Glenwood Springs Eagles aerie celebrates 106th year
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” The year was 1902.
Teddy Roosevelt became the first American president to ride in a car. In Garfield County, an improved road through Glenwood Canyon was just completed.
But another big event for many current locals also happened that year: the formation of the Glenwood Springs Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 215.
“We have been in the valley for a long, long time,” said Randy Smith, who is on the board of trustees for the local service group.
And on Saturday, the group celebrated its 106th anniversary during its regular meeting with several events like initiating five new members and voting to approve several others to the group. The women’s auxiliary to the Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 215 is also celebrating its 60th anniversary this year, Smith said.
For more than a century, the group has done much to benefit the community, Smith said.
“There is a plethora of things we do,” said Smith, adding his grandfather talked him into joining the group when he was 18 years old.
Smith ticked off a number of things the group has done for the community, including providing scholarships and doing things like building horseshoe pits at Veltus Park. The group also puts on dances for the community’s youth and organizes events like bingo games. It also hosts an annual Thanksgiving dinner.
The group also goes to local hospitals to visit patients and pray for them if they have no one else to pray for them, Smith said.
“It is hard to say this is all what we do, because I could go on for an hour,” said Smith, adding that many of the scholarships the local service group has given out has educated “a lot of people here in the (Roaring Fork) Valley.”
The Fraternal Order of Eagles was founded in 1898, and since that time has given more than $100 million to local and national charities, according to the group’s website. The service organization has members in more than 1,700 local aeries and auxiliaries in the United States and Canada.
To be eligible for membership, you have to be a resident of the United States and Canada, over 18 years old and believe in God, the website said. Steps to becoming a member include being sponsored by two members of a Fraternal Order of Eagle’s aerie or auxiliary, having the application being read at an aerie/auxiliary meeting and answering questions during an interview by the local membership committee.
Willa Soncarty, archivist at the Frontier Historical Society in Glenwood Springs, said they have many pictures of Eagles members giving out scholarships and helping out with various causes through its long history in Glenwood Springs.
“With the Eagles, they have always done charitable work,” Soncarty said. “That is what impresses me so much is all the causes they have (pushed forward) to better the community.”
With 106 years already passed, Smith said he expects the group to flourish for many more years.
“We are going to be here forever,” Smith said. “It is a great, great organization. We have a lot of fun.”
For more information on the group call the local aerie after 4 p.m at 945-5506. The club is located on Seventh Street across from the train depot.
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