Penobscot VIew Grange Secretary Gladys Hardy and the grange members in Glen Cove recently presented Noble Alexander Lyle III of Mid-Coast Shrine Club, and KORA Shrine Temple of Lewiston, with three five-gallon jugs of tabs from soft drink and other beverage cans that had been collected by the grange members.

Prior to the presentation, Noble Lyle addressed those present telling them that the collection of tabs from soda and other beverage cans is an important part of the fundraising efforts conducted by Shriners nationwide in their efforts to help support the Shrine Hospitals for Children and the Shrine Burn Centers. In a recent year, more than 7,000 pounds of tabs were collected throughout New England. The funds received from redeeming these tabs were used to purchase two specially designed irrigation units used in the operation of beds specifically designed to ease the pain and suffering resulting from burns and to hasten the burn healing process. In other years the funds from tabs have been used to purchase passive motion machines to help with physical therapy, a special cast cutter with vacuum attachment to help remove casts, specially designed arm and leg splints, X-ray viewing equipment, medical computer software, special stretcher chairs, specially designed traction equipment, books and arts and crafts supplies to help while away the hours for recovering children and parties and fun events to help bring joy back to their lives.

There are two Shrine Hospitals in New England. The Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, Mass. serves children under age 18 who are affected by club foot, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, bone infections, chest wall deformities, cleft lip and cleft palate, orthopedic conditions related to Spina bifida, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, scoliosis and other spine deformities, hand and shoulder deformities, brittle bone disease, orthopedic conditions related to Cerebral palsy, and hip disorders. The Shrine Burn Center in Boston treats children under age 18 who have suffered all manner of burns and also provides care for burn scar reduction, port wine stain reduction, hemangiomas, scarring and deformities of the face, and severe scarring resulting in contractures or interference with mobility of the limb.

This year at least two children from Maine have been taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Boston hospitals and then transferred to the Shrine Burn Center. One was a boy who saw someone throw gasoline on a fire so decided to do the same, with tragic results. He spent several weeks at the Shrine Burn Center and is expected to make a full recovery. The other child, a girl, suffered severe electrical burns when a tree brought a power line down on her. Surgeons at the Burn Center performed several operations thus saving a leg that was thought to be a loss.

All medical services provided in Shrine Hospitals are provided without charge to the child or the child’s family. This is why the Shriners Hospitals for Children and the Shrine Burn Centers are often referred to as “The World’s Greatest Philanthropy.”