Since 1993, local citizens has been helping support The Shreveport Shriner's Children's Hospital through the Shriner's Hospital Benefit. Since the benefit's inception, it has generated over $200,000 for the hospital.

"The event is supported by people from all over North Louisiana by donation of auction items to the annual auction held each Saturday night during the event," Dewey Jones, one of the original originators and chair person said. "In addition, this group also holds benefits for the St. Jude Children’s Hospital and has an event planned for the fall of 2013."

In 1993 and 1994, the event was held in Bastrop at the municipal center and broke all records for fund generation. The facility at the Barak Temple in Monroe became available in 1995 and it offered more motels, restaurants and interest for the families that attend the event each year from all over the nation. "This year’s event was dedicated as a memorial to M.L. Smith Jr. of Ruston who was a business man in Morehouse Parish for many years and a loyal supporter and good friend," Jones continued. "Richland State Bank at Bastrop supported the event this year in addition to the Smith family."

Anyone interested in participating or supporting any of these benefits may contact Jones at 669.8350.