PICKWICK SHRINE CLUB HISTORY
Pickwick Shrine Club was formed in 1949. After the end of World War II, the number of Shriners in the area began to increase. Some of these Nobles were Ambassadors for Al Chymia. These Nobles got together and petitioned Al Chymia Center for permission to form a club. Nobles Herman Brawner and C. E. Stull lit the spark that got the Pickwick Shrine Club going. Al Chymia Center issued the Pickwick Shrine Club Charter on February l, 1956.
Club meetings are held on the third Thursday of every month except June, July, August, and December at 06:30 p.m. The Ladies are invited to attend the meetings along with the Nobles. For many years the meetings were rotated between facilities that made contributions to the yearly Hospital Benefit Drive (paper sale). In 2013, the club began meeting at Mollie Monday’s Restaurant in Savannah.
The yearly Hospital Benefit Drive continues to be the club’s main event of the year. The drive initially started in the summer and ended in October with a fish fry at the Hardin County Fairgrounds Exhibit Building in Savannah. In recent years the drive was extended until the first Monday in December and the October fish fry event has been held at the Walnut Grove Fire Department for the years 2017, 2018, and 2019. The drive has always been very successful with thousands of dollars raised and presented to Al Chymia Center each year. All Hospital Benefit Drive money collected by Al Chymia goes to the St. Louis Shriners Hospital for Children. For several years the Pickwick Shrine Club has been at the top in money raised by the various units of Al Chymia Center.
Several members of the club are active in the Al Chymia Transportation Unit which drive and transport patients to various Shrine hospitals. Since 2003, an Al Chymia Center hospital van has been stationed in Savannah to facilitate the transportation of patients to and from Shrine hospitals.
The membership peaked in 2003 with 109 members in the Pickwick Shrine Club. In January 2014 there were 60 members and 2019 ended with 50 members. Since its formation in 1949, club members have worked hard to support the Shrine in providing medical care to those children requiring treatment, regardless of their ability to pay. Their dedication is a credit to this club and Al Chymia Center.
Pickwick Shrine Club Presidents: