Board Members Reflect on Service
Chairman of the Board of Governors at Shriners Children’s Northern California Kay Dunn experienced a life changing event as a child that led him to Shriners International.
His father was also a Shriner and that experience contributed to his desire to serve. He has been a member of Aahmes Shrine Center in Livermore, California, for over 12 years.
“The compassion, patient-focused atmosphere and warm, welcoming environment as you enter a Shriners Children’s facility is what makes Shriners Children’s so special to me. You instantly realize you have entered a very special place,” Dunn said.
Dunn served as Potentate of his Shrine Center in 2016 and has volunteered for a number of clubs, units and management positions.
“I also keep the Nobility apprised of Shriners Children’s activities and encourage their participation,” said Dunn.
As Dunn reflected on the anniversary celebrations that are underway, he mentioned that Shriners Children's and Shriners International have stood the test of time. He went on to talk about how the commitment to fulfilling the mission from everyone who is a part of both organizations has lead to significant and meaningful contributions to society for 150 years.
" I look forward to the next 150 years,” said Dunn.
Dunn has many experiences as a Shriner that stand out, but said the most gratifying moment is when a family who has experienced Shriners Children’s care, either directly or indirectly, walks up and gives him a heartfelt thank you and hug.
"It doesn’t get any better," said Dunn.
Michael J. Fox is a third generation Shriner. His grandfather was a member of the Aahmes Shrine Center, and his father a past Potentate of the Kerak Shrine Center where Michael joined his father as a Shriner. The main reason Michael joined the fraternity was to support Shriners Children’s and the amazing care provided to children.
Michael is currently serving on the Board of Governors at Shriners Children’s Northern California, volunteers at his Shrine Center, and has held leadership roles with the organization.
“I think that Shriner's Children's has persevered for over 100 years because we are able to partner some of the greatest minds in the medical field and management with the greatest fraternity – all with a collective mission to help children,” noted Fox.
Michael shared one memory that particularly resonated with him: “I am a deputy sheriff. In 2015, I responded to a call where a child had suffered a severe injury while helping his father, whom he adored. As a result, the child had to have his hand amputated. I visited the hospital later in my shift, as many of us did, to see how he was. The parents shared the outcome with me at that time. To say I was devastated is an understatement. The child’s parents were researching 3D printed prosthetic options. I told them about Shriners International and Shriners Children's. I gave them my card with the hospital information and told them what we do. The next morning the child's parents contacted me and we coordinated our local hospital with Shriners Children's. Six months later, I received a call from the family. They recently visited Santa Claus at the mall. The young man asked for only one thing for Christmas. He wanted his new hand to be done. While no child should have to ask for a new hand for Christmas, or ever, Shriners Children's has 100 years of helping children in their time of need, regardless of their ability to pay, and that is special. That is why I'm a Shriner, why I applied to be on the Board of Governors and why I love being a Shriner."
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