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Eagles hoping for nest of their own
From left: Bob Grafing, Charlie Zimmerman and Richard Robbins of the Fraternal Order of Eagles cook food to sell at the Richmond Hill Christmas Parade. The civic organization raises money for several charitable causes and hopes to eventually have a permanent location to host fund raisers. - photo by Photo provided.

The motto of the Fraternal Order of Eagles is “People Helping People.” The local chapter thinks they could do even more of that if they had their own location, but that means getting more members first.

“Right now we’ve got about 30 members plus an auxiliary made up of wives,” President Charlie Zimmerman said. “If we could build up our numbers, we might be able to rent a facility and raise even more money for our various causes.”

Zimmerman envisions a building with a kitchen where the group could host fish fries, spaghetti dinners and bingo to raise money. Currently the organization raises money by selling pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, brats and burgers at events such as the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival and the city’s Fourth of July and Christmas Parade gatherings. They will also occasionally sell Boston Butts that Zimmerman makes on a large smoker at his house.

“We just want to give back to the community any way we can,” Zimmerman said.

The group is currently conducting a canned food drive on behalf of the Way Station Food Pantry. Donation boxes are located at Kroger, Food Lion and the Dollar General stores by Savannah Tire and across from the KOA campground.

“We’re having a little contest with the Eagles in St. Mary’s, Gainesville and Augusta to see who can collect the most for their local food pantries,” Zimmerman said. “Hopefully people see the boxes on their way into the stores and buy a couple of extra items to drop off on their way out.”

Nationally, the FOE is involved with donating money for diabetes and Alzheimer’s research, as well as to child abuse prevention efforts.

The local chapter also sponsored one member of the Richmond Hill High School marching band when they attended the National Cherry Blossom Festival parade last year in Washington, D.C., and will sponsor two miles in the upcoming Tour de Ford 10-mile race at The Ford Plantation.

“Our goal is to help as many people as possible,” Zimmerman said. “We think we’re the best kept secret around.”

For more information on how to join, call Zimmerman at (912) 656-0292 or email him at

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