By Lorraine Glowczak
It’s a known landmark in Windham - the long white farmhouse-style building on Route 302 just past the rotary. The sign, a proud Eagle with open wings surrounded in a circle, sits at the driveway entrance announcing you have reached the Lake Region Fraternal Order of Eagles (FOE) #4352. The building and sign are welcoming all who enter their 456 Roosevelt Trail location. But what exactly is FOE #4352?
|Collette Gagnon, Social Service Administrative Assistant accepts check and donations from Eagle members Anne Sikora, Dawn Kime and LeRoy Dyer|
It is a part of an international, non-profit organization that was established in Seattle, WA in 1898 to “unite in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice and equality. To make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope.” The mission is to serve others, as often as possible, all year long.
FOE #4352 are exceptionally motivated to do what they can to provide help for those in need in the Lakes Region area. Although they provide help in many ways to individuals and organizations all year round, the holiday season is a perfect time to give and introduce the community to FOE and the importance of giving year round. A few members made a special trip to deliver non-perishable food items and present a check to the Windham Food Pantry on Monday, December 10.
Even though it is a season of giving, the trip to the food pantry was a way to ceremonially give their last monthly monetary donation of the year by presenting it in person. “It is the Lake Region Eagles mission to give a monetary donation every month to the food pantry,” stated the organization’s President, LeRoy Dyer. “We are simply a group of individuals who hope to help others’ lives become better in some way – that’s what we are about. We are simply people helping people,” he said trying to choke back tears.
The Windham Food Pantry is very appreciative of the Lake Region Eagle’s monthly efforts. “Their financial donation is something we count on every month,” stated Collette Gagnon, Social Service Administrative Assistant in charge of the Town of Windham’s Food Pantry and Clothes Closet. “The cash donations benefit us far more than any other donations because we can purchase what is needed.”
In addition to giving to the food pantry on a monthly basis, all 275 members of the Lake Region Eagles raise funds for others in need. In the past year that has included raising money for a family whose house burned down, individuals who faced medical crisis, funding a dog training program for someone who was in need of a service dog – to name just a few of their many contributions. “’People helping people’ is the organization’s motto,” began Dyer. “We give in whatever way we can to anyone who needs support – including helping individuals in our own organization.”
According to their national website, it states that 100% of the funds raised go towards helping others. “We use membership dues to cover [administrative] costs to ensure your full donation is being used to make a difference in the lives of the men, women and children in need.”
The Eagles organization has a long history of philanthropy efforts. The national website also states, “Since 1898, the F.O.E. has worked to establish a philanthropic legacy, becoming the first organization to donate $1 million to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, donating several hundred thousand in aid to help solidify the Truman Cardiovascular Lab and Heart Fund Research Lab at Sutton Medical Research Foundation, and our crown jewel - the $25 million Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa.”
It has been said that happiness consists of giving and serving others. If that statement is true, then FOE #4352 must be a group filled with exceptionally happy members. To learn more about the organization and to become a member, call 894-2242