We are Selama Grotto, a Masonic-affiliated organization. Our Chapter of the National Organization was established in 1922 and is deeply committed to bringing relief to children and their care-givers by promoting and operating the Cerebral Palsy Endowment. This endowment is a 501(c)(3) Not-for-Profit Foundation as provided by the Internal Revenue Service in a letter dated November 8, 1995.
The mission of the Selama Grotto Cerebral Palsy Endowment, Inc. of St. Petersburg, Florida, is to initiate, sponsor, support and promote activities and projects for the care, treatment and education of children afflicted with Cerebral Palsy and other special needs without regard to faith, creed, race, national origin or ethnic background.
Our vision is to expand this program by opening a HBOT center with up to 12 hospital grade Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers and with the capacity to treat up to 72 persons a day and is proceeding at a rapid pace.
This is only made possible by donations to this program from individuals, civic groups and corporations, etc. All donations are welcome, no matter the amount and are 100% tax deductible. Contributions are to be made to the Selama Grotto Cerebral Palsy Endowment, Inc.
The results from these treatments are nothing short of miraculous. We see this on a daily basis. If anyone knows of a child who could benefit from HBOT, please contact us.
Selama Grotto is one of 150 Grottoes in North America (11 in Florida). Membership is composed of Master Masons only. The national project is the Doctor of Smiles program. Using income from a national foundation, this program pays for the dental treatment of uninsured and under insured children who are afflicted with cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, organ transplant patients and mentally challenged. Selama Grotto, while continuing to support the Doctor of Smiles program, has pioneered a new direction with hyperbaric oxygen treatments for children with cerebral palsy, autism and a host of other needs.
As a member of the Grottoes of North America, a fraternal, charitable and non-profit organization, we are composed of Master Masons, which was organized on June 13, 1890. In 1949, the Grottoes of North America established a Humanitarian Foundation to help fund the needs of those afflicted with Cerebral Palsy.
Shortly thereafter, Selama Grotto became associated with United Cerebral Palsy of Pinellas County. In 1963, the name was changed to Selama Grotto Cerebral Palsy Endowment, Inc. and was reorganized to help those in the local area who were afflicted with Cerebral Palsy. They organized a school for youngsters with Cerebral Palsy and funded it for several years until other organizations assumed that duty. In the years since, they have provided many services to those persons with special needs, including transportation, scholarships, orthopedic equipment and funds for campaign trips.
As of ten (10) years ago, Selama Grotto entered into a new program, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for children with Cerebral Palsy, Autism and various other Neurological Disorders.
The Selama Grotto Cerebral Palsy Endowment Inc. currently owns and operates 5 HBOT chambers with the capacity to give therapy of up to twenty-five people on a daily basis.
These treatments are offered at no charge and to date, these chambers have offered the services that, if paid for, would amount to over $14 million in hospitals and clinics.
Following are officers of the organization:
Hardy Bryan with Kaleb
Hardy W. Bryan, Public Relations Director
Hardy is a retired US Army Lt. Colonel and retired from real estate. As a Captain, he commanded a company in Vietnam. At career's end, he held the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster and the Vietnamese Honor Medal.
At St. Thomas Episcopal Church, he served as Head Usher for many years, and six years on the Vestry, four of which were as the Junior Warden and one as the Senior Warden. He is Past President of the Sunshine City Kiwanis Club and currently belongs to the Exchange Club of Northeast St, Petersburg. He is the Vice President of the local chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
He holds a BS Degree from Florida State and a MA Degree in Public Administration from Ball State. He is a graduate of the Command and Staff College and the Industrial War College.
He became a Mason while on a tour in Italy, and joined the Scottish Rite (32nd Degree) in Germany. Hardy is Past Master of Northside Lodge No. 283, F&AM, and Past Monarch of Selama Grotto in 2006. He is a life Member of Egypt Temple (Shriners). He is the Past President of the Selama Grotto Cerebral Palsy Endowment, Inc.
Mark Fowler, Chairman
Married 35 years to Elizabeth (Betsy). Four adult children, six grandchildren.
Mark has been a manufacturers representative in decorative lighting accessories and home furnishings, running an agency for thirty-seven years. Mark's wife Betsy, along with two of their children, are very involved with the business, with the help of their very trusting assistant, Dawn.
Mark is a past Master of Northside Lodge #283 F&AM (2002), and Past Monarch of Selama Grotto (2005). He is currently President of the Jokers of Selama Grotto whom participate in many parades, as well as Doctor of Smiles for Selama Grotto, which is a program where we provide dental work for children with special needs. This program is funded by the Humanitarian Foundation which is a Flagship charity of the Grottoes of North America and the Supreme Council. The dental program is mainly funded by sales of Enchanted Lanterns.
Mark has been appointed to various positions by Grand Masters of the Most Worshipful Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, which he has been extremely proud to accept. For 2008/2009, Mark has been selected by the incoming MW Grand Master of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Florida, to represent the Most Worshipful Grand Master in district 21 for during the term.
What peaked my and my wife's interest in Hyperbaric
Oxygen treatments was that we have a grandchild who will soon be seven
and was not to live past his second birthday. He was having seizures
every twenty seconds of his life. Nothing could help him. When Selama
Grotto entered into HBOT my grandson was the third recipient of our first chamber. Within three weeks of
starting HBOT, our grandson was off his feeding tube and today very
rarely has a seizure.
Five years ago when we realized this, my wife
and I decided at that time that this treatment could not be kept a
secret anymore. After moving the one chamber that Selama Grotto CP
Endowment, Inc. owned for more than a year and a half, with the help
of fellow prophets, my wife and I decided that if we put the chamber
in one location, we could possibly give six children a day for a period of six to eight weeks HBOT, Instead of six children
per year. I brought this idea to the Board of Directors of Selama
Grotto CP Endowment, Inc. They agreed.
For more than three years, my
family has allowed numerous children to come into our home and get
HBOT. Today, we have two of these chambers in our home and three more in
other homes. There is nothing that can't be accomplished.
It is our
dream to open a Center for children who can't afford HBOT. To come to
this center with first class equipment, and under the direction of one
of the finest experts in HBOT Dr. Paul Harch or whomever he selects. We
hope that in the future this center will also offer physical therapy,
speech therapy and occupational therapy and possibly biofeedback. This
all takes time and money and it will happen.
The Following are dedicated volunteers, crucial to our organization:
Lance Brubaker has been in Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy research for nearly 20 years. He also is involved in; Stem Cell Research, Cellular Therapy Research, Cellular Engineering, Immunotherapy, Cancer Immunotherapy, Chronic Disease Immunotherapy, CAM, Alternative Medicine, Functional Medicine and other ground breaking research in associated fields.
He is an innovator in the application and logistics of hard to treat diseases and conditions. Along with his peers, research associates and co-researchers, they create the “best approach” to what seemed to be impossible to reverse conditions.
Lance became involved with this research as a result of his affliction with Lyme disease. Having raised and ridden horses from age 7, he believes he was exposed to Lyme disease before age 10. In 1970, at age 10, he was diagnosed with Encephalitis Meningitis and placed into a hospital. He continued to have problems through college and his 20s. In 1990, he was exposed with another strain of Lyme disease while horseback riding in the Adirondacks. This second exposure almost killed him causing several trips to the emergency room. After 3 years, thirty two MDs and hundreds of tests that lead to misdiagnosis, no medical relief and worsening symptoms, Lance became critically ill and very dysfunctional.
In his journey to find correct medical treatment, Lance continually hit obstacles and was getting worse and worse. Fear for his life and overall wellbeing was in serious jeopardy. In 1993, he procured a hyperbaric chamber that put him into remission. This extremely positive result led to further investigation and research. He currently has two (2) hard-shell hospital grade hyperbaric chambers and 1 portable hyperbaric chamber in his home and is involved in With numerous private hyperbaric centers.
Lance has devoted his life to Hyperbaric Research and currently does research in USA, Russia, and China and collaborates with other researchers in most major countries. He is involved with several organizations involved in research, clinical applications, grant proposals, promotion and many other aspects of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Based upon his experiences, he developed two organizations; www.hbotreatment.com that is a resource for hyperbaric treatment education on applications and www.netphysician.com that provides access and information to comprehensive integrative medicine for chronic illness.
Why is hyperbaric oxygen therapy not paid for by medical insurance in the US?
Medical Insurance does pay for 15 different indications in the US. But, there are literally a few hundred indications that are treated with hyperbaric oxygen.
Basically, what has happened here in the US is that big business got in the way of hyperbaric medicine and has delayed the US about 40 years behind other countries. Applications, that should have been paid for by Insurance for years, are still not being paid for today. These are clearly proven applications that should be paid for by Insurance.
However, the “system” is not going to be fixed quick enough for most individuals in the US. Thus, the need for organizations like the Hyperbaric Center for Children has become a necessity for most families who may not have the means for a choice of effective therapy for their children.
We used to call these miracles, what was happening with hundreds 100s of Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Brain Injury, Stroke and other children years ago, until we found out what other countries and individual private hyperbaric centers here in the US had known for years. These were not miracles, but more like regular outcomes. We were just behind in applications here in the US.
Today, thousands of these children are being helped every year. We are at the tip of the iceberg. There is a much larger population out there who are not getting the help that they need. With access, education, institutional and government support these things may change in the future. The Hyperbaric Center for Children will make that a reality today.
Hyperbaric Therapy is not an option or luxury, but a severe need that has been created for these families in crisis. The crisis is not somewhere in the future, but exists today. If not for the Hyperbaric Center for Children and other similar organizations, most of these children would simply not be treated. If not treated, they may not be given a chance to regain lost function and life.
William "Bill" West
Bill is a Freemason and active member of Northside Lodge #283, St. Petersburg Lodge #139, and the Selama Grotto, in St. Petersburg, FL. He also is active in York Rite, and Sunshine Commandery #20.
As part of his active participation in Masonry, Bill helps the Hyperbaric Center with assisting patients and their relatives during treatment sessions.
Steven A. Culbreath, Esq.
Steve is a Freemason and active member of Northside Lodge #283 in St. Petersburg, FL.
As part of his active participation in Masonry, Steve helps the Hyperbaric Center with the maintainance of its website.
not acting as the Center's webmaster, Steve devotes his time to his
legal profession. Steve is an attorney, living and working in St.
Petersburg, and operates a very busy, successful immigration law
practice. His cases revolve primarily around business- and
immigration, assisting clients with living, working and conducting
business in the United States. He has been practicing in the greater
Tampa Bay area since 2002.
is a 1998 graduate from the University of South Florida cum laude with
a B.A. in Political Science and Int'l Affairs and a 2000 graduate from
Stetson University College of Law.