Shriners’ annual Vidalia onion fundraiser returns May 3-5

The new crop of Vidalia onions is almost here! Under the direction of the 2023 Potentate Frank Palella and Bobby Drell, the 2024 Onion chairman, members of the Medinah Shrine Clubs and Units are busy selecting various locations to sell the onions to the public.

The target again this year will be busy street corners, farmer markets, and other high traffic areas For a location near you, checkout the Medinah website at Click on the Onion photo then look for the site locations link.

This year, Medinah Shrine Club members expect to sell 56,000 lbs. of the Georgia delicacy.

Proceeds of the sale will be used to raise funds for various Shrine operations including special activity clubs and parade units. The annual Vidalia onion sale, serves as one of the main fundraisers for the Medinah Shriners. It’s a fundraiser for the Medinah Shriners and it is not deductible as a charitable contribution.

The Vidalia strain is the sweetest and most flavorful variety. Best of all, they stay fresh for a long time if stored properly and don’t make you tear up when you peel or cut them. You can use them raw for hot dogs, brats and hamburgers. Or get creative and make a knockout onion soup or put them in tin foil with a pad of butter and put them on the grill!

Sales to the public will begin on Friday, May 3, to Sunday, May 5. Last year most sites were sold out by Saturday. For locations, go to For questions, contact Bobby Drell at (312) 636-8400 or

In the past, the Northwest Suburban Shrine Club — part of the Medinah Shrine sales team — sold around 100 bags of onions in one five-hour period at the Palatine Farmers’ Market. We plan to be at the Palatine Farmers Market location again this year on Saturday, May 4, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Among the 35 communities across Northern Illinois where Shriners will be selling Vidalia onions are the following: Addison, Arlington Heights, Aurora, Batavia, Beach Park, Berkley, Bloomingdale, Braidwood, Elgin, Elmhurst, Fox Lake, Geneva, Glenview, Hampshire, Joliet, Kankakee, Lake Bluff, Lindenhurst, Lombard, Manteno, Minooka, Morris, New Lenox, North Riverside, Oswego, Oak Forest, Oak Lawn, Palatine, Roselle, South Elgin, Tinley Park, Wadsworth, Waukegan, Wilmington, Yorkville and Zion. You also will find an onion cookbook on the site as well as storage suggestions. Let us know if you know of a location near you that we can use, so we can make arrangements to be there next year.

The Shriners are one of the nation’s largest fraternal bodies. It supports a network of 22 nonprofit children’s hospitals around the country. This medical network helps children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lips and palates. The kids receive all services in a family-centered environment regardless of the patient’s ability to pay. In the Chicago area, Medinah Shriners efforts help fund the health care needs at the Shrine Hospital for Children on Oak Park Avenue. This facility has been the leader in pediatric orthopedic care since 1922. It specializes in orthopedics and provides services to children with congenital deformities, problems resulting from orthopedic injuries (spinal cord injuries) and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. In addition, they provide care for children who have a need for cleft lip and palate conditions.

For more information about Shriners, Medinah, or Vidalia onion sales, and sales locations log onto the Shrine’s website at

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