By Brad Hicks
The Shriners hold a special place in the hearts of Lou Snider and his family.
The Hawg-N-Dawg Restaurant owner and operator said his wife Tammie was a “Shriners kid” in the 1960s, as she suffered from scoliosis. With the help of the Shriners, Tammie received surgery from the late Paul Randall Harrington, an orthopedic surgeon who developed the Harrington Rod.
More recently, Snider’s grandson Sawyer has become a patient at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Earlier this year, Snider started a campaign to give back to the Shriners. Money raised from the sell of Hawg-N-Dawg T-shirts from the restaurant from April through October would be given to the Shriners.
Snider set a fundraising goal of $1,000, but he found support for the cause to be greater. He said many who bought one of the $15 shirts opted to chip in a little bit more.
“We had customers who came in and said, ‘Oh, I’m just going to put the whole $20 in there,’” he said, adding that Shriners themselves would regularly visit the restaurant to drop off change.
Snider was able to raise a total of $1,600 and presented a check to the Kingsport-based Jericho Shrine during its annual dinner held Saturday. Snider said this money will go to the Shriners Hospital for Children in Cincinnati.
“We’ll never be able to repay the Shriners for what they’ve done for Tammie and Sawyer, but we will do what we can while we’re alive,” Snider said.
In return for this effort and others, including the “Kisses for Kids” candy fundraiser he started, which raised $2,500 through various businesses this year, Snider was presented with a plaque by members of the Jericho Shrine. He was also given a plaque which is to be presented to his grandson.
“We’ve been very fortunate with people helping us,” said Steve Gryder with the Jericho Shrine. “It’s surprising what a little bit will do.”