Once again the Pennsylvania Shrine Association is conducting its Hospital Crusade on Friday and Saturday in the area. The crusade benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children, specifically hospitals located in Erie and Philadelphia.
Local Shriners will be collecting donations on both days from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at both entrances of Wal-Mart in Fox Twp.; at Save-A-Lot grocery store on Brusselles Street in St. Marys; and at DeLullo's grocery store in Weedville.
Jim Campbell of St. Marys is the tri-county hospital chairperson for Shriners and has been involved with the organization for several years. Each year Campbell works to coordinate the fundraiser in addition to other Shriners activities, including the collection of pop tabs and accompanying local fifth grade students to the Shriners circus in Altoona.
Among those assisting Campbell in this year's fundraiser are Bud Neubert of Brockway, who will be stationed in Weedville, and Mike Sharrow.
Bubbles the Clown from the Calliope Clown Unit, based in Altoona, will be making appearances at collection sites throughout Friday, where he will be creating balloon sculptures.
"We are also continuing to collect pop tabs as well," Campbell said of the Shriners' ongoing fundraising initiative.
Shriners Hospitals for Children is a healthcare system of 22 hospitals located in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that comprises the largest pediatric subspeciality 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.
For information on how to apply to Shriners Hospital for Children or to refer a patient, visit www.shrinershospital.org  or contact 1-800-237-5055.