Local Shriners vowed Wednesday to take their case for reopening the storm-damaged Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston to convention delegates after the national leadership again decided to keep it closed.
Officials of the 1,000-member Galveston-based El Mina Shrine were notified Tuesday that their plea to reopen the hospital and its world famous burn center had been denied for the second time.
"Myself and the local Shriners from the El Mina Shrine, we are definitely going to take it forward to the national membership," said Tommy Lambright, Shriners Hospital for Children Galveston board member.
Packets of information arguing for reopening the facility have already been sent to the 1,163 Shriners delegates who will meet in San Antonio on July 23.
The delegates can vote to overturn the leadership's decision and have done so at least twice before.
Delegates prevented the leadership from closing the Minneapolis Shriners Hospital for Children in 2003 and last year stripped the leadership's authority to close any hospital, a rule that does not affect its power to forbid the Galveston hospital from reopening.
Lambright said El Mina Shriners would be lobbying delegates.
"We fully expect to get a positive vote to overturn the board's action," Lambright said.