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The Shrine Corvette hoisted into the air by the Dick Irvin crane was a very fitting tribute to proud and dedicated Shriner Lester Nevins at his memorial service and now the Tri-County Shriners are asking for help in memorializing Nevins in a way he would most appreciate, with donations to the Spokane Shrine Hospital in his memory.

Lester Nevins was known as many things to many people: dad, husband, grandpa and friend, but one that stood out and was known by those who may have known him as nothing else, was a Shriner. The Shrine and what the organization does for children was his passion and something he dedicated much of his life to. That legacy continues, as the Tri-County Shrine Club plans to honor Lester for his many years of service to the Tri-County Shrine as the secretary/treasurer.

“Lester served on the Spokane Shrine Hospital Board of Governors for nine years,” said fellow Shrine member and friend, Dwaine Iverson. “Lester also served as Potentate for the Algeria Shrine. To honor his many years of service, the Tri-County Shrine is collecting donations to deliver to the Spokane Shrine Hospital. At the $1,000 Bill party on Jan. 25 at the Cut Bank Elks, there will be a donation jar for people to make donations to the hospital in Lester’s name.”

The Spokane Shrine Hospital serves many children in our area, typically there are 30 to 40 kids, per year, taken care of at the Spokane hospital.

Tiphany Wagner and her twin sister, Shawnii Kienenberger, are two past Shrine patients. When asked, Wagner could not say enough good things about Nevins and the organization.

“Every day I’m so grateful that we got help from an amazing group of people, the Shriners,” said Wagner. “My sponsors were Judy and Lester. They told us all the time how they adopted us as their own grandchildren. Without them, this surgery wouldn’t have been possible. Meeting Judy and Lester was a huge Godsend. Talk about two of the sweetest and most caring people.”

Wagner shared that she was born pigeon-toed and needed two extensive surgeries on both her legs. She had both femurs reconstructed in Spokane at the Shrine hospital. 

“A huge thank you to the Shriners in Shelby,” said a grateful Wagner. “Without them, this surgery wouldn’t have been possible. It was definitely a relief of pain and a huge relief off of my parents’ shoulders.”

Derek Jacobson is another local that Nevins and the Shrine Hospital have helped.

“Shriner’s Hospital has helped improve my life more than I can describe,” said Jacobson. “Because of Lester Nevin’s sponsorship, transportation and motel rooms were paid for by the Shriners, in addition to having surgery at Shriner’s Hospital in Spokane. Money had been a concern since my father passed away when I was nine. I had some extra cartilage in my chest. When I went to Shriners and had it removed at age 16, it improved my outlook and attitude quite a bit. I will be forever grateful to them for the work they did. I wouldn’t have been able to go had it not been for Lester Nevins. His sponsorship has greatly benefited my life for the better.”

The Tri-County Shrine is donating $15,000 to the hospital and other Shrine Clubs in the Algeria Temple are also donating money in honor of Lester’s service.

“The Spokane Shrine Hospital delivers the best pediatric orthopedic care,” said Iverson. “The doctors are well known in their field of medicine for the research that they do regarding the care for these children. Spokane Hospital trains doctors that want to specialize in pediatric orthopedic care. There are usually two interns training at the hospital at all times. If you know a child that need orthopedic care contact a local Shriner and they can get you in contact with the Spokane Hospital, or you can call 509-455-7844.”

If you are unable to attend the $1,000 Bill party on Jan. 25 in Cut Bank, another opportunity to donate will take place at the Shrine’s Annual Crab Feed held in March. If you would like to donate but are unable to attend either event you can mail your donation to:

Dwaine Iverson

301 First Street South

Shelby, MT 59474

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