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Shriners, Elks gearing up for Steak, Shrimp and Clam Festival

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MASSENA - The second annual Steak, Shrimp and Clam Festival will be held starting at 1 p.m. July 13 at the Massena Elks Lodge, 20 Bowers St.

The event, which is open to the public, is made possible through a coordinated effort of the Massena Elks Lodge and The Massena Shriners. The menu will include a buffet of grilled rib-eye steak, steamed shrimp and clams, Italian sausage, salt potatoes, corn on the cob, macaroni salad, baked beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, assorted cheeses and desserts.

Several years ago the Massena Shriners were looking for a home for their clambake equipment. For many years the Shriners held an annual Clambake fund raiser to support their charitable projects, but as membership started to decline, it became more difficult to maintain such a grand undertaking.

Phil MacDonald, an active member of both organizations, suggested the Elks Lodge might be the appropriate organization to take over the equipment. The decision proved to be favorable since now the Elks Lodge uses the equipment to help the Shriners continue to raise money for charity.

Harold Brothers, who is serving as chairman of the Festival for the Shriners, said, “The Massena Ups & Downs are a local group of dedicated Shriners that give up weekends in the summer to participate in parades and raise money to support the Shriners Hospital for Children in Montreal. The profit that we make at this year’s Festival will go toward our annual donation to the hospital. We were able to donate $7,000 last year and hope to match that this year.”

The Shriners International broke ground during October 2011 on a new hospital which is scheduled to open in 2015 to provide world class care to children with orthopedic and neuromusculoskeletal disorders in a family focused environment that puts children at ease. Brothers pledged that “the Massena Shriners will be acknowledged as a significant benefactor on the Wall of Donors in that new hospital.”

Elks Lodge Exalted Ruler James Root said, “We were grateful recipients of the equipment donated to us by the Shriners. and we are honored to be able to assist them with fundraising efforts for the Children’s Hospital. I accompanied the Shriners to Montreal last year to present their donation and it’s mind-boggling to see the work that is being done to help families with children in need of expensive medical care. This care is made possible in large part due to the financial commitment of Shrine organizations like the one here in Massena. We hope that this Festival becomes a local tradition in the summertime. There’s no better way to celebrate warm weather than with good food served in a friendly atmosphere and benefiting a worthy cause.”

Tickets for the second annual Steak, Shrimp and Clam Festival are available for purchase at the Elks Lodge on Bowers Street or from any member of the Massena Shrine for $35 in advance or $40 at the door on July 13. Legal beverages will be available for purchase and draft beer will be offered for $1 a glass.

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