OCEAN PARK Its not often that a husband and wife take the presidential reins of a fraternal organization, but Dave Pickering and Jannice MacGillvray did just that Saturday when officers for the new fiscal year were installed at Eagles Aerie 3602 in Ocean Park.
Toward the end of the ceremony, flanked by installing conductors Joe Fish and Sherry Gale, the new presidents strolled through a tunnel formed by other Eagles members who held flowers over the couples heads. MacGillvray later laughed and said, It felt like we were getting married again, but nobody was throwing bird seed at us.
Just like a marriage, these presidencies will take commitment and teamwork. Pickering was vice president last year and MacGillvray was auxiliary president. When it became apparent that he would move up to president for 2011-12, she said, I chose to go ahead and be re-elected. We wanted to work side by side.
MacGillvray was recently given a pin signifying 10 years of Eagle membership. She said her time in the organization is about three years longer than Pickerings. But who has been in the group the longest is not an issue with them.
Doing what is best for the Peninsula is first on their minds. Its going to be so much fun, she said. Were excited and looking forward to it. We want to take on some different ways to earn money.
After all, she said, the Eagles motto is, People helping people and this aerie has raised a lot of funds over the years that have been donated to such worthy causes as hospice, the adoption of local families each Christmas and more recently, the Humane Society. All the money the Eagles raise and donate stays right here on the Peninsula.
Many of the men and women who were installed Saturday had previously held other various offices in this aerie. When they gather, there is a feeling that they are all one big, close-knit family dedicated to making things happen. And while the installation ceremony follows a serious formal script provided by the Fraternal Order of Eagles, the national headquarters that oversees individual aeries, members of this local group know each other so well that the occasional slip up in script or cermony results in laughter. Formal doesnt have to mean rigid or scary. While calling up officers elect to the podium area to receive their regalia (a medal of sorts rigged somewhat like an Olympic award) announcers at the main altar looked at any slip up as a chance for a clever adlib.
But with the formality and adlibs over, it will be time for Eagles members to get down to the business of raising money for the Peninsula causes they help with their donations.
MacGillvray said hospice donations are still a high priority. So is the South Pacific County Humane Society. Last year, we took on the animal shelter and we want to keep that going this year. Towards the end of the year, we will hve a Christmas bazaar. This will be our second one. The money from that goes to the shelter so they can buy what they need. MacGillvray said, especially for her, this is a true pet project. Ive gotten four animals from there. Im such an animal lover. So are a lot of the ladies at the bazaar. We have four or five new ladies coming this year, because they know the money is going to the shelter.
The bazaar is held at the Eagles building. This years date is to be announced. Tables are rented out to those who wish to participate.
The Christmas operation is also on MacGillvrays mind and she said the Eagles will soon start raising money fo fill boxes that will be donated to 47 adopted familes.
Also, closer to the holidays, the aerie will start asking for donations of canned goods. And, the cash raised helps supply even more food to those needy familes.
She explained, We make sure they have a turkey or ham, bread, milk, potatoes, celery, onions everything for dinner. And we also make sure that the kids we adopt all have toys. Within the last three or four years, weve had a lot of people moving in. Our Peninsula has been growing. She said that makes the need even more widespread.
The fire department helps us out with the toys, she said. The Eagles also give back to the fire department each year. We give them $500 to buy equipment.
All of the Ocean Park Eagles members recognize how generous the Pacific County Fire District No. 1 fire department is.
Their affiliation with the Eagles is just phenomenal, MacGillvray said. Theyre also so kind. If we have a lot of people that want to have a CPR class, we gather them up and the Fire Department is so gracious. They come in and do that class for free.
In the upcoming fiscal year, MacGillvray and Pickering will keep their eye on that people helping people motto and keep the ball rolling to help the community.