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Wolfe To Play In Shrine Bowl

By Staff | Mar 24, 2009

Once again, Emmetsburg’s E’Hawks will be represented in the annual Iowa Shrine All-Star Football Game. Josh Wolfe, the son of Jessie and Janice Wolfe of Emmetsburg will be a member of the North Squad in the 37th annual classic, set for July 25, at Iowa State University in Ames.

The Iowa Shrine All-Star game is an event, which extends the maximum visibility to the Shiner’s great philanthropy – 18 orthopedic hospitals, three burn centers, and one which treats all types of needs in North America.

The Iowa Shrine All Star Football game was established by a group of sports minded Iowa Shriners after having seen the success of Shrine sponsored Football Games in other states. After much planning, the first All-Star Football and Basketball games were played in 1973 in Iowa City.

The contributions from this annual event now total over $2 million dollars in support of the Shrine Hospital programs for children. All profits from the game are distributed to the Hospital programs making any sponsorship a charitable contribution.

The 2008 operating budget for the Shrine Hospitals across the United States is $826 million, which breaks down to over 2.26 million dollars per day to run the children’s hospitals. But the most important thing to remember is that all hospital cares and services at Shrinters’ Hospitals is completely free of charge to the patients.

As a fundraiser, the 2003 All Star game generated $72,000 and the 2007 game generated $76,000. This year, the Shriners have set a goal of $100,000.

The Board of Directors for the Iowa Shrine Bowl Games, Inc. is structured to have three Shriners from each of Iowa’s four Shrine Temples: Abu Bekr, Sioux City; El Kahir, Cedar Rapids; Kaaba, Davenport; and Za-Ga-Zig, Altoona. Each member is appointed to a three-year term with a new member appointed from each Temple annually. Each Temple appoints a Coordinator to assist his Temple in soliciting sponsors for inclusion in the game program, player sponsorships, and ticket sales. The Board represents members of the business and professional community, active and retired, throughout the State. The Board appoints a General Manager each year, which is responsible to the Board for the administration of the annual All-Star game.

There are 46 graduating High School Seniors selected for each Squad by the coaching staffs. The division line for the North and South basically is Highway 30 as it crosses the State, East to West, with the western extension from Denison to Onawa.

All schools bordering Highway 30 have players on the South Squad, except for the Cedar Rapids schools where the players are on the North Squad. The exception is Cedar Rapids Prairie, which represents the South Squad.

In 1986 the number of players was increased from 40 to 44 to permit participation of more small schools on the All-Star squads. In the 2002 game an additional kicker was added and in 2006 a punter was added for a total of 46.

Each fall the Iowa High School Football Coaches Association members are requested to recommend a defensive and offensive player whom they feels will be a good representative of his school and community. The player must not be just a good athlete, but also an individual who is also academically successful, and active in school and community activities.

In July the Iowa High School Football Coaches Association selects a Head Coach for each Squad. They in turn select five assistants so as to have one from Class 4-A, 3-A, 2-A, and 1A/A. and 8 person. The coaches select the players from the nominations submitted earlier by their fellow coaches. Every effort is made to select players from across the State, with a representative balance in the number of players from each Temple jurisdiction.

In 1996, the Shriners added an All-Star Cheerleader program which has been very successful. The young women are nominated by their schools and must attend a tryout, which are held in February. There are professional trainers who are judges and assist in the selection of who will be invited to attend camp. A total of 60 cheerleaders are selected for this program.

Both the football players and cheer squad members will travel to the Twin Cities Children’s Hospital from their training camp to visit the patients, learning firsthand the purpose of the Shrine All-Star Football game.

The player and cheerleader’s enthusiasm for the day of this annual game is heightened, when they see how the profits from this game are helping hundreds of Iowa’s physically handicapped children.