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On June 1 and 2 local Jaffa Shriners will be conducting the organization's Annual Shrine Hospital Crusade, specifically benefitting their hospitals located in Erie and Philadelphia.
Shriners Hospitals for Children encompass a healthcare system of 22 facilities located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, 19 of which specialize in orthopedic care and three burn hospitals. It is the largest pediatric subspecialty healthcare system in the world. The facilities specialize in treating youth under the age of 18 who suffer from orthopedic problems, severe burns, spinal injuries or cleft lip or palate.
Local Shriners will be collecting donations from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at both entrances of Wal-Mart in Fox Township and at Save-A-Lot grocery store on Brusselles Street in St. Marys.
The purpose of the event is to inform the public throughout the state about the health services provided by the Shrine Hospitals.
"We are asking for your continued support to help meet the escalating budget of our Shriners Hospitals, which is currently at $809 million," said Jim Campbell of St. Marys, the tri-county hospital chairperson for Shriners. "Any donations will be greatly appreciated however a donation of $100 or more will entitle you to receive a 2012 hospital plaque number of a new beautifully engraved hospital plaque."
Each year Campbell, a long-time Shriner, works to coordinate the fundraiser along with other Shriners activities, including the collection of pop tabs and accompanying local fifth grade students to the Shriners circus at the Jaffa Mosque in Altoona.