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Gov. Pat McCrory, center, discusses health care issues with Oasis Shriners Outer Guard George Wilcox, left, and Oasis Shriners Potentate David Sumpter.

Photo by Anna Oakes

Originally published: 2014-05-31 16:03:20
Last modified: 2014-05-31 17:28:55

McCrory visits Blowing Rock

by Anna Oakes

The annual Oasis Shiners Summer Ceremonial has become quite the big event for the small village of Blowing Rock, highlighted this year by a visit from Gov. Pat McCrory.

This weekend's event marks the fourth Summer Ceremonial to be held in Blowing Rock in the past five years. The event includes meetings, luncheons and dinners, induction of new members and a parade down Main Street.

McCrory began his visit by giving remarks and fielding questions from Shiners leaders at the ceremonial's opening program, held at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium.

WBTV news anchor and Appalachian State University alumnus John Carter served as the emcee at the Saturday morning event, which also featured remarks from Blowing Rock Mayor J.B. Lawrence and U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx.

Shriners hospitals and programs serve more than 124,000 children internationally. The Oasis Shriners, based in Charlotte and founded in 1895, is the largest of 195 Shriners chapters, noted Oasis Shriners outer guard George Wilcox.

McCrory thanked the Shriners for the work they do for children, including at their hospitals in Charlotte and Greenville, S.C.

"You're doing it because it comes from the heart," the governor said.

McCrory then fielded a few questions from Wilcox and David Sumpter, Oasis Shriners potentate.
McCrory called health care the greatest challenge of his administration, stating there is a need for a more comprehensive health care system based on outcomes and preventive care.

"What is the result of the money being spent?" said McCrory, who added that leaders would need to step on the toes of some interest groups.

Charities such as the Shriners and the private sector will have important roles to play in a new health care system that works as a team, he said.

"The private sector and charity has to be a part of that equation -- because there are people who cannot afford these costs," he said.

McCrory then left the Shriners for the N.C. Troopers Association Family Day at Tweetsie Railroad, but was scheduled to return to Blowing Rock's Main Street for the Shriners parade, at which he served as grand marshal.