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By Carol S. Wolf

The 72nd Annual Shrine Circus will be held at the Event Center in Hamburg, NY at 5820 South Park Ave. Reserved seating and free parking is available!

Dates and times:

Thursday, 3/15: 10am & 7pm;

Friday, 3/16: 10am & 7pm;

Saturday, 3/17: 10am, 2:30pm, & 7pm; and

Sunday, 3/18: 10am, 2:30pm, & 7pm


Adults $15

Seniors (61+): $10

Children under 10: $8

Tickets on sale online at <>, at the Fairgrounds office under the Grandstand, and at the Shrine Center, located at 1600 Southwestern Blvd, West Seneca. For tickets or information, call the Shrine Center at 674-8666.

It is once again time for The Shrine Circus. Come and see the 3-Ring Circus featuring high wire acts, tigers, flying trapeze artists, jugglers and a whole lot of “clowning” around! The Famous Johnny Rocket is also back by popular demand!

The Shrine Circus provides a quality, fun-filled family experience with proceeds going to the great cause of providing medical care for children. My husband Dick has been a Shriner for 40 years. The Shriners around the world do so much for children. There are 189 Temples in the world and the local Ismailia Temple was the 37th Temple created in the U.S. in 1888.

When I decided to do my article on the Shriners, I stopped in at the office and got the books on the history of this Temple. James Michel, the Potentate (the head of the organization), agreed to an interview.

Jim began by telling me he has lived in WNY his entire life. He was born in Buffalo and grew up in Lackawanna. His father was a Buffalo fireman, a Mason, and later on a Shriner. He shared, “My grandfather on my mother’s side was a Mason and a Shriner in Auburn, NY. In the 70s, my mother and father ran a Masonic Organization for girls called Rainbow Girls, so I grew up in Masonry knowing that Masons love to have fun. As I grew up, I learned what great things Masons do. At 21, I joined West Seneca Lodge, which had many younger guys. We had a fast pitch baseball team and a bowling team, so I became active there and got to know a lot of great men.”

Jim continued, “My career has been in law enforcement. I am in my 38th year as a police officer in the city of Lackawanna. Currently, I am the Chief of Police. For the majority of my career, I was on the afternoon shift so I wasn’t able to make a lot of Masonic meetings and didn’t want to join the Shrine because I don’t like to belong to something and not be able to be involved. I got married and we raised four children. When they got older, I got more involved in the Lodge, went up the Officers line, and became Master of the Lodge. A few years after my father passed away, I joined the Shrine because I knew it was so important to him. When I discovered that that Shrine was involved with funding and supporting 22 hospitals around the country, I decided that’s how I would give back for all my blessings. So I became part of the Shrine, was asked to be an officer, and now, five years later, I am the Potentate.”

The mission of Shriners Hospital for Children is to:

• Provide the highest quality care to children with neuro-musculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries, and other special health care needs within a compassionate, family-centered, and collaborative care environment.

• Provide for the education of physicians and other health care professionals.

• Conduct research to discover new knowledge that improves the quality of care and quality of life for children and families.

This mission is carried out without regard to race, color, creed, sex, religious sect, disability, national origin, or ability of a patient to pay. In 1872, a group of men created this fraternity. Shriners International became an established part of American culture and spread its influence and good works across the world. Along the way, an official philanthropy was created that has helped more that 1.3 million children enjoy healthier, more productive lives. Shriners Hospital for Children will continue making a difference.

For many years, Dick helped in driving kids and their families to Erie, PA, to the hospital there for outpatient services. It is incredible all the children in WNY that have been helped by the Shriners Hospitals and Burn Treatment Centers.

So, everyone, I invite you to go to the Shrine Circus to have fun and support the Shriner Hospitals.

If you know of a successful program in your community or would like more information please let me know at

Carol S. Wolf is married to her husband Dick for 52 years. She has 2 sons and 4 grandchildren. She is a writer, speaker, storyteller and leader of workshops and retreats. She is an Associate Spiritual Director at the St. Joseph Center for Spirituality and a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers WNY.



Carol wrote this book as part of her two year Master's program in the Academy for Biblical Storytellers. It has just been published and is available for $10.00. Carol is an author, speaker and leader of workshops meditations and conference.
"This book give you an opportunity to experience how, when we become a part of the biblical story, we often find meaning for our own life. It is an incredible resource for confirmation, baptism, and intergenerational groups." Trracy Radosevic, Dean, Academy for Biblical Storytellers.
Anyone interested in buying a book can email me The book is $10.00 + $2.00 mailing.