The Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine North and South America and its Jurisdiction, Inc., hosted its Prince Hall Shriners Desert Conference / Gala Day (State Convention) in Pensacola, Florida this past week.
For the first time in a decade the 2015 Convention was hosted by the members of the Islam Temple #182, Illustrious Potentate Greg Dorsey and Islam Court #175, Illustrious ‘Commandress’, Tonya Travis. The historic convention was a sold out event for the Crown Plaza Hotel and broke all previous attendance records for any city in the state of Florida. The event provided an economic impact of over $450,000 dollars in tourism spending to the Pensacola community. The registered number of attendees for the convention was in excess of 500 traveling from Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, New Jersey and South Carolina which included its female auxiliaries, family members, associates, and various youth groups. There were several local venues used for activities during the convention such as Sanders Beach Corrine-Jones Community Center, Marie K. Young Wedgewood Community Center and the Pensacola Bay Center.
During the Convention many charitable activities were conducted by the Shriners. On Wednesday May 27th the Par Four Golf Club hosted a pre-convention Golf outing at Osceola Golf course and on Friday May 29th a Public recognition program was held with special guests, House Representative Honorable Mike Hill, Lu-Timothy May from the Mayor’s Office, County Commissioner Honorable Lumon May, District.3, Chief Deputy Sheriff Eric Haines, Asst. Police Chief City of Pensacola David Alexander III, Visit Pensacola President Mr. Steve Hayes, Sales Director Mrs. Leslie Matthews and Tourism Board President Mrs. Robin Reshard.
On Friday evening The Ancient Arabic Order Nobles Mystic Shrine of Florida, (Female Auxiliaries) hosted a dinner and fashion show as an attribute to the local military. Local sailors, from the Center for Information Dominance (CID) Corry Station, served as escorts. The 2015 MLK Parade Grand Marshall Ms. Mamie Hixon accepted the 2015 Shriners Community Leadership Award from WEAR- 3 TV News Anchor Mrs. Sue Straughn.
On Saturday, The Pensacola community joined the Prince Hall Shriners at Marie K. Young Wedgewood Community Center for a free Community Fun Day Picnic featuring a Shriners Mini Parade with the American Legion Post 193 Color Guard, NATTC Pensacola Military Drill team, clowns, and performing units from all over the State of Florida. This event featured the “Chariots of Pensacola” Motorcycle Ride for Diabetes. This public picnic fed over 700 people from the Pensacola community. The Convention concluded on Saturday night with approximately 1000 attendees at the Imperial Deputies Annual Ball held at the Pensacola Bay Center honoring Pensacola native HPIP Billy D. Mclamb, & HPIC Patricia Harrell of Jacksonville Florida. Pensacola’s own Imperial Organizer, Ronnie Cole, was presented with the Desert of Florida “Noble of the Year Award” as the No.1 Shriner in the State of Florida. Many other awards were given to visiting Temples and Courts from all over the State of Florida.