Letters to the editor

October 29, 2003

Support the Shriners Hospitals

To the editor:

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a network of pediatric specialty hospitals, founded by the Shrine, where children under the age of 18 receive excellent medical care absolutely free of charge.

There are 18 Shriners Hospitals dedicated to treating children with orthopedic problems, three Shriners Hospitals dedicated to treating children with severe burns, and one Shriners Hospital that provides orthopedic, burn and spinal cord injury care. Shriners Hospitals are located throughout North America - 20 in the United States and one each in Mexico and Canada. These "Centers of Excellence" serve as major referral centers for children with complex orthopedic and burn problems.

There is never a charge to the patient, parent or any third party for any service or medical treatment received at Shriners Hospitals. Shriners Hospitals accept and treat children without regard to race, religion or relationship to a Shriner.


Any child may be eligible for treatment at a Shriners Hospital if the child is under 18 and if, in the opinion of the hospital's chief of staff, the child has an orthopedic or burn condition that Shriners Hospitals can help.

All of the orthopedic hospitals are equipped and staffed to treat children with congenital orthopedic deformities, problems resulting from orthopedic injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Three of the orthopedic hospitals in Chicago, Philadelphia and Sacramento also have special programs dedicated to caring for children with spinal cord injuries.

The Shriners Hospitals in Boston, Cincinnati, Galveston and Sacramento treat children with acute fresh burns; children needing plastic reconstructive or restorative surgery as a result of "healed" burns; children with severe scarring, resulting in contractures or interference with mobility of the limbs and children with scarring and deformity of the face.

There are several children from this area currently receiving treatment at a Shriners Hospital.

Transportation for patients to the Shriners Hospitals is provided by a local Shrine Center. In the case of Morgan County, W.Va., there are two Shrine Centers that provide transportation for children and their parents or guardians. The Eastern Panhandle Shrine Club of the Osiris Shrine Center in Wheeling W.Va., and Ali Ghan Shrine in Cumberland, Md., both transport children using special vans purchased for that purpose.

These local Shrine Centers are responsible for raising the necessary funds to cover the cost of transporting patients and their parents to the hospitals. They cover the cost of meals and motel rooms if the patient is going for outpatient treatment and the appointment is schedule for early morning.

Tax-deductible contributions to the transportation funds at both of these Shrine Centers are graciously accepted.

Nobles who do the driving are dedicated to providing a great service for these children.

If you would like more information concerning the Shriners Hospitals for Children, check out their web site at

Fred Widmyer
Berkeley Springs, W.Va.

Come out for the veterans

To the editor:

A Veterans Day observance will be held Tuesday, Nov. 11, at 9 a.m. at Marty Snook (Halfway) Park. The program will be in full military fashion, recognizing all elected officials and veterans.

The event has been organized by the Joint Veterans Council of Washington County. AMVETS Post 10 Color Guard, soloist Gail Snyder and guest speaker Arnold "Art" Callaham are among the highlights.

Currently the executive director of the Greater Hagerstown Committee Inc., Retired Lt. Col. Callaham is also an instructor at Hagerstown Community, Hagerstown Business College, University of Maryland and Mount St. Mary's Colleges. He has served on numerous boards in the local area.

I invite all veterans, their friends and families to attend the program.

Speener M. Hose
President of Joint Veterans Council of Washington County

Too far to walk to school

To the editor:

It's pretty bad when Hagerstown can spend $2 million to build a new parking deck, but the Board of Education can't spend the money to transport our children to school.

I live in the Frederick Street area, which is in the Hagerstown city limits - and might I add that the property taxes are much higher then outside the city limits. But yet I have no transportation for my son to attend South High. I am told that if you live within 1.5 miles of the school they do not provide transportation.

I think this is ridiculous, with all the kidnappers and child molesters who are out there these days. And they expect our kids to walk 1.5 miles. And what about when it's raining or snowing - you expect our kids to sit in school all day in soaked clothing and pay attention and learn? If there is anyone else in agreement with me, please call the Washington County School Board or the County Commissioners to complain. Wilson Boulevard is a very dangerous street to have to walk.

Pippa Cool

Call was appreciated

To the editor:

I want to thank Franklin County Commissioner Warren Elliott for the public service that he provides. Whenever I have had a question or a need for assistance, he has seen to it that I was helped.

What's more, he has personally called me afterward to make sure that the item I called him about was taken care of.

I had never met Elliott, yet the day that the Hurricane Isabel was to hit, he called me to see if I was okay and if there was anything that I needed. As a widowed senior citizen I appreciate Elliott's kindness and thoughtfulness.

I just wanted him and others know that his efforts are valued and appreciated.

Melise Roher
Chambersburg, Pa.

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