Kena Shriners Hospital Transportation Team
The Kena Shriners Hospital Transportation Team was organized as the Shepherds Club in 1992. Noble Joseph L. Wileman, (Potentate 1996), was instrumental in organizing the Club when he was Oriental Guide. The first officers served in 1993. In 1999 the Shepherds Club name was changed to its present name. The Transportation Team is Kena Temples patient support and hospital service organization directly supporting the primary mission of Shriners Hospitals.
The Club originally had three purposes: to provide drivers for hospital vans, to provide screening clinics to identify children who might be eligible for treatment, and to provide speakers to fraternal and civic organizations in the Northern Virginia area. The Team also arranges transportation for patients and parents to Shriners burn hospitals, and assists the Potentate with special projects such as the annual pilgrimage to the Shriners Hospital in Philadelphia, and patient’s Christmas parties.
1993 Noble Raymond Evans
1994 Noble Gerald Rall
1995-96 Noble Philip A. Tilson
1997 Nobles Philip A. Tilson and Joel Kleiman
1998 Noble Francis R. Lane
1999-2000 Noble A. James Emery
2001 Noble Stanley M. Lowry
2002 Noble Paul W. Wood
Any Noble can become a member of the Transportation Team. All Divan members are ex officio members of the team. Membership status is maintained by participating in at least two events per year, such as driving patients to the hospital, giving talks to Civic Associations, or helping at Screening Clinics or patients Christmas party. Although they are not members of the team, wives or Master Masons can participate in team activities as hospital van drivers.
There are 22 Hospitals in the Shriners system. Kena Temple sponsors children to four of those hospitals. The majority of our patients (non-burn patients) are treated at the Philadelphia Unit. Our burn patients are treated at Boston or Cincinnati. We also have a small number of patients who are treated at the St. Louis Unit. Kena Temple provides a member on the Philadelphia Hospital Board of Governors. Ill. Edward Buckley, PP, served more than 30 years, Ill. Daniel L. Levin, PP, served nine years on the Board from 1992 through 2000. The current member is Noble John D. Brougher, Kena Highlanders, who began his term in 2001.
Prior to 1992, Kena Temple sponsored 23 patients to Shriner’s Hospitals. The first Screening Clinic was conducted in May 1993, and the patient population began to grow. In 1993, the number of patients had grown from 23, requiring one trip per week, to about 75 patients, requiring three or four trips per week. The scheduling of drivers to transport patients was handled by the Recorder’s Office, or by volunteer Schedulers. By May 1994, there were 175 patients being treated at Philadelphia, 13 at Boston and 4 at Cincinnati. By early 1996, the number of patients had grown to about 300, and to nearly 400 by October 1996. Today, Kena Temple sponsors about 300 patients at Shriner’s Hospitals in Philadelphia, Boston, Cincinnati and St. Louis.
Transportation scheduling is handled by two Volunteer Transportation Coordinators: one for ground and one for air. In a typical year volunteer drivers make about 100 trips to Philadelphia. Most of our other patients and a parent are flown to hospital appointments and treatments. Some burn patients fly on commercial airlines or by air ambulance, depending upon their medical condition and age. Whenever possible the services of volunteer pilots, who are embers of Airlifeline and Angel Flight, are used because they fly our patients free of charge. These volunteer pilots save our Transportation Fund more than $20,000 per year.
Hospital van drivers are a key element in delivering our patients to the Philadelphia Shriners Hospital. Some of our drivers have made 50 or more trips to the hospital. Noble Donald L. Tex Sellman, Motor Corps, has completed more than 160 trips. Drivers receive both intangible and tangible rewards for providing this vital support. The intangible rewards are the good feelings they have from helping children get free medical care. The greatest rewards for our drivers are the smiles, hugs and kisses, or a thank you, which cannot be worn on a shirt or a cap, but which are carried in their hearts for a lifetime. Drivers also receive tangible rewards. Drivers receive 100 SAMSAR Award points from Kena Temple for each trip. The Philadelphia Hospital awards drivers a shoulder patch after five trips and a rocker denoting 2nd through 5th awards for each additional five trips. After completing 30 trips, drivers are given the Super Transportation Award and their names are placed on a plaque at the hospital denoting this singular honor. A replica of the plaque containing the names of Kena drivers is displayed at Kena Temple.
Twenty-six Kena drivers have earned the Super Transportation Award. Their names appear on a plaque at the Philadelphia Shriners hospital for Children in the order earned: Joseph S. Snead, Camel Herders, Raymond T. Gransee, Greeters, Francis R. Lane, Transportation Team, Joe B. Owens, Kena 500, John W. Rehrig, Greeters, John W. Gilfillan, Kena Klowns, Dean B. Beacham, Camel Herders, Orville E. Fleming, Kena Klowns, Donald L. Sellman, Motor Corps, Ralph M. Hoke, Legion of Honor, Marvin K. McAfee, Kena 500, Benjamin L. Bagot, Directors Staff, A. James Emery, Motor Corps, Gilbert A. Martz, Winchester Shrine Club, Newton Condray, Camel Herders, Alonza Caldwell, Arab Patrol, Joel Kleiman, Legion of Honor, Paul W. Wood, Stanley M. Lowry, and Chris Burris, Kena 500, Dennis Bettendorf, Motor Corps, Roy N. Winkler, Arab Patrol, Milton N. Weatherhead, Retirees Club, Samuel P. Entsminger, Greeters, and Glen R. Murphy, Kena 500. As this article goes to press, Noble Robert E. Hofma, Chanters is one ride away from earning the award. Noble Ralph M. Tolley, Hillbillys, earned the award while a member of Almas Temple, Washington, DC.
The Hospital Transportation Team is responsible for operating and accounting for maintenance of the Kena Hospital Vans, and to operate one or more vans in all Temple Parades. There are currently three vans, a 1996 Ford van equipped with a wheelchair lift, and a 1999 Dodge Grand Caravan 7-passenger van, and a 2002 Ford Windstar 7-passenger van. The1996 Ford van was donated by the Haymarket Masonic Lodge No. 313, Charitable Foundation. Funds for the Dodge Grand Caravan were donated in August 1999, by Lady Helen R. Bupp, in memory of her late husband Noble Robert D. Bob Bupp, who was a member of the Kena Camel Herders. The 2002 Ford Windstar was purchased from member donations to the Hospital Transportation Fund. In 1992, a Chevy Lumina van, which is no longer in service as a hospital van, was donated by the late Noble Theodore E. Namey, Law Enforcement Club. Expenses related to transportation are paid for by the Kena Temple Transportation Fund. Vans are driven about 32,000 miles each year. A special account within the Transportation Fund was established in 2001 for donations with which to purchase a new van to replace the 1990 Dodge.
The team has participated in the patients Christmas parties which have been held nearly every year. Christmas parties provide our nobility a chance to interact with patients and have an appreciation for the tremendous work done by Shriners Hospitals. The first party was held in December 1991, the year before the Club was formed, at which time there were 15 families and 40 children. Each patient and siblings received a present from Santa Claus, and were entertained by Unit and Club members. Presents were also donated to the Recreational Therapy Department of the Philadelphia Hospital.
This is the part where I will add some info about Kena’s first patient. What we are calling Kena’s Sweetheart