Eagles social room named after longtime member


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Fresh out of the U.S. Navy, Harold “Stretch” Wineinger and a friend walked into Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 655 in downtown Seymour on Dec. 19, 1959, and became members.

Both became heavily involved in the organization, which has community involvement as its cornerstone and offers social programs and activities for members to have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others.

Wineinger served as president in 1974 and 1975 and then became secretary in 1977, a position he still holds today.

He also has served the Indiana FOE as state participating clerk, state trustee, acting state secretary and state secretary and was an honorary past state president and inducted into the Indiana State Aerie Hall of Fame.

Plus, he served the Grand Aerie as pension board chairman and Eagle Village board member and was inducted into the Grand Aerie FOE Hall of Fame.

For his continued dedication and loyalty to the organization, on Saturday, the 82-year-old Seymour man was surprised by having the social room at Aerie 655 named in his honor.

A wooden sign etched with “Harold ‘Stretch’ Wineinger Social Room” was presented to him by Danny Jones, Indiana state treasurer and grand trustee.

“It means a lot to me,” Wineinger said. “I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve been dedicated. I feel like I’ve really done a great job. I’ve tried to make everything work for them.”

His daughter, Holly Posey, agreed. Her father inspired her to join the Eagles when she was 18, and she has served as assistant secretary for Aerie 655 since 2000.

“Earl Wesley and Rick Marsh came to me and said, ‘This is what we want to do. Can you make it happen?’ I said, ‘Absolutely,’” Posey said of the local officers wanting to name the social room after her father.

“I was overwhelmed,” she said. “I thought nobody deserved it more, for sure. He has dedicated a lot of time, a lot of devotion, a lot of miles. He has met a lot of people, made a lot of friends, traveled a lot. He shows you what it means to be dedicated, to follow through, to go above and beyond. He has been an enormous influence on me.”

Posey wanted to keep it a secret from her dad, and the fact that he doesn’t do social media helps, she said, laughing. She invited officers from around the state and local members and officers to Aerie 655 on Saturday.

Wineinger thought he was going there that day for the organization’s annual picnic.

“It’s definitely a picnic, just a little bonus,” Posey said, smiling, as a meal was served after the short presentation.

Throughout his years of membership, Wineinger has attended numerous meetings and been a part of the Eagles’ charity work. All of the money that comes in from bingo, pull tabs and raffles at the club has to go to charity, Posey said.

Over the years, the local club has received grants from the Fraternal Order of Eagles Charity Foundation to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Seymour, Schneck Foundation and Community Foundation of Jackson County. It also donates money to other local causes.

“We’ve made a lot of money for different things,” Wineinger said. “We give a lot of money to the community.”

Also, the Indiana FOE president picks a project each year, and clubs around the state work toward raising money for it. This year, Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health in Indianapolis is the chosen project.

Wineinger is in his 44th year as secretary of Aerie 655, and he was state secretary from 1998 to 2018. For the latter, he traveled around the state and attended national conventions.

“When I traveled the state, I made a lot of friends,” he said. “Since I retired as state secretary, I’ve had a lot of them come up and say I did a great job.”

He also enjoyed his time serving the Grand Aerie.

“I’ve been on the Grand Aerie level and state level and local level. I’ve been significantly involved,” he said. “I’ve just been really super involved all of my life. It has just been rewarding to me. I feel like I’ve been a blessing.”

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