If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Dodge City has been selected to host the 2019 Kansas Shrine Bowl All-Star Football Game. The two-day event will be June 7-8, 2019.

"This is an event we’ve been pursuing for some time" said Jan Stevens, executive director for the Dodge City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. "We’re pleased that everything has come together to be selected to host the 2019 edition.

"The Shrine Bowl is a well-established event and will draw a significant number of people to the community."

"We’re so thankful to be selected," Paul Lewis, vice-chair of the Dodge City Sports Commission said. "It is because of the great facilities we have in this community and the cooperation between multiple entities that we’re able to attract something of this nature."

The main events will include a 1,200-person banquet held at United Wireless Arena, a parade through downtown Dodge City and the 46th Annual Kansas Shrine Bowl All-Star football game at Memorial Stadium. Other events will include a golf tournament, 5K, One Mile Walk for Love, high school combine, junior all-star challenge cheer camp and a band camp.

The events are produced by the Kansas Shrine Bowl to bring attention to the state’s fine young talents, and to benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. SHC is a health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing pediatric specialty care, innovative research, and outstanding teaching programs for medical professionals. Kansas children are treated in Shriners Hospitals for Children regardless of the child’s race, religion, nationality, creed or relationship to a Shriner. Children up to the age of 18 are eligible for care and receive all services in a family-centered environment, regardless of the patients' ability to pay.

"We made a few adjustments to our bid, and presented the best package we could to the Shrine Bowl selection committee," said Stevens. "Megan Welsh from the CVB coordinated the bid proposal, it took a few weeks to gather all the information, and it took a lot of cooperation and community partners to bring the information together.

"There were a few folks from the Shrine Bowl selection committee who came to Dodge for a site visit, and we felt that trip went fairly well. It was a short time later, and they called us to make a visual presentation to the full selection committee.

"Paul Lewis did a wonderful job presenting the bid to the committee. The Dodge City Sports Commission is devoted to this event. The Dodge City Community College, USD 443, Boot Hill Casino and Resort Conference Center and United Wireless Arena, the City of Dodge City, local Shriners, AMBUCS, local motels and many others are heavily committed to make this event successful.

"We couldn’t be happier.

"This is one of those great examples that shows that it takes a community working together to make great things happen."

The game will feature the state’s best high school football players of the year, as well as cheerleaders and band members from across Kansas. Through 2017, the West All-Stars lead the series 27-16-1. All Stars such as Gary Spani, Mike Bell, Paul Coffman, Barry Sanders, Terrance Newman and Jordy Nelson have played in the Kansas Shrine Bowl.

In 2015 Dodge City was a finalist for the 2017 event. That event was awarded to El Dorado. The 2019 event will be the furthest west a Shrine Bowl will be held. Since the creation of the Shrine Bowl in 1974, the farthest west the game has been played is Hays.

The local host for the event is the Dodge City Sports Commission, an organizing working group created under the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. The Sports Commission has been the local host for other events including the KSHSAA State Basketball Tournaments, the Wild West Bowl 6 Man State Football Championship and the 2017 6A Girls State Golf Tournament.

The sports commission noted local partnerships providing funding for the 2019 Shrine Bowl including Boot Hill Casino and Resort ($2,500), Dodge City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau ($5,000) and the Mariah Fund ($5,000). The commission also praised support from many local hotels.

Through 2017, more than $2.75 million have been donated by the Shrine Bowl for the care and treatment of Kansas kids.

The 2018 Shrine Bowl events will be held in Pittsburg, Kansas. Additional information and a link to Shriners Hospitals for Children can be found at www.kansasshrinebowl.com or by calling 800-530-5524.


To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.