We were so excited the have our brothers and sisters from the Lincoln Park Eagles stop by on their bus tour, including Past Aerie Worthy President Kevin Kessler! What a wonderful day.
R.E.A.C. January Outing
Winter weather doesn't prevent our Retired Eagles Activity Club from having fun. The group recently met for lunch at the Woodside Meadows Golf Course in Romulus. Good food, good times, and good friends. It doesn't get any better than that!
The group welcomes new members. Join them at one of their outings held on the third Tuesday of every month and see what they're all about.
Here are a few pictures of their recent outing. Enjoy!
Suicide claims one person every six hours in Michigan according to 2017 data from the CDC, and it’s the second leading cause of death for people ages 15-34.
Sadly, one of our young Eagle members took his life in 2018, leaving us all in pain and grief, especially his friends in our Junior Order of Eagles. The group wanted to do something to honor Chris Brown and help prevent suicide, so Chris's brothers (who are J.O.E. members) and the rest of the group hosted a spaghetti dinner to raise funds for our State President’s Charity, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. We’re proud to announce that the J.O.E.s did very well and raised almost $1500 for the cause.
Their success wouldn't have happened without the help and participation of so many caring people. Youth advisors Jim and Nancy Shrove helped coordinate and plan the event along with April Brown, Chris's mother, and Madam President Lisa Ochalek. They also had help from Tim McKeen, Melissa Griffith, Janice Eaton, and all of our awesome J.O.E. members. Thank you for your hard work and caring hearts, everyone.
We also want to thank the people, organizations and groups that donated raffle baskets. Your generosity is appreciated. Of course, everyone who bid on a basket, made a monetary donation or purchased a dinner deserves our thanks, too. The J.O.E.s sold 86 adult dinners and approximately 50 children's dinners.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website says, “Suicide prevention starts with everyday heroes like you.” The J.O.E.s are our heroes, as well as all of you who helped make their fundraiser in honor of Chris Brown a success. Thank you on behalf of people affected by suicide everywhere.
Please enjoy some pictures from the evening. Thank you, April Brown, for sharing these pictures with us. Finally, if you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
R.E.A.C. December Outing
“For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we'll take a cup o' kindness yet, for auld lang syne.“
We all recognize the words to that song universally sung on New Year's Eve. It’s basically about friends catching up over a drink or two to reminisce about the times they’ve shared together, and that’s exactly how our Retired Eagles Activity Club closed out 2019 at their final outing. They had a pub crawl!
The group of 20 members met for lunch at JT's Pub & Grub in Belleville, and some of their hardier gang went on to the Bayou Grill and finished up at The Lakeview. That’s the way to end the year!
The group wishes everyone a healthy and happy New Year, and they invite you to join in taking a cup of kindness with them in 2020.
We hope you enjoy these pictures from their outing.
R.E.A.C. Christmas Dinner
Good cheer, good food, and good friendship were in abundance at our Retired Eagles Activity Club's recent Christmas dinner. Nancy Fruit once again went out of her way to prepare the delicious dinner (many thanks, Nancy) and R.E.A.C. paid for everything. A total of 29 members spent the evening together talking, laughing and sharing their time with one another, which is a good reminder for all of us that the best gifts don’t necessarily come in boxes with pretty bows.
R.E.A.C. sent along these pictures for you to enjoy, and they also send wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.
R.E.A.C. November Outing
Our Retired Eagles Activity Club met at Rose's Restaurant in Canton for their November outing. It was the perfect setting to break bread with one another and enjoy the company of all twenty-one people that attended.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we're sure they are all thankful for the good times and friendship they share each month.
Here are a few pictures from their outing. We hope you enjoy them. Happy Thanksgiving!
Veterans Day Presentation
One of our veterans was recently presented with a meaningful gift, and we were there to witness it. Aerie member and Marine Joe Poston applied to Angel Bikes, Inc. a while ago to receive one of their recumbent bikes. The not-for-profit organization furnishes free of charge specially constructed bicycles for disabled military veterans. They awarded Joe the bike and sent it to the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc. Then, the Blue Water Chapter #180 of St. Clair, Macomb, and Lapeer counties, along with St. Clair Collision and Thorpe Printing had the bike detailed with Marine Corps logos for Joe.
What makes these bikes very special is that each one is dedicated to a veteran who died in service to our country. Joe’s bike was donated in memory of US Army PFC Moneeka Mayo who died on December 14, 2008. Moneeka was a Michigan resident, Rochester Adams High School and Michigan State University graduate, and served eight years in the reserves before entering active duty on July 30, 2008.
Joe, and his wife Paula, were overcome with emotion to receive his bike in memory of guardian angel Moneeka, and they, along with us, want to thank the following people for helping to make it possible: Carla Brodacki, national president of the Blue Star Mothers of America, Inc., and Joyce Fabian, third vice-president (both are members of Chapter #180), and Ursel and Dennis Mayo, Moneeka's parents (Ursel is a Gold Star mother of Chapter #180). We all thank Angel Bikes, Inc., too. Their generosity will always hold a special place in the hearts of Joe and his family and friends.
A special thank you to Joyce Fabian, too. She presented the bike to Joe after giving a very moving speech about the meaning of the term “got your six.” In the military, it means their members are looking out for one another or watching their back. Joyce also told us about Moneeka's “spirit of determination and strength" and reminded us that “she will forever be remembered as Joe rides and will have his six.” She closed by thanking Joe for his service and told him they “hope he enjoys this wonderful ride we call life.”
What a wonderful honor for Joe and the other veterans these organizations have helped. We have no doubt a whole new world will open up for Joe now, and his guardian angel, Moneeka Mayo, will be there with him along the way. She’s got his six.
Adult Halloween Party
We had a very eclectic group of people at our recent Adult Halloween Party, including a priest, rich man, rag lady, and – ahem – a lady of the night. They were all in costume of course!
A big thank you to Dianne Cullen and Rozanne Ogger for chairing the event. It was a fun evening of laughter, music and dancing. We also want to thank their team of volunteers: Jim Fruit, Tim Ogger, Nancy Fruit and Glenn Ramberg helped with set up; Walt and Joyce Rochowiak donated the pumpkins, corn stalks and table decorations; and Sue Delongchamp and David LaFramboise helped in the kitchen. Good job, everyone!
A big thank you also to Tequila Mockingbird for entertaining us with their music. This was the first time they played at our club and they did not disappoint. They had people on their feet dancing all evening.
The highlight of the evening was the costume judging though. Our members are very creative and we always look forward to seeing “who" or “what" comes through the door next. We'd like to thank Bob Moore, Glenn Ramberg and Cindy Komajda for volunteering to pick the top three winners. It was tough to choose from so many great entries, but 3rd place went to Dave & Gladys Walker, 2nd place to Joelene Brzezinski, and 1st place went to Lenny Wojtyna! Congratulations to all of winners!
We hope you enjoy these pictures from the evening that various members sent us. They show the fun we always have at Van Buren #3996 because of our awesome members.
Trunk or Treat
The Auxiliary’s first Trunk or Treat event for the kids was a load of fun for everyone young and old. The children had fun wearing their costumes, decorating cookies, eating pizza, and collecting candy - of course! Three children won gift cards for best costume. Congratulations to them. All of the costumes were awesome and it was hard to choose the top three.
The adults had fun decorating their cars. Out of 25 or so cars that handed out candy, approximately 12 of them were decorated with skulls, spider webs, pumpkins, etc. The kids had fun choosing the three best decorated cars. Janice Eaton took first place, Sue Delongchamp was second, and Donna Hall came in third. Congratulations to the winners and thank you everyone for participating.
We’d like to thank Trustee Donna Hall for chairing the event, along with her volunteers: Linda Darr, Lisa Ochalek, Claudia Gutierrez, and Judy Hopke. Great job, ladies. This was the first time you’ve done Trunk or Treat and we heard you were concerned about how it would turn out, but we say it was a big success! The weather was even perfect. Did you arrange that?!
The Auxiliary also wanted us to thank Walt and Joyce Rochowiak for the beautiful mums and pumpkins they donated to the event and Claudia Gutierrez for donating the gift cards awarded to the best kid's costumes. Your generosity was appreciated.
Check out these pictures that various members sent us. They show the family fun we have at Van Buren #3996 because of our awesome members. Happy Halloween!
Fisher House Michigan Fundraiser
Our Fisher House of Michigan Fundraiser was a big success. The numbers are still being crunched, but we can say that the total raised was over $6,000! People really stepped up for our veterans and their families and we are thankful for each and every one of them.
Worthy President John Watkins chose Fisher House Michigan as his charity this year, and he chaired the event, solicited most of the donations, recruited a team of volunteers, and kept everything running smoothly. Thank you, John. You worked tirelessly to bring everything together, while also working full-time at your regular job, and we appreciate your efforts.
John's team of volunteers included his wife, Toni Watkins, and Diane Moore, Nancy McFall, Nancy Fruit, Gary & Kathy Smith, Thom & Cynthia Price, Ginger Bruder, Tela Fountain, Barb Tomlinson, Rozanne Ogger, Dianne Cullen, Dave & Kerry Droste, Virginia Truran, Lenny Wojtyna, and our Trustees. There are dozens and dozens of details that need to be taken care of when we host an event and these were the people who took care of them. Take a bow, everyone. You did a great job.
We also want to thank Catering by Kevin in Canton for the delicious meal he provided and Wicked Hipsters for the great music. Their lead singer had a sore throat but still made sure the show went on, along with a little help from some friends. The audience never noticed and the tunes kept on coming.
Our guest speaker for the evening was Katherine Hay, Secretary for the Fisher House Michigan Board of Directors. We thank her for sharing her personal story of how she became involved with Fisher House, and for explaining how important Fisher Houses are for our veterans and their families. We noticed there weren't too many dry eyes in the house when she finished speaking. Our veterans were especially moved.
We also want to thank our Van Buren Eagle Riders #3996 for their very generous donation. Their President, John Neal, and member Joe Poston, presented a check for $700 to Katherine Hay and John Watkins on behalf of Fisher House Michigan.
Finally, we would like to thank all the businesses, individuals, and community groups who donated money or items for our raffles and auctions, and everyone who attended and spent money on raffle tickets and auctions. YOU made it possible for us to help Fisher House Michigan and our veterans and their families. Again, thank you.
Van Buren Eagles #3996
We are a community, volunteer based social club.