Ohio State University’s Jimmie Bell to speak at Marietta Shrine Club

MARIETTA — A member of the Ohio State University football team who played in the 1997 Rose Bowl will speak at a meeting of the Marietta Shrine Club at 6 p.m. Aug. 28 at the club in Marietta.

Jimmie Bell, who also played in the National Football League, will speak after the dinner, which is 7 p.m.

“I want to make our meetings more interesting,” said club President Barry Taylor. “I want to get people back to the excitement in what we do, the good we provide while having fun.”

Bell and Taylor are friends. Bell played for the Buckeyes from 1993 to 1997 and played in the NFL for the New York Giants, ending his career with the San Diego Chargers.

“I love the mission of the Shriners,” said Bell. “They’re more than a social group that helps kids, and I want to re-ignite the fire in the group in Marietta and remind them that they’re still viable and that they still have something of themselves to give.”

Bell said he is focusing his talk this month on three key points: legacy, one’s journey and fulfilling “what ifs.”

“When you see a Shriner it’s not just about the hat, it’s about being a part of something bigger than yourself and most people who take responsibility for their own legacy, your journey never retires,” he said.

Ed Godsey, 67, of Marietta, said he hopes the 290 members of the club will be interested in what Bell has to say and maybe engage more in the organization.

“We don’t get many coming to our meetings, maybe 40 show up,” he said. “But we want to remind people that they can have fun with us and the meals are always great.”

Godsey said organization is known as the “party group of the masons” but that camaraderie is built through the fun they have to provide strong bonds of service as well.

“We do a lot of good for the kids and I hope they take some pride in that,” he said.

Shriners operate 20 hospitals in the U.S. and 22 around the world.

“My son has cerebral palsy and he was helped by the Shriners when he was a kid, now this is how I can give back,” Taylor said.