Shrine Club adds new toys to an old tradition

In Newsby Charles Ward

The Juneau-Douglas Shrine Club added a couple of new features to its lineup for the annual Juneau and Douglas Fourth of July parades.
The first is an inflatable bear named Fezzy. Fezzy started as a fez-adorned teddy bear given to patients at Shriners Hospitals for Children, and has become an unofficial mascot for the Hospitals.
“It was a natural fit for us to make our first Love to the rescue ambassador a teddy bear,” said Imperial Sir John Cinotto, Past Imperial Potentate and Past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Shriners Hospitals for Children, in a press release. “Depending on the child’s needs, teddy bears can be used to teach young patients about upcoming medical procedures and outcomes, or may be given to patients to help ease the apprehension surrounding a hospital stay or surgery. All of these special touches help alleviate a child’s stress, which is an important part of the healing process.”
The Club’s six-foot inflatable version rode atop an SUV next to the traditional mini-’Vettes and minibikes.
It also travelled next to the Club’s other new addition for the parades — a motorized barstool. It proved to be a crowd-pleasing addition to the convoy.
The new additions — along with handing out more than 2,200 whistles to kids in the Capital City — helped the Club earn the “Most Spirited” award at the Juneau parade.
Prior to the Independence Day events, the Club hosted an information table at the annual Gold Rush Days event, held at Savikko Park in Douglas.
Check out Fezzy and other photos from the parades on our Flickr feed!