Syria Shriners

Save our Circus!
Voice of Syria
Mission Statement
Shriners, What it Really Is About !
Becoming a Member
2018 Divan
Our Facility
Our Location
Contact Us
Calendar of Events
Special Events Page
Frequently Asked Questions:
Public Relations
Email/Contact Database List

Save our Circus!
A Third Bus Has Been Added: Shrine Center; Masonic Village; and Century III! All Shriners and Ladies Welcome! You do NOT need to be a Pittsburgh City resident to attend the Public Hearing.

  A public hearing will be held next Tuesday, May 24th pertaining to the proposed ordinance to prohibit (among other things) exotic animals from performing in the city of Pittsburgh.  This will effectively ban our Circus after 67 years.  We need to show overwhelming opposition to this policy.  The hearing is at 1:30 at the City/County Building, 414 Grant Street, Downtown Pittsburgh.

We need three things:

1. Attend the Public Hearing.

There are several options open to you to attend.

      Park downtown (approx $20 parking)


      Park on North Shore near stadiums and take the ‘T’ to the Steel Plaza Station and then walk 2 blocks south on Grant Street to the City/County building ($7 parking, ‘T’ is free)


      Two buses have been chartered for transport directly to the City/County building.  Both will leave at 11:00 am. 


Bus One: Syria Shrine Center, Cheswick

Bus Two: Century Three Mall, 3075 Clairton Road, West Mifflin, PA 15122, bus will be outside (now Closed) Macy’s Department Store.

You must RSVP to use the bus transportation by calling the Recorders Office, Syria Shrine, at 724 274-7000.  Leave name, number riding bus, and return phone number (so that we can inform you if any changes occur).

All are welcome, Nobles, Ladies, Children & Friends.  Please eat before arriving.  We will likely be returning late afternoon.  We need to fill the hearing room and entry way.  If we leave for any reason (ie to eat), the spaces will be given to whoever else shows up.  Chips and water will be available on the buses.  Rest Rooms are available for use at any time.

Dress is Fez for Nobles.  Casual, Unit or Business dress for all.  Shrine shirts encouraged.  Best if we do not all dress the same.  We want the best impression of the Shrine presented to the public.  We want to show how big the Shrine and Masonic community is in Pittsburgh.  We need the press on our side.  This is the biggest news story Pittsburgh area Shriners have had since the Syria Mosque was sold and torn down.   We will not get a second chance at this.

2.    Continue to contact Pittsburgh City Council, call or email once a day up to and including Tuesday, May 24th.  Contact information attached is below or Click here to download.

3.    Contact anyone you know personally that may have some connection to city council.  (Business or civic leaders, media personalities, City fire fighters, ect…)  Anyone who may have a City Council members ear.  Ask them to let Council know that Pittsburgh is against this proposed legislation.


Thank You for Your help in Saving our Circus.


Paul Leavy                                Erich Gumto

Circus Chairman                      Potentate



Pittsburgh, PA City Council main office:

Suite 510, Fifth Floor

414 Grant Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: (412) 255-2138, Fax: (412) 255-2821


Council Members: 

District 1: Darlene Harris E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-2135 

District 2: Theresa Kail-Smith        E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-8963 

District 3: Bruce Kraus     E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-2130 

District 4: Natalia Rudiak               E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-2131 

District 5: Corey O'Connor            E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-8965 

District 6: R. Daniel Lavelle            E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-2134 

District 7: Deborah Gross               E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-2140 

District 8: Daniel Gilman E-mail:

               Phone: 412-255-2133 

District 9: Rev. Ricky Burgess        E-mail:


               Phone: 412-255-2137



The Honorable William Peduto

Mayor, City of Pittsburgh

Fifth Floor

414 Grant Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-255-2626

Fax: 412-255-2687


Mayor's Chief of Staff, Kevin Acklin:




 Sample Talking Points


The following are suggestions for your correspondence in Pittsburgh, but please use your own words, and you do not need to include every bullet point.  Please keep all correspondence to city officials respectful.

  • Politely tell the Pittsburgh City Council members that you are OPPOSED to the performing animal ban, as well as any measure that would prevent circuses and other exotic animal exhibitors from visiting Pittsburgh.
  • Circus animals and other performing animals are well cared for and generally are healthier and live longer than their counterparts in zoos.
  • True animal experts know that a safe and secure environment is the only acceptable and successful method of training and handling any animal, including exotic and performing animals.
  • If any animal is being mistreated in any environment, then the right answer is to enforce existing laws and regulations to punish bad actors, as opposed to punishing an entire industry and the public who enjoy exotic animal displays.
  • Proponents of performing animal bans mischaracterize or misunderstand the facts about the training and handling of performing animals. Most of the organizations that advocate such bans do so as part of a larger, animal rights agenda which opposes all or most human interaction with animals. 


click here to download this information