I had absolutely no idea what just hit me. Perhaps one of the most beautiful and inspirational songs and videos I’ve ever heard and seen in my life just started playing. I just stared at the video and listened to the lyrics, totally blocking out the rest of the world. It just went right through me straight to the heart. Totally unexpected and without any reason. This music and video is everything we are as Shriners. WOW!

“The day that I invested so proudly with this ring
I divested the old lifestyle and all the loneliness it brings
Now I walk upon the level with a brotherhood of pride
There’s compassion that we all share deep inside”

So inspirational, so deep, so powerful, so real.

It’s “I’m a Noble of the Shrine,” by Howie Damron. Who? I had no clue who he was and certainly not aware he’s one of us. Learn something new every day, even sometimes by accident! If I would have logged into the meeting on time at 7:30, I would have missed it. I’m sure some of you are aware, but I was not.

Since becoming a Shriner, I’ve had many different and mixed feelings and emotions going in different directions. I’ve been in the trenches taking kids and their families to the three hospitals we work with, seeing the positive results at first hand. I’ve been in that parade in my Patrol Unit uniform with those pointed up shoes, bringing that split second smile to an unknown child as he watches with his family at the curb. I’ve been to a wide variety of our social events just simply to relax and take in the brotherhood. Listening to this song and watching the video seemed to put all these emotions in perfect organized perspective.

Please, if you have not seen and heard it before, you need to do this. Every Shriner should watch the video and hear this beautiful song. It’s truly exactly what we’re all about. Search for it on You Tube. (We've saved you the trouble. Click the video link above to see Noble Howie's video. Ed.) It will touch you.

Brother Damron, you’ve left an everlasting impression. A heartfelt thank you.

I will wear my Fez with honor.

I’m a Noble of the Shrine …

Special thanks to my close friend Martha for helping provide the inspiration to write this. Thank you for being You!


Noble Charlie Zurcher is First Lieutenant of the Syria Patrol. He is also Junior Warden of Pittsburgh Chapter of Rose Croix at the Scottish Rite Valley of Pittsburgh.


Shriners Hospitals for Children® is rebranding our pediatric health care system to reflect current realities in our facilities, delivery model and commitment to serve and treat "more children in more places" than ever before. Our philanthropy is now known as Shriners Children'sTM Click the image to the left to watch a video announcing the change.


Pittsburgh's Syria Shriners, in conjunction with Moondog's and the Starlite Lounge, presents Thunder Thursdays Bike Nights, all summer long in the Pittsburgh Shrine Center Pavilion, beginning this Thursday, June 11, and continuing weekly through September 3.


Gates open weekly at 6pm, and the live music begins at 7pm. We wrap things up on stage at 9pm, so you won't have to stay up past your bedtime to have a good time. The Starlite Lounge, featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, and Fat Cats' Subs will be on hand to feed you, and starting June 18, we'll have Pittsburgh's best rolled iced cream treats from Udderly Fresh. A full bar will be available. All events are rain or shine. You know our pavilion is impervious to inclement weather, so the shows will go on, without regard to any raindrops we may see.

NO COVER CHARGE!! Attendance is limited to 250, so come early!

We kick things off this Thursday with the sultry blues and rock sound of local favorites the Tina Daniels Band. Tina and her band have performed at our pavilion at the Pittsburgh Blues & Roots Festival, and will return later this month for a benefit poker run for the Ryan's Wings Foundation.

Watch this space every week for more information on the bands, vendors, and other fun stuff in store.

Please do your best to support this series. Mark your calendar, tell your friends, and be sure to share on your social media accounts!

Click here to download a flyer.


Calling for ALL SOLD Sporstman's Bash stubs & money to be returned AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!

Please send all of your sold stubs and accompanying money immediately to:

Kenneth D. Stuart 1185 Astronaut Circle Pittsburgh, PA 15241

Our early bird drawing is Saturday, July 11. You will want to get your entry in for that drawing. Additionally, we need to get a better idea of where we stand with ticket sales at this point. Pandemic pandemonium has severely hampered our ticket selling efforts, along with all of our other fundraisers, and we need to make certain we maximize this critically important activity aimed at balancing our budget.

If you have tickets you don't think you can sell, please return them, so we can get them to someone who can get them sold before the early bird drawing. Please buy a ticket if you can afford it, even if the Sportsman's Bash is not your thing. Ken Stuart can mail you a ticket if you send him a check. Tickets can also be purchased through our website. Click the image above to get yours now!

​​In Case You Missed It

With continuing support from Shriners Children'sTM, last night, for the 4,927th consecutive Saturday night, the show went on at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville,featuring Steve Wariner, Lee Brice, Carly Pearce, and Michael Ray, keeping the music playing in Music City, once again without a live audience. Click the image to the right and enjoy the show.

SHC has kept the music playing for over 2 months now. See all the shows here.

Pittsburgh Shrine Center Office Closure

The Pittsburgh Shrine Center office 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.

Pittsburgh Shrine Center Reopening

Units, Caravans and Clubs may now meet in the Pittsburgh Shrine Center.

In keeping with the Grand Master's directive of May 15, you must continue to practice physical distancing, and follow all guidelines from the CDC, state and local public health authorities. Accordingly, for now, gatherings are limited to a maximum of 25 people. Please be certain to maintain a clean and safe environment in our building and on our grounds.

Beginning June 19, we will be able to gather again in groups of 250 people or fewer.

Rescheduled Events

Canceled & Postponed Events not yet rescheduled

The Walk for Love and Community Day at SHC-Erie, scheduled for Sunday, June 7, has been postponed.

The Butler Shrine Luncheon Club and Butler Caravan 14 picnic, scheduled for Wednesday, June 24, has been canceled.

The fall Night at the Races fundraiser, scheduled for Saturday, September 19, has been canceled.



Worthington West Franklin Firemen's Carnival - June 18
Springdate Firemen's Fair - June 26

Independence Day

We've gone Green, What does that mean?

Here's a summary from WESA-FM of what's open, and what the "new rules" are. Click here: What's open? Do I have to wear a mask?

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.

​Stay Informed!

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.

Syria Shriners

Founded in 1877, Syria Shriners is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. Our fraternity is open to men of integrity from all walks of life.

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