Annual Shrine Bowl brings high school all-stars together for a great cause

“Strong Legs run so that weak legs may walk;” that is the mission statement of the 43rd Annual Shrine Bowl, hosted this year at Natrona County High School. The Shrine Bowl is an opportunity for the best high school football players from all around Wyoming to come together and play the game they love. But in this game, victory doesn’t matter. In this game, they are playing for a larger purpose. In this game, they are playing for sick children. 43 years ago, two Shrine Club temples, the Korein Divan and the Kalif Divan, had an idea. They would come together, and ask all of the high schools in Wyoming to come together in one of the state’s greatest all-star games to benefit the Shriners hospitals all across the country. It worked and the rest, as they say (I’m not sure who ‘they’ are either), is history. On June 11, 2016 players and coaches from across the state came together to play their hearts out; not to show who is better than whom, but to raise money for the Shriners Hospital for Children in Salt Lake City. Well okay, maybe a small part of them were playing to show who is better than whom. But mostly, y’know, for the kids. [image: photo.JPG] "Shriners are probably the greatest philanthropy [organization] in the United States,” said Steve Schlenker, president of the Shrine Board of Directors. “We support 22 hospitals, 19 orthopedic hospitals, and 3 burn centers in the United States and we take care of children from birth to 18 [years old] and there’s no charge for that. We do that regardless of the family’s ability to pay.” Part of the reason the Shrine Club is able help so many children is because of the Shrine Bowl and all of its participants. From the players, to the coaches, to the sponsors, to the fans- everybody comes together to help raise money to help sick children. [image: photo 4.JPG] “[The Shrine Bowl] allows Wyoming’s best football players to compete with and against each other in one of the best all-star games in the state,” said Tom Grogan, Co-offensive Coordinator at NCHS. “It provides a wonderful opportunity to Wyoming athletes to engage in a life changing service experience at the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City.” “Most importantly,” he added, “the proceeds of this game provide vital funding for children in the Shriners hospitals around the country.” In addition to playing in the game, students and coaches are actually given the opportunity to visit the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City. They’re able to see what their blood, sweat and tears are working towards and for many, it’s a life changing experience. [image: IMG_0071.JPG] *From left, Patrick Forster, Baylor Beers, asst coach Tony Truempler, Connor Wilkinson and Brayden Draper. Photo h/t Cody Beers* At the end of the game, it’s not the score that matters. (But in case you were curious the North won 41-26.) It’s not the amount of touchdowns and field goals and sacks and blitzes that brought so many people together over the last 43 years. Everybody involved in the Shrine Bowl came together for one reason, and that one reason has been the motto of the Shrine Club for over 90 years. #perkins #oilcity #county10 #news