Kena Shrine Hillbilly's Unit
The Kena Hillbilly Unit was constituted March 24, 1980 under the sponsorship of Illustrious Potentate Fred D. Bridgeman with Noble Robert S. Shifflett as Director and a membership of 7 Nobles.
Since that time the unit has flourished and grown to its present membership of fifty-eight. Of that number, three have served as Potentate: Illustrious Sirs Donald G. Moore (1995), Jerry G. Oliver (1997), and Demetrios A. “Jim” Armenakis (2004). A fourth, Noble Thomas G. Little, the Chief Rabban, aspirestobe Potentate during the Unit’s 30th anniversary in 2010. We also honor a fifth member, Noble Timothy L. Butcher, who would have become Potentate were it not for his untimely death while serving as Assistant Rabban.
The “Hillbillys” were organized as a parade unit, and have received several awards for their appearances in “Ole Cuss” –a 1928 Chevy truck that (along with bib overalls and mountaineer hats) has become our trademark. In 1985, our popularity as a crowd-pleaser was increased by the addition of a Country & Western group –the C-Flat Band.
Aside from parades, the band has played at temple events, unit, and private functions contributing the donations received to Shriners Hospitals and the Kena Transportation Fund. The Band, as well as the Unit, is a Gold Book honoree at the Philadelphia Hospital and all band members are Permanent Contributing Members to the hospital charitable fund. They are always looking for new musicians and vocalists, male or female.
The Hillbilly Unit is well-known for its warm hospitality and the friendly, “down home” atmosphere at its meetings –our Ladies are always included and are considered our greatest asset. They too, are Gold Book honorees, having generously donated proceeds from their various crafts projects to Shriners Hospitals.
We know how to have fun and we’re proud to be Shriners and Masons. We’re always glad to welcome new families to our fold.
At 6:30 PM the Hillbilly Nobles, Ladies, and guests socialize and share a potluck dinner. The parade uniform is a bib overall, Mountaineer hat, and as many patches and pins as you can put on. Participate in parades by riding on our 1984 Chevrolet truck. Initiation fee is $150.00 (includes the first years dues Name badge, unit logo patches, baseball cap and jacket). Annual dues $40.00.
Kena Shrine Hillbillys History
The Kena Hillbilly Unit was formed in 1980 with a membership of seven. It is still one of the youngest and most active units in the Temple with a current membership of 61. In their short history the Hillbillys have furnished two Potentates to the Temple with a third Hillbilly currently in line. Hillbilly Potentates were, Ill. Donald G. Moore, 1995 and Ill. Jerry G. Oliver, 1997.
The Hillbilly unit is a Parade unit and rides in one of their truly “Antique” vehicles. Old “Cuss”, a 1928 Chevy truck is a crowd pleaser and has won many awards for parade participation over the years. Another milestone for the unit was the formation of the “C” Flat Band. The “C” Flat Band participates with the unit in parades and is a crowd favorite. They also help with many unit and Clan events and have helped raise funds for the Philadelphia Hospital and the Temple Transportation Fund.
The Kena Hillbilly’s are known for their friendly hospitality and down home atmosphere. The Hillbilly Ladies are an intrical and important part of the unit and participate in meeting and all events. They are Gold Book contributors to the Shrine Hospitals and have several craft projects to raise funds for our “Children”.
The units main fund raiser is a country and western dance that is not only a lot of fun, but, is one of the most popular Temple events. In good times and bad, the Hillbilly unit has continued to grow. We know what it means to have fun, we know what the true meaning of being a Shriner is all about, and we know what it means to be Masons. For those reasons we continue to attract new members looking for a family unit and looking to Have Fun!