Little East West Shrine game, parade highly successful
It was a cool crisp autumn day in River Falls when members of several Shrine groups assembled to join UW-River Falls, in the celebration of their homecoming on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11 and 12.
For the past 52 years, the St. Croix Valley Shrine Club has been sponsoring the annual fall classic. Within the last few years, the university has combined their homecoming parade with the Shrine parade to make it a rather dynamic public event.
The weekend began with Shrine units from all over the Upper Midwest attending the Potentates Banquet held at the American Legion Club. The gala event featured an introduction of the Shriners Grand Marshal Brady Knutson, son of Kate and Kyle Knutson of Ellsworth. In addition, Shrine Club President Mike Kastens welcomed members of the UWRF Falcon football team captains and coaches who would play Platteville in their homecoming game on Saturday.
Present for the banquet were illustrious sir Robert Gorsuch, Zor Shrine Potentate, Dale Olson, Zor Divan Treasurer, Bob Giester, Divan member, Monte Steiber, Divan Asst., Rabban and Barry Ausen, Divan Outer Guard.
After a delicious meal served by Ruth Hurtgen, the Shriners and guests heard a report on fundraising efforts by Rod Rommel, Shrine Club Secretary and member of the Shrine Hospital for Children Board of Directors. In his remarks, Rommel announced the members of the club who helped raise funds for the event. Top on the list of fundraisers were Gerry Hauschildt and Ralph Thompson of Baldwin, Milt Helmer of Beldenville, Curt Anderson of New Richmond and Larry Riemenschneider of Amery.
Nobles Doug Hoffman and Dave Vold of River Falls were also recognized for coordinating the successful weekend long event.
In his remarks, Bob Gorsuch said the finances for the hospital are looking much better with more outpatients being served. He also noted membership remains an issue, but the Zor Shrine and Shriners International are addressing the issue with better communication with area Masonic Lodges. Gorsuch urged everyone to bring in new members to the upcoming ceremonial in December at Madison.
On game day, Oct. 12, all of the members from units assembled at the Legion Club for the traditional brat, hot dogs and coffee.
The Legionnaires were wonderful hosts of the event.
All assembled for the big parade, which started at 10:30 a.m. and wound its way down main street, followed by the many units of the university, and area towns bands and floats.
After the parade, the Divan members, Shrine Club officers and the Grand Marshal and his family assembled on the 50-yard line before the game for the customary introductions. The introductions were made possible through the cooperation of Athletic Director Roger Ternes, who noted the university’s 1983 hockey team was named to the UWRF Athletic Hall of Fame during this year’s event. Of the 30 members of the team, 24 were present for the induction ceremony, accounting to Ternes.
Much of the proceeds of the weekend event go to Shriners Charities, which include the Shriners Hospital for Children in the Twin Cities.