The Kansas Shrine Bowl Board of Directors is proud to announce that Emporia has been selected to host the 2012 Kansas Shrine Bowl. Emporia’s selection for 2012 marks the fourth time the Shrine Bowl has been held in Emporia and will be the 39th annual charity event. Wichita has been the host site 9 times, Manhattan and Lawrence 8 times each, Topeka 4 times, and Hays and Pittsburg have hosted 3 times each.
The annual all-star football contest, flagship of all Shrine Bowl events, is among the most successful high school all-star football games in the nation. KSB events benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children and have raised 2 1/2 million dollars for the charity to date. Kansas children regardless of race, religion or nationality, with severe burns, spinal injuries, cleft lip and palate, or orthopedic problems are admitted and treated at Shriners Hospitals absolutely free. Money to operate the 22 specialty hospitals (over 2.2 million dollars per day or over $1,527 per minute) comes from public endowments, wills and gifts, Shrine dues, and fund raisers such as the Kansas Shrine Bowl.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl is supported by all 5 Shrine Centers in Kansas; Abdallah Shrine in Overland Park; Arab Shrine in Topeka; Isis Shrine in Salina; Midian Shrine in Wichita; and Mirza Shrine in Pittsburg with a combined membership of about 13,000. The Board of Directors, consisting of three members from each of the Shrine Centers, studied and discussed the 2012 site selection during the past year. Ray Terrell, a Kansas Shrine Bowl board member, reported that other top sites under consideration were Lawrence, Olathe, and Pittsburg. After weighting all factors, and elements of a successful charity event, Emporia was selected and is believed to be the best choice at this time. Terrell said, “the decision was favorably influenced by great support and willingness to solve difficulties by the Emporia Convention and Visitors Bureau, the City of Emporia, Lyon County, the Emporia business community, and Emporia State University”.
The Kansas Shrine Bowl looks forward to having the events in Emporia again in 2012. In addition to the 68 all-star football players, the spectacular family fun day of events will feature 60 All-Star Cross Country Racers, over 200 Masonic All-State High School Marching Band members, over 100 All-Star cheerleaders, Shrine units from across State in the largest annual Shrine Parade in Kansas, precision parachutists, dignitaries, and special guests. It is expected the banquet on Friday night will draw over 1,000 guests. The parade is expected to attract 5,000 spectators and the game itself should have 10,000 in attendance. Other planned Shrine Bowl Events includes an open 2 mile run, a Kids Fair, an Arts & Craft Fair, and a Poker Run.