Nubia Temple #191 PHA Shriners from Temple participated in the Billy Sneed Parade celebrating Juneteenth and the emancipation of slavery in Texas in 1865 in downtown Killeen on Friday, Jun 15, 2018.

A Shriners group will hold a state convention in Killeen next week, expected to bring about 1,000 people to town, organizers said.

The Desert of Texas, a Shriners organization comprised of Prince Hall Shriners and Daughters of the Imperial Court, from all over the Texas, will hold the group’s annual Desert Conference and Gala Day Celebration Wednesday through April 28 at the Courtyard by Marriott in Killeen.

It will be the first time in several years that the convention has been held in Killeen, organizers said.

In addition to conducting business meetings and annual elections, the conference will include a “Public Program and Salute to Veterans” at 7 p.m. Thursday, according to a news release from Desert of Texas. “During the program, charitable donations will be provided to worthy local organizations and student-aid grants will be awarded to local high school seniors.”

The group is also organizing a street parade for 10 a.m. April 27 that starts at the corner of North 2nd Street and East Avenue D in downtown Killeen. The parade will end at North College Street and West Avenue B.

The organization works regularly to promote charity and benevolence throughout its communities, and has done work with the American Diabetes Association, St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital, Shriners As Mentors Program; and other programs.

The Daughters of the Imperial Court is a charitable and benevolent organization which stresses the development of powerful leaders, encourages health awareness among youth and adults, provides services to help disabled and senior citizens and demonstrates positive influence for youth, teenage mothers, high school and college student. The Daughters of the Imperial Court also disseminates information for education opportunities and career planning to youth and young adults.

For more information about the groups or the state convention, contact Noble Burrell Parmer at 210-863-1118 or Daughter Tenecia S. Prichett at 713-505-6330, or go to www.aeaonms.org or www.dtxfoundation.org.

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