Local Shriners Raise Money To Help Children

You've probably seen some Shriners in one of our local parades. They're hard to miss in their tall red hats and itty-bitty cars. That's not the only way they make people smile.

Members of this international fraternity work tirelessly to raise money for children in need. This weekend, they raised funds by holding an arts and crafts show in Biloxi.

From stained glass to scented candles and silverware with a twist, you could find almost anything at the Joppa Shrine Center's arts and craft show this weekend in Biloxi.

"We have some of the best crafters from New Orleans to Pensacola, Jackson. We have a great variety of products for sale," Joppa Temple's High Priest Bill Case said.

Shoppers had the opportunity to peruse such items as a kuillowl, which is a combination of a quilt and a pillow. If that wasn't enough to hook you, maybe the stuffed animals serving as drink holders would catch your eye and your wallet.

"It is something that very few crafters do in August because the heat is so intense outside and since we had a good air conditioned facility here with plenty of room for a craft show, we thought we could have a successful show in August," Case said.

And it turns out to be a success for all involved. The proceeds will help the shriners to continue providing the community service the fraternity is known for.

"This year, in the past few months, we've had four seriously burned children that we had to transport to the hospital in Galveston. Each one of these children's transportation has cost us approximately 6000 dollars."

But the needed treatments and transportation are free of charge to each family. And so, the group plans to make this event the best quality arts and craft show on the coast in the hopes of living up to their title as the "world's greatest philanthropists."

The two-day event also featured a Red Cross blood drive, and a car, truck, and motorcycle show.

By: Karla Redditte