By Annie Davis
Channel 2 News
4:15 PM AKDT, May 13, 2011
The Shriners are selling Vidalia Onions to benefit children with disabilities.
Every year 32,000 pounds of onions and sauces are flown up from Georgia for the fundraiser.
Half of the onions stay in Anchorage. The other half are sent out for sale across Alaska.
This year the group says it expects to sell out in record time-- seven days.
The money raised goes toward medical treatments and prosthetics for children in Alaska.
"Here in Alaska we have two clinics a year and we bring upward to, on any given two days, 150 to 200 patients on those two days," said Al Aska Shrine Past Potenate Ken Krasselt.
He said there are 750 patients in Alaska and 60 percent of them come from rural Alaska.
"I think it’s important that people of Alaska know how we're taking care of our own people here," Krasselt said.
The Shriners also raise money for transportation costs for the patients when they need to go to one of the 23 hospitals in the Lower 48.
Krasselt says if the families have insurance the hospitals will take it, but no one is denied treatment because they cannot pay.
"If they have no insurance it's 100 percent paid for by a shrine through various projects all over the U.S. like these onions."
The onions and sauces are available for sale at the Al Aska Shrine on Northern Lights Boulevard from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., every day until they run out, which is expected to be Sunday.
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