Chili cooks from San Angelo, Odessa, Boerne, San Antonio and Kempner go to the Suez Shrine Club for 2 days of chili cooking fun! Fred Lazarus (seated) takes 1st Place
Chili on Saturday!

If you're not familiar with the Shrine Club and what they do, here's a brief synopsis:

In 1870 a group of Masons gathered frequently for lunch at the Knickerbocker Cottage on Sixth Avenue in New York City. At a special table on the second floor a particularly fun-loving group of men met regularly. Among the regulars were Walter M. Fleming, M.D. and William J. “Billy” Florence, an actor. The group frequently talked about starting a new fraternity for Masons – one centered on fun and fellowship, more than ritual. Fleming and Florence took this idea seriously enough to do something about it.

Billy Florence had been on tour in France, and had been invited to a party given by an Arabian diplomat. The exotic style, flavors and music of the Arabian-themed party inspired him to suggest this as a theme for the new fraternity. Walter Fleming, a devoted fraternity brother, built on Fleming’s ideas and used his knowledge of fraternal ritual to transform the Arabian theme into the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.).

With the help of the Knickerbocker Cottage regulars, Fleming drafted the ritual, designed the emblem and costumes, formulated a salutation and declared that members would wear the red fez.

The first meeting of Mecca Shriners, the first temple (chapter) established in the United States, was held September 26, 1872

During the early part of the 20th century membership in Shriners International grew at a steady pace. By 1946, membership had jumped to 150,000 Nobles and another 250,000 had joined by 1958. In fact, Shriners International experienced one of its largest periods of growth in the years following World War II as returning soldiers looked for new ways to continue the camaraderie they had experienced with their fellow soldiers.

As the number of temples and nobles grew, so too did the hospitals. By 1958 the hospitals’ endowment was valued at $125 million and growing. The nobles were proving themselves to be excellent fundraisers. The Shrine Circus, founded in 1906 for fun and entertainment, began to play a role as a significant fundraiser in support of the hospitals.

Today, there are nearly 200 temples across North America, South America, Europe and Southeast Asia. In addition to the Shrine Circus, temples hold events throughout the year ranging from fish fries to concerts, car shows to fishing tournaments. It is fun with a purpose – supporting the important mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children®.
www.shrinersinternational.org

Sara Anderson (seated) of San Antonio takes 1st Place at Sunday's Cookoff! Congratulations to all the Winners, and Thanks for helping the Shriners to help others!

Learn more about CASI Chili at casichili.net.