Sunday, February 28, 2010

....2010 Detroit Shrine Circus to be at Hazel Park Raceway....

The Detroit Area Shriners have entered an agreement with the Hazel Park Raceway to be the site of the 2010 Detroit Shrine Circus.

The Shriners plan to erect a large, heated tent on a 20-acre parcel of the property at 10 Mile and Dequindre roads, along with a petting zoo and carnival attractions for the circus scheduled to run March 18-21.

After the state turned down requests to use the mothballed Michigan State Fairgrounds coliseum to house the circus as it has for years, the Detroit Shriners looked at Joe Louis Arena, Cobo Center and Rock Financial Showplace as alternate sites.

But the cost, scheduling and size of those locations presented issues, said Moslem Shriners board member Chuck Baer, who is overseeing the 2010 Detroit Shrine Circus.

The Detroit Area Shriners, whose proper name is the Moslem Shriners Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shriners, operate on a $1.5 million budget locally, a spokesman for the organization told Crain's at the end of January.

Last year, the organization grossed $429,000 from the Shrine Circus held at the Michigan State Fairgrounds and paid the state $42,000 in rent.

Revenue from the annual Detroit Shrine Circus raises funds for the Detroit Area Shriners' general fund, which is used for administrative and fundraising expenses, said Baer, founder of Davison-based private investigation/security company Charles Baer & Associates L.L.C.

The Southfield-based group, a unit of the Imperial Council AAONMS, a 501(c)10 fraternity nonprofit, raises money to support the Shriners Hospitals for Children, a separate, 501(c)3 network of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, operated by the Shriners, Baer said.

The Detroit Area Shriners also provide transportation for sick children in 11 Southeast Michigan counties to Shriners Hospitals, he said.