Being a Shriner is a Way of Life for Noble and His Family
Charlie Murphy believes that “being a Shriner is more than a lifetime commitment; it’s a way of life.” He would know, as he lives this way of life every day by being active in his local Shrine Center and supporting Shriners Children’s Erie.
Charlie joined Zenobia Shriners in 1995, following in the footsteps of his father-in-law, Donald Harrington. “I greatly admired my father-in-law and wanted to be active in worthwhile endeavors, the way he was,” he said. Although Harrington passed away in 2021, his passion for Shriners International and Shriners Children’s has been kept alive by other members of the family whom he inspired. In fact, one of Charlie’s proudest moments as a Shriner was in 2010 when his own son, Price, continued the family legacy by also becoming a Shriner. “I was honored to be able to take part in his initiation. It was heartwarming and gratifying.”
As vice-chairman of the Board of Governors at Shriners Children’s Erie, Charlie is very involved with the medical center and is always available to help in any way possible. He believes that the unique mission of the healthcare system is what makes it so special. “The ability to provide the highest quality care, regardless of the families’ ability to pay, allows the staff to focus on the whole child and the care they need,” he said.
It’s the ability to go beyond simply treating one ailment and moving on to the next patient that makes the care so extraordinary. “The long-term emotional impact our kids experience can be overwhelming and we’re able to focus on that as well,” he added. “We can positively impact the child’s entire self – for a lifetime.”
In Charlie’s eyes, it is not only this special mission that has allowed Shriners Children’s to persevere over 100 years, but also passion. “It’s the result of the passion of our exceptional staff members, our fraternity members and most importantly, the passion of our patients,” he said. The passion and positive outlook our patients display helps to strengthen the mission in the eyes of others and more importantly, provide a foundation for the kids, which serves them throughout their entire lives.
As Shriners International celebrates 150 years, Charlie reflects on the milestone anniversary of the fraternity. “The real celebration is about the members and their pride in our institution for a century and a half,” he said. The fact that they created an organization so meaningful and relevant, that it has been celebrated and its tenets carefully transmitted from generation to generation is impressive. “If it weren’t so impactful on our communities and ourselves, we would only know about our fraternity from the history books. The fact that it has spanned many generations of caring and community-focused men speaks for itself.”
Charlie is a remarkable example of the passion exemplified. His unwavering dedication for helping kids overcome significant obstacles in their life is evident. This is one of the things he loves most about being a Shriner, but there is so much more. Charlie explained, “Where else can like-minded individuals from all walks of life gather and work together toward the success of a common cause? Where else can you see a 21-year-old man and an 80-year-old man sitting next to each other and forming life-long friendships? Where else can you rest assured that regardless of where you travel in the world, you will find another member you can trust implicitly? I do love being a Shriner because of all we do to help our kids, but I also love being a Shrine Freemason because of all we do to help our communities, our friends and ourselves.”
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