Indianapolis to Host 15,000 Visitors for 2013 Shriners International Imperial Session in June

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Amanda Craft | Acraft@hirons.com | 812-360-2115
Fabiana Lowe | Filowe@shrinenet.org | 813-281-7164

Westfield resident to be named head of Shriners organizations

(Indianapolis) The Circle City will host more than 15,000 visitors this summer for the 139th Annual Imperial Session of Shriners International, an organization known both for its fun and festive traditions and its life-changing work through Shriners Hospitals for Children®.

The Imperial Session is an annual business meeting and celebration of the international fraternity, which is composed of 195 temples (chapters) around the world. The Imperial Session will run from June 30 through July 4, with most events taking place at the Indiana Convention Center or Murat Shriners building, also known as the Old National Centre.

The most well-known event of the Session, which is open to the public, is the Shriners Parade, during which the streets of downtown Indianapolis will be full of bands, motor corps, clowns and more. The Session is projected to fill 2,700 Indianapolis hotel rooms and bring in $6.1 million in revenue for local businesses, according to Jeff Zaring, director general of the 2013 Imperial Session organizing committee.

“We’re honored that Shriners International has chosen to meet in Indianapolis again,” said Leonard Hoops, president and CEO of Visit Indy. “And as the father of a child who has received treatment at Shriners Hospitals for Children, I’m personally appreciative of the work Shriners do to improve the lives of children and their families.”

This is the second time the Imperial Session will be held in Indianapolis since 1995, and it’s a fitting location this year — during the Session, Westfield resident John Cinotto will be named the organization’s newest Imperial Potentate, or executive leader, for the 2013-2014 term. Cinotto is a member of the Murat Shriners and a business owner in the construction industry. His wife, Margaret Cinotto, will become the First Lady of the organization and will announce her fundraising program for Shriners International’s official philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Children.

Deemed “The World’s Greatest Philanthropy,” Shriners Hospitals for Children is a nonprofit network of 22 facilities treating children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of their families’ ability to pay. Members of the fraternity give of their time to ensure the children are able to get the treatment they need.

Indianapolis patients are typically treated at the nearest hospitals in Chicago, Cincinnati and Lexington. In 2012, more than 1,530 children from Indiana received treatment from the health care system. “We want the Session to raise awareness of who we are and what we do,” Zaring said. “It’s very rewarding to work with Shriners all over the world.”

As part of the activities, Shriners Hospitals for Children will reveal the two new patient ambassadors for 2013-2014, with the premiere of a video documentary of their heartwarming, real life experiences. The Imperial Session will feature the parade, a pageant for the Imperial Potentate-Elect and a variety of fun competitions. For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.imperial2013.com.

About Shriners International
Shriners International, a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth, founded Shriners Hospitals for Children as its official philanthropy in 1922. The organization, which began as one hospital, is now a world-renowned health care system with 22 facilities in three countries. The fraternity, which has nearly 200 chapters in seven countries and thousands of clubs around the world, continues to operate and support this unique health care system. Go to www.shrinersinternational.org to learn more.

About Shriners Hospitals for Children
Shriners Hospitals for Children changes lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. The 22 facilities in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries and cleft lip and palate.

Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. For more information, please visit www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org.