Dear Governor Granholm,
Since 1906, the Shrine Circus has provided entertainment and thrills to countless metro Detroit families. Our Shrine Circus is a treasured and time-honored tradition that we hope will endure.
But the fate of the world’s first and oldest Shrine Circus is in dire jeopardy. Due to statewide budget cuts, the Michigan State Fairgrounds, home of the Shrine Circus for most of the past 84 years, was forced to close, leaving the Shrine Circus homeless. But with the help of dedicated supporters who want to continue the tradition of the Shrine Circus, a resolution to allow the Shriners’ to rent the Michigan State Fairgrounds was passed unanimously by the Detroit City Council on Tuesday, January 26. The resolution is in the Governor’s Office awaiting a decision.
Without the approval, the Shrine Circus will not take place this year. At stake is the loss of substantial rental income for the state for this four-day event and the loss of substantial income the Shriners rely on to support their programs. The rental of the Michigan State Fairgrounds for the Shrine Circus will not burden the state in any way.
I see no reason for our state to be turning down income of any kind, rental or otherwise, in these financially critical times. Equally as important to me is the financial harm to the Detroit Area Shriners when one of their largest fundraisers (and another Detroit, Michigan tradition) is forced to shut down.
Please allow the Shriners to rent the State Fair Coliseum and facilities for their 104th Shrine Circus.
Shriners are distinguished by an enjoyment of life and a commitment to philanthropy. They enjoy parades, trips, dances, dinners, sporting events and other social occasions.
The "World's Greatest Philanthropy," Shriners Hospitals for Children, a network of 22 pediatric specialty hospitals, is operated and maintained by the Shriners. There is never a charge to the child or the family for care at a Shriners Hospital.
Proceeds from this Shrine Circus benefit Detroit Shriners General Fund. Donations are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.
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