ALAMOSA — IHOP restaurants nation-wide celebrated Shriners Hospitals for Children on Tuesday, March 12. Community members streamed in to the Alamosa IHOP to eat a free pancake breakfast with many leaving donations to assist the hospitals.
Twenty-two Shriner hospitals in North America cater to the needs of children up to 18 years of age who get help with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate problems. Children are assisted regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Sand Dunes Shrine Club members shared information and formed balloon animals for kids. Gary Bruder, IHOP manager reported $1278.64 collected in donations on Tuesday.
One IHOP visitor, 18-year-old Megan McGuire, was born with a congenital limb loss. She was fitted with her first prosthesis at the age of 9 months at the Salt Lake City Shriner Hospital. She was born without her lower left arm. But that hasn’t stopped her from singing and acting.
“I want to inspire others with disabilities to break into the entertainment world,” she said. In April this Alamosa High School senior will perform as Auntie Martha in the school’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace. In August she is a main character in a play presented at the Denver Center for Performing Arts - a production yet to be announced.
As an ambassador for Shriner Hospitals, she is spreading the word about their compassionate, family-centered, top-quality care. She said, “I can’t tell you how much the work that you (Shriners) do means to people.”
Call 800-237-5055 if you know a child that needs help and has one of the above health challenges. To speak to a local Shriner Hospital Representative about a San Luis Valley child, call Ernie Kuney at 817-995-1398 or Tom Sanderson at 719-580-6200.