For years, women were accompanying male
members of the Order to social events. As early as 1914, women were in
attendance for the organization's Grand Aerie Convention, eventually
inspiring them to being their own wing of the Eagles - the Ladies'
Pressure increased to formally recognize
the Auxiliary and in January 1926, sitting Grand Worthy President
Charles C. Guenther issued an Official Circular explaining that the time
had come for definite action in regard to the formal creation of the
When the Eagles assembled for the 28th
annual Grand Aerie Convention in August 1926, delegates formally
approved the formation of the Ladies' Auxiliary. On August 14, 1952,
Past Grand Worthy President Lester Loble of Montana served as the
instituting deputy for the Grand Auxiliary. Because Alta Browning Smith
was a primary contributor in the organizing and instituting of the Grand
Auxiliary, she was appointed the first Grand Madam President.
Making A Difference
Since the beginning, the F.O.E. has
maintained a strong dedication to giving back to the communities housing
our Aeries and Auxiliaries. Armed with a strong Grand Aerie and Grand
Auxiliary, the organization reached its full potential. In 1954, nearly
10,000 Ten Commandments plaques were distributed by the Order, promoting
its foundation of faith and encouraging citizens to use the
Commandments as a guideline for treating others and building a stronger
Eagles continued their commitment to
helping their own through the Memorial Foundation, which was designed to
provide aid to the children of members who lost their lives in World
War II. In 1967, the Jimmy Durante Children's Fund was established,
providing financial aid to institutions aiming to help youth through
medical research and prevention programs.
The Charity Foundation continued to
grow, establishing separate funds for a variety of causes as they became
more prominent, ensuring all brothers and sisters facing illness could
have hope for care and a cure.
In 1985, blooming from a strong
relationship with member and entertainer Danny Thomas, the Eagles became
the first organization to top $1 million in donations to St. Jude's
Children's Research Hospital.
The Eagles took on their biggest
fundraising challenge in 2008, committing $25 million to the University
of Iowa to fund The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center,
which opened in August 2014 inside the John and Mary Pappajohn
Biomedical Discovery Building in Iowa City, Iowa. The 20,000-square-foot
facility hosts a team of more than 100 researchers working on ways to
prevent, treat and ultimately cure diabetes.