Meet Your Neighbor: Meet the Silver Bell Rebekah Lodge #115
Yvonne Peterson, a long-time member of the Silver Bell Rebekah Lodge, spoke about the club’s history at the dedication of the Rebekah Pavilion at New Elmwood Cemetery in Fruita.
Denise: What is the Silver Bell Rebekah Lodge?
Yvonne: The Daughters of Rebekah, a service-oriented organization, was originally formed as a branch of the International Order of Odd Fellows. Fruita’s Rebekah Lodge was established in 1906. Since that time, 109 years ago, there have been 644 members in our Lodge. We currently have seven members.
Denise: What are some of the Lodge’s projects?
Yvonne: Some of the many things the Lodge has done over the years include holding fundraising drives for UNICEF, serving pancake breakfasts at the Fruita Fall Festival, establishing Holiday Rest Stops at Rabbit Valley where travelers could stop and enjoy a cup of coffee, serving dinners at Rotary and Lions Clubs functions, and planting trees at New Elmwood Cemetery.
Denise: Where were the meetings held?
Yvonne: The first meetings in the early 20th century were held in a room above a clothing store in Fruita. Later the Rebekahs met in the bank building on the southwest corner of Circle Park. In 1953, the Oddfellows bought the building at 156 South Park Square and remodeled it into the IOOF building. The Rebekahs met there twice a month until September 2012.
Denise: What happened then?
Yvonne: In 2012, with membership down to seven, the Rebakahs and the IOOF decided to sell the IOOF building, as we couldn’t keep it up. When the building was sold, we then had to decide what to do with the proceeds. We wanted to do something for the community, so we decided to use the money to plan and build a covered pavilion with seating in the new addition at New Elmwood Cemetery.
Denise Hight is co-author of Images of America: Fruita, which was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2011. She is currently working on another book for Arcadia, Legendary Locals of Fruita, which will be published in 2016. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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