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On February 10, 2024, the Olympia Fraternal Order of the Eagles will host a concert featuring classic rock band Pumphouse to benefit the Procession of the Species Community Art Studio. Doors open at 4 p.m. for visitors to learn about Eagles membership, and the concert runs from 7 p.m. until 12 a.m. In just one of many Olympia Eagles local charitable efforts, people will socialize and have fun, all while contributing to a local nonprofit in support of those who bring all the color and light to the beloved Luminary and Procession of the Species, which are set to return this April. Concert entry begins at 7 p.m. with an entry fee of $20.

The iconic sun towers over the Procession of the Species pageant during an Olympia Arts Walk weekend. Photo courtesy: Earthbound Productions

Procession of the Species Art Studio Fundraiser

The Procession of the Species and the Luminary Procession events are facilitated by a production crew of over 100 volunteers. And the greater Thurston community is invited to “Get Their Procession On” by attending the Olympia Armory Creative Campus art studio for seven weeks, from early March through Procession weekend in April, as a means to creating their costumes, banners, luminaries, windsocks and puppets. Iconic pieces return each year for the Procession such as the big yellow sun face, a zebra, a rhinoceros, a lion and a white buffalo. The Olympia Eagles concert with Pumphouse will raise money to provision the community art studio with art materials and construction supplies.

“Certainly, it’s an opportunity for the Procession to raise funds for the Community Art Studio while also energizing our volunteer base to turn out for a good-hearted meet-and-greet event that will feature some great dancing music,” says Eli Sterling, who is the founder and director of Earthbound Productions and Procession of the Species Celebration. “Yet, the event holds an additional focus for us as well: To advance the success of another civic organization that is also working for the betterment of our community. Overall, we view our partnership with Olympia Eagles as an active example of how to braid a consciousness of caring for the environment with the mutual support for others who are providing vital community resources. Really, it’s a great visual of two hands working together.”

Each year before the Olympia Arts Walk, the Earthbound Productions Procession of the Species luminary workshop volunteers create numerous costumes, banners, windsocks and puppets for the Luminary and the Procession. Fundraising support for studio work came from Olympia Eagles. Photo courtesy: Earthbound Productions

Sterling emphasized that such partnership is also highlighted in the collaboration with the City of Olympia as well. “There are a lot of moving parts behind the scene,” says Sterling, “from street closures to audience safety. It doesn’t happen without the engaged support of City staff and the energized leadership of Angel Nava (Arts Walk) and Valerie Roberts (Armory Campus).” Held in conjunction with Olympia’s Spring Arts Walk weekend (which often coincides with Earth Day), this year’s Procession theme is “The Rise of Reflection,” and as always, it is an event of art, music and dance to promote education, inspire involvement and raise awareness for protecting the natural world. Funding for their creative space and time at the Olympia Armory helps make those goals happen.

Get to Know the Olympia Eagles

The Olympia Eagles continues the FOE mission of, “uniting fraternally in the spirit of liberty, truth, justice, and equality, to make human life more desirable by lessening its ills and promoting peace, prosperity, gladness and hope” and to create positive interactions in meetings as they collaborate on charitable fundraising.

Members meet at the aerie, a word meaning eagle’s nest. Bimonthly meetings are formal, and the 640-aerie membership of brothers is supported by a board of trustees and follows a constitution. Started in 1936, the Eagles Ladies Auxiliary 21 consists of 153 members who organize community events, fundraise, and support the aerie.

“Our biggest strength here at Olympia Eagles is the membership,” says Michael Holloway, aerie worthy president of the Olympia Eagles. “Whether it be through committee work, maintenance projects – and there are a lot of those – fundraisers, Seahawk Sundays, special events or an all-hands on deck request, we come together and make it happen. We are passionate and committed to the organization and our community. Our membership is diverse, and I am very proud to be part of it.” 

Socializing is a popular element to Olympia Eagles membership as is discussing group interests in a deliberately positive environment. Shown here: Illuminated Ball hosted by the Procession of the Species at the Eagles Ballroom. Photo courtesy: Earthbound Productions

Olympia Eagles Support Local and National Charities

The Olympia Eagles make a lot happen with their charity work. Last year, over $20,800 was donated locally and nationally. With a national reach, the Eagles contributes to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center and numerous health related charity funds. Hosting the Sparkle Drag Show fundraiser supports various local causes, and the annual Easter egg hunt at Squaxin Park benefits local families and children. Eagles also participate with Capital Kids Connection by sponsoring foster youth.

“The Eagles club of Olympia has been such a great support and partner to All Kids Win,” says Kelly Wilson, founder and board chair of All Kids Win. “The fundraisers that they produce are always fun, creative and filled with love. One of the things that I appreciate most about these fundraisers, besides the greatly needed funds, is the complete ownership that the club takes of the event. The members manage every aspect from top to bottom. They graciously invite our board and volunteers, and we get to just come and enjoy the hospitality of the club. We are a small group of volunteers who feed over 1,000 hungry students per week in Thurston County. What it takes to fund, shop for, fill and distribute bags of weekend food to 48 schools is a lot for our team.”

The Olympia Eagles membership drive and benefit are an invitation to join in supporting local nonprofits and to participate in exciting fundraisers both within the organization and within the community. On February 10, 2024, come down to the aerie and enjoy refreshments, check out the information tables and visit with Eagles who can answer questions about membership and benefits.

Procession of the Species Fundraiser and Eagles Membership Drive
February 10, 4 p.m. – 12 a.m.
$20 entry begins at 7 p.m.
805 4th Avenue E, Olympia

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