When I tell people I'm a Shriner, one of the clarifying questions is:
"You mean the old guys with the funny hats and little cars?"
Well, I'm not exactly "old", but yeah, you're thinking of the right group.
So, what are Shriners and what do they do?
Shriners are all members of the Freemasons (Masonic Lodge) who have taken an obligation to help support the mission of Shriners Hospitals for Children. Shriners Hospitals offer pediatric care for orthapedic issues and children who have been burned...free of charge, top of the line, state of the art care.
What's with the funny hats and little cars? Shriners are, first and foremost, philanthropists. Second, we like to have fun! The red fez is an easily recognized symbol of our fraternity, and the go carts? Just fun!
Here's a quick video that helps get beyond the hats and cars to the real heart of what Shriners do: (BTW, if you're interested in becoming a Shriner or helping support the hospitals, drop me a msg at Marcus@MarcusEngel.com)