By David Hazledine
SYRACUSE— On Saturday, Sept. 12, Fraternal Order of Eagles and Ladies Auxiliary officers from around Indiana met at Syracuse Lakeland Eagles Aerie 3760, 12889 N. Kern Road, for the presentation of over $157,000 to Riley Children’s Hospital Heart Center.
The donation is the result a year-long joint fundraising project led by FOE Past State President Charlie Riggs and his wife Shirley Riggs, Acting State Auxiliary President, both of whom call Lakeland Eagles 3760 their home aerie. It was the first time Lakeland Eagles 3760 has hosted the annual event.
FOE donated a total of $85,661.37 to Riley Hospital, while the State Auxiliary donated $71,645.60. “This is the culmination of 75 active aeries’ efforts to support Charlie,” said Collin Studer, FOE State Trustee.
On hand to accept the checks was Riley Children’s Hospital Associations and Radiothon Coordinator Amber Miller. The donations will be used to purchase at-home iPads used to monitor heart patients.
“This truly makes such a big difference now more than ever,” said Miller, referring to COVID-19 rules which restrict hospital visits. “My own daughter was in Riley for three days,” she added. The iPads allow parents to be connected with their children 24 hours per day. “It provides such peace of mind for parents.”
COVID-19 also restricted fundraising efforts between March and July of 2020, said Charlie Riggs. Nevertheless, he commented, “Anything raised is better than nothing.” Riggs also thanked his wife and the Eagles Auxiliary for their help with online auctions, “when everything was closed down.”