Bellevue #3912 History

History of Bellevue FOE 3912, From The Beginning

After serving time in Vietnam, Bill was assigned to Offutt AFB in 1967 and joined Foe 38 in the spring of 1968. For next few years, Bill solicited Grand Aerie Officials visiting FOE 38 for a chartered Aerie in Bellevue…at first it wouldn’t fly very far because someone in the State had convinced the Grand Aerie that Bellevue’s population was too fluid for an Aerie to be successful…too many Military people.
Bill kept hammering away every chance that he got and finally struck gold in 1979 one Sunday Afternoon at an Ole’ Timers’ function at FOE 38 when Judge Hansen {Past Grand Worthy} was the guest speaker and Bill caught his ear for an hour or so after dinner, Earl Baker, Bill and Dorothy Parks, Jim and Bev Zeltner and Judge Hansen at one table. Judge Hansen listened and didn’t say no to Bill that Sunday.

The following Wednesday, Earl Baker called Bill and stated we had a Charter laid for Bellevue and that he and the Judge had been to Bellevue and visited with the Bellevue Newspaper and signed up the Editor Larry Davis as second name on the Charter. They had signed up an attorney friend of Earls, George Burr as the first name on the Charter. Earl said that we only needed 48 more new members signed up and that we would have an Aerie..{Took 50 names/members in those days to qualify as an Aerie).

After the 50 new members signed up, we, already Eagle Members could sign up as dual members. Earl Baker, Bill Parks and Jim Miller were designated as organizers (as appears on the Charter mounted on the wall at FOE 3912.} Earl and I were the worker bees, Jim Miller was the Sarpy County Attorney at the time and a good friend to Bill and Earl. He came along to render Legal advice. (A newly initiated Eagle, Van Schroeder filled this requirement after institution.)

We advertised an organizing meeting at The Crown Court Motel, {Courtesy of Charlie Clatterbuck) and posted signs at the then downtown Bakers Grocery Store and Sam Cascio’s Golden Horse shoe Bar and Lounge. It was at the Golden Horseshoe, Bill first met Jack Ludwig who listened to the sales pitch and became very active in the process of organizing, institution, and getting off the ground so to speak, once instituted.
While the guys were organizing an Aerie, Billie Piatt of FOE 38 was appointed to organize an Auxiliary. Our organizing meetings were jointly accomplished, guys and girls meeting together.

We had hit the ground running and both the Aerie and Auxiliary got off to a great start and before long we were looking for a facility big enough to handle an event of our magnitude. {Institution)

Earl Baker, the Neb State FOE, and the Grand Aerie made the selection of Bill Parks to be the installed President of Bellevue’s New Aerie and Bill was told to supply names of the remaining Seated Officers.
Billie Piatt, the Neb State Aux, and Grand Aerie selected Diane Thompson to be the first President of the Auxiliary….Billie coordinate the selection of the names for the rest of seated Officers of the Auxiliary.
The “naysayers” of Nebraska were wrong in their thoughts of Bellevue’s population being too fluid, too military, to support an Eagle Aerie…We were 1 hour late for our institution activity at the Golden Horseshoe.

People were still lined up waiting to sign up when we had to start the institution..422 men had signed up to be members/dual members of FOE 3912 …THE LARGEST AERIE EVER INSTITUTED IN THE FRATERNAL ORDER OF EAGLES…OUR AUXILIARY INSTITUDED WITH 171 MEMBERS, ALSO A RECORD! OBVIOUSLY, THIS WASA GREAT DAY AND EVENT FOR NEBRASKA EAGLEDOM.

Until we could find a HOME (building) for our new Aerie and Auxiliary, we had our meetings at Golden Horseshoe.

With very little cash money and zero borrowing power (an unknown entity), we needed a means of raising money to buy or rent a place that could serve as our Home. At the recommendation of the Grand Aerie, we launched an effort to sell bonds to each other and to other Aeries that would buy some of our Bonds. We flew afive year, 7% interest bond offering and our members and Auxiliary started buying, lots of $100 bonds ,some $1000 versions and one $5000. Only two Aeries within the State of Nebraska believed in us enough to invest some of their surplus cash…Omaha aerie #38 bought a $10,000 bond and The Plattsmouth Aerie bought one for $5,000. Our total bonds sold was $50,000. Our bond drive chairman was Jack Ludwicg.

After vascillating and some hard feelings among some of the newly sworn in Officers, a building in downtown Bellevue became available. Mr. John Trent who owned our current building made us an offer too good to pass up. He would sell us the building for $75,000, with a down payment or $25,000 and he would tote the note for the balance.(Land contract option). The Trustees, with Grand Aerie approval, closed the deal and we had a starting place for our first Home. Mr. Trent came across with another filg_ Help for Us..His Bowling alley here in Bellevue had been destroyed by fire and he wasn’t going to rebuild it…he donated the air conditioning system from the bowling alley to us. One of our first Officers, Jimmy Krajicek installed all of the ducting and the AC units. Most of our getting the building ready to occupy was done by volunteers…Jerry Taylor did all of the Electrical work for us free. There were many many more volunteers that pitched in their skills and helped to get the building ready to be our home. John Koch and Jack Charvat were very instrumental in this effort. They both pitched in with both feet and both contributed their utmost effort toward our goal.

Bob Neimier, (the then Owner of Bob’s Town Tavern) saved us lots of bucks in the purchasing of coolers and other items for our bar…After all was said and done we only had $5,000 of our $50,000 left to stock the bar. John Koch was in charge of that. Our first bartenders were all volunteers, Bill Parks, Chuck Kerby, and John Koch’s friend Ski. Later on Diana Koch pitched in as a bartender.

Our new home opened during State Convention (held in Lincoln)…We had no Tables, chairs or bar stools…but we fixed that shortly. Bellevue East High School loaned us some folding Chairs, tables and cash registers…Sam Cascio, {Golden Horse hoe) loaned us some old bars stools. We met in the building that is now our lounge, stretched a large roll of paper as a divider for the floor area, and both the Aerie and Auxiliary held our first meetings in that manner. Our first Officer stations for holding meetings were upside down garbage cans.

Very shortly, we came up with an idea that if a member would donate the price of a table, we would brand the table with their name on a metal strip attached to the table. We did the same for chairs and

Very shortly, we had the means to sit down at tables. We also used this idea to purchase our first Bar Stools… We sold the number of stools that we needed in one day.
At the end of the Eagle year, our members wanted to carry all of the Officers over for the following year and that was how it happened. (The newly installed Officers at Institution served in that capacity for the following Eagle year .

All of the success of our early beginning can be contributed to the dedication of our Auxiliary as they totally supported all of the efforts including providing and serving food from a small counter in the back of the room, after meetings and Sunday Afternoon activities . Bev Zeltner and Dorothy Parks headed up these efforts .

In summary, my dreams of having a successful Eagles Club in Bellevue, were realized due to the efforts and dedication of all of the Chartered men and women who believed enough that we could fly an Eagles Club in Bellevue Nebraska

Bill Parks, Co-Organizer, FOE 3912