The Eagles have landed. Prescott’s nonprofit Fraternal Order of Eagles has found a new home, moving from the location it rented on Cortez Street downtown for 45 years after the building sold. The group is relocating at 530 S. Montezuma Street Suite C, not far from where the street turns into White Spar Road.
“We’re hoping to be up and running in August in what we call our new nest,” said Aerie Trustee Liz Frost. Her husband, Mike Frost, is president of the service organization.
The location is smaller than its previous home, but will still have a bar and a place for meetings. The group is finalizing a liquor license and permits for remodeling the building. The membership voted on the location of the new social club after reviewing another site near Watson Lake, deciding in favor of the location closer to downtown. The organization has a women’s auxiliary, and the Aerie, its all-members service arm, operates the organization, the building and social room.
Established here at least since the 1930s, the local chapter of the international organization raises funds through its social club to assist in local causes, including groups in Prescott, Prescott Valley and Chino Valley.
Among the organizations the group assists are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Kids, to which it traditionally provides funding at the holidays, as well as the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office K-9 units, the Take Back The Night Foundation, a domestic-violence awareness program, and Scouts BSA, Young Marines and Wreaths Across America. It has also funded youth activities such as Northpoint Expeditionary Learning Academy’s senior trips, the Prescott High School golf team, and the Girl Scouts. The group encourages volunteers to assist in annual downtown events, too, like the Independence Day celebrations, Beer Fest, Tac’o the Town and the Veterans Day Parade.
The Prescott Eagles have seen a resurgence in recent years, to as many as 300 new members, most in their late 20s and early 30s, where US Eagles organizations typically comprise people aged 65 and above. Since the pandemic began that has fallen to 232 members, but Frost expects it will rebuild those numbers once the new location opens.
“We are anxious to get up and running again. We’ve been meeting and operating, but we haven’t had a social room,” Frost said. Membership in the group is open to the public.
According to its website, the national Fraternal Order of Eagles donates more than $10 million annually to local community groups, fundraisers, charities and more. As part of its mission the FOE gives back all monies raised in the form of grants. It conducts fundraisers for eight major charities, including funds to support kidney, heart, diabetes, cancer and spinal-cord injuries, a childrens fund, a memorial foundation, and the Golden Eagle Fund.
The organization began in February of 1898 when six theatre owners gathered in a Seattle shipyard to discuss a musician's strike. After addressing the matter, they agreed to "bury the hatchet" and form The Order of Good Things.
As the membership grew, it selected the bald eagle as its official emblem and adopted the name The Fraternal Order of Eagles. The women's auxiliary traces its roots to 1927. The FOE now includes nearly 800,000 members in more than 1,500 locations across the US and Canada.
Major FOE accomplishments
• Founded Mother's Day
• Created the $25 million FOE Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa
• Served as driving force behind the establishment of the Social Security system
• Helped end age-based job discrimination with the Jobs After 40 program
• Distributed monoliths commemorating the Ten Commandments across the US