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January 15, 2014

Local foundation donates to Shriners

MT. VERNON — —

The local Brian M. Piper Memorial Foundation Tuesday made a $7,500 donation to the Shriners Hospitals for Children — St. Louis.

The check was presented to a representative of the St. Louis Shriners facility at a special ceremony Tuesday night at the Jefferson County Shrine Club headquarters.

Stephen Yandell, foundation vice president, said the donation fits in well with his organization's mission to help children in need.

The nonprofit foundation is named in honor of Brian Piper, a lifelong Mt. Vernon resident who died in a vehicle crash in November 2011. Though he never had kids of his own, Piper loved children all his life, Yandell said.

Piper's close friends and family formed the foundation in January 2012.

Brian was a very large man in stature, but was an even larger man in heart,” Yandell said. “He truly was a giving heart and he also was an organ donor.”

This is the second such donation the foundation has awarded to the Shriners organization. A similar contribution was made last year.

In October, the foundation also gave $1,000 each to two Summersville families whose children were injured in an ATV accident.

The foundation was started to honor (Brian's) name and his memory to help children and their medical needs,” Yandell said.

Each fall, the foundation holds a poker run to raise money for the cause. The run is called the “Giving Heart” Memorial Ride.

Tuesday's contribution will go toward the ongoing effort to build a new Shriners Hospital in St. Louis. The planned facility would replace the current 50-year-old hospital in Frontenac, states the Shriners website.

We know every penny they make will be put to good use,” Yandell said.

Mike Piper, Brian's father, is president of the foundation. He said the donation to the Shriners will be an annual occurrence.

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