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Shriners week comes to Bemidji: Activities, parade planned before big football game

BEMIDJI—The Shriners are back in town for its 22nd annual weekend event with multiple activities planned before the undefeated BSU football team takes on the University of Minnesota Crookston at Chet Anderson Stadium.

The annual event is a collaboration between BSU and the Headwaters Shriners Club to raise money for the Shriners Hospital for Children—Twin Cities. In addition to raising money, the Shriners also host a free pediatric orthopedic screening clinic on an annual basis.

"Over the years we've been able to raise a substantial amount of money, more than $100,000 for the hospital," said Shrine football event chairman Joe Dunn. "We also have our screenings, and over the years, we've had more than 100 kids referred to the Twin Cities hospital for orthopedic care. We're very proud of that."

The Shriners Hospital for Children free pediatric orthopedic screenings will be from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center, 1300 Anne St. NW.

Up next is the Beaver Pride Luncheon at the Bemidji Town and Country Club at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The luncheon is $9 per person and Dunn said the event will feature speeches from BSU football coaches and Shrine members.

The Bemidji Town and Country Club, located at 2425 Birchmont Beach Road, will also host an 18-hole golf tournament 1 p.m. and a sports memorabilia auction at 6 p.m. The golf tournament is $50 and a social will take place during the auction with a cash bar.

Saturday's festivities get underway at 1 p.m. with the Shrine Parade. Taking place downtown, the parade will travel along Eighth Street, Minnesota Avenue, Third Street and Beltrami Avenue. Immediately following the parade is a tailgate party at Diamond Point Park near Birchmont Drive and next to Chet Anderson Stadium.

"We've had different activities added to the weekend over the years, but the parade and screening clinic have probably been the longest, going on for nearly 18 years," Dunn said. "The golf tournament is getting to be a big thing, though. It's really starting to grow."

Shriner involvement will continue during the game, too, with the annual halftime presentation to honor Shriner hospital patients.

Additionally, this year's event will feature special guest Jim Cain, the Shrine Imperial Potentate.

According to its website, the Imperial Potentate is the highest leadership position within Shriners International and serves as both President and CEO.

"We expect to have Shriners come in from all over the area for this. They come in from Minneapolis, Duluth, Fargo and Grand Forks," Dunn said. "They participate along with people from BSU."

Shriners Weekend Schedule:

Friday

• 8:30-11:30 a.m. Shriners Hospital for Children free pediatric orthopedic screenings at the Sanford Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Center, 1300 Anne St. NW.

• 11:30 a.m. Beaver Pride Luncheon. At the Bemidji Town and Country Club, 2425 Birchmont Beach Road.

• 1 p.m. Golf Tournament at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.

• 6 p.m. Mixer, Sports Memorabilia Auction and social hour at the Bemidji Town and Country Club.

Saturday

• 1 p.m. Shrine Parade in downtown Bemidji.

• Immediately following the parade is the Tailgate Party at Diamond Point Park, near Birchmont Drive and next to the football stadium.

• 4 p.m. BSU Beavers vs University of Minnesota Crookston Golden Eagles.

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