Big Time Football Benefits Shriners Hospitals for Children
The East-West Shrine Game has never been "just another football game."
The Shrine East-West Game, the oldest and one of the most respected of the post-season collegiate bowl games, distinguishes itself through the quality of the players and coaches, as well as the excitement of the game.
But that's not what makes it "Football's Finest Hour." What makes the East-West Game so special is its true purpose - helping to support Shriners Hospitals.
Every year since 1925, the East-West Game has been played to raise money for Shriners Hospitals and to help make the public aware of the expert orthopaedic and burn care available free of charge at the 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children.
To date, the game has raised more than $13 million for Shriners Hospitals and has helped inform millions of people about the mission of this extraordinary philanthropy. It is televised annually on ESPN, reaching more than 30 million viewers with the message of all care and services are provided regardless of the patients' ability to pay, expert orthopaedic and burn care for children.
The players themselves regard the game in a special light, as they learn the true purpose of the game during a pre-game visit to the Shriners Hospitals. There, they visit with patients and take to heart the game's slogan, "Strong legs run so that weak legs might walk."
2015 East West Shrine Game Highlights
Kansas Shrine Bowl Cheer Clinic
The Kansas Shrine Bowl annually provides one of the best and most popular cheer clinics available in the state. It is professionally conducted with fun and safety as primary goals. The clinic also helps to raise funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children because they receive all proceeds from the clinic.
Cheer participants may be males or females in grades 9 through 12 with at least one year of cheering experience. Participants may attend the clinic as a squad or as individuals; with or without a sponsor or accompanying adults (adult supervision will be provided for groups and individuals without a sponsor or accompanying adult).
The clinic opens at 6:30 p.m. on the Wednesday prior to the Kansas Shrine Bowl game which is played on the last Saturday in July. The clinic concludes at the end of the Shrine Bowl Game, at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Saturday. During the clinic period all meals are provided. Housing is also provided as double to quad occupancy in dormitory rooms. All local transportation is also provided.
At the clinic the particpants are provided special Kansas Shrine Bowl All-Star Cheer Clinic shirts and are awarded a prestigious Certificate of Completion.
Participants in the Cheer Clinic cheer on the teams from the sidelines of the televised Kansas Shrine Bowl All-Star football game. They meet and take photos with Shrine Hospital patients. The receive professional training and instructions by collegiate spirit squad members as well as guest appearances and training by professional cheerleaders such as the Kansas City Chiefs Cheerleading Squad.
The Shrine Bowl of Kansas is an incorporated 501(c)3 fundraising organization. All profits from operations are sent to Shriners Hospitals for Children. The principle fundraising event of the Shrine Bowl of Kansas is the Kansas Shrine Bowl Game.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl Game is an all-star football game between selected pre-college football athletes on each side of an east-west dividing line in Kansas. The players are selected by a process of nomination by coaches, balloting by state-wide sports media professionals, and official invitation from a representative of the Kansas Shrine Bowl.
Potential Kanas Shrine Bowl All-Star football players are nominated by their high school coach during October & November each year.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl produces this game and other related events each year. The game brings honor and recognition to the players, their schools and their communities. It has also been an effective tool in raising money for Shriners Hospitals for Children.
To date, the Kansas Shrine Bowl has sent over $2 million to Shriners Hospitals for Children. Funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children are developed by ticket sales, advertising in the Shrine Bowl program, merchandise sales, contributions and sponsorships.
Many past Kansas Shrine Bowl players have gone on to have college and professional football careers. Each year the Kansas Shrine Bowl takes all of the players and coaches to the St. Louis Unit of the Shriners Hospitals so they can better know and understand some of the kids for whom they are playing.
2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl Highlights
Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band
During the first 10 years (1974-1983) of the Kansas Shrine Bowl High School All-Star games bands for the half-time show were hard to get. All activities had to take place during the summer because of regulations of the KSHSAA and the NCAA. When school was not in session organized high school bands were not available.
Following the 1983 game, Brad Bone, Director of Marching Bands at WSU, suggested to Dave Mize, Executive Director of the Kansas Shrine Bowl, that a state-wide selected band might solve the problem. Through research and study it was discovered that a similar idea had been suggested by Phil Hewit, Director of Bands at KSU.
With that professional support and the void of half-time entertainment at the Kansas Shrine Bowl game the Kansas Shrine Bowl began putting the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band together.
Band students would be selected and sponsored by the Masonic Lodge in their community. The fee ($200 initially and $250 now) would be spent approximately half for expenses and half for charity. The camp fees provide each band member with a band shirt, housing, meals (including the gala player's banquet), transportation at the camp site, insurance, professional music and marching instruction, supervision, and social activities.
The first Masonic All-State Band had 93 participants and was trained and directed by Stan Fink, Director of Marching Bands at Kansas State University. Now, nearly 230 high school band persons assemble each year for the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band. They start their band camp on Tuesday prior to the Saturday Kansas Shrine Bowl game. During the camp they practice almost non-stop during their waking hours. When not practicing they have organized social activities and enjoy 3-4 meals a day. The band performs at the KSB Players Banquet, lead and play in the parade Saturday morning and play during the televised game with features during the pre-game and half-time ceremonies of the game Saturday night.
Thousands of band students have participated in the Kansas Masonic All-State Marching Band since its inception in 1986. They have enjoyed the Kansas Shrine Bowl experience and the exposure to professional marching band instruction.