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A Cause for Remembrance

First two photos: Naiesha Thobe interviews Worthy President Steffanie Baker and Eagles Trustee Ron Kreitzer

Story & Photos by Naiesha Thobe, Teen Scribe

"It's a patriotic day to celebrate with family and friends," said Eagles Worthy President Steffanie Baker.

"It's a day to ‘respect those who died’,” said Ron Kreitzer, Eagles Trustee. “It's a time to look back on the past, but also look forward for the future.”

Both Eagles 2177 officers took time from their multiple activities during the recent weekend Independence Day celebration to talk about the Eagles and the history of the event.

The Eagles is a charitable organization that finds countless ways to give back to their community. Kreitzer said that the Eagles donates back the money it receives, whether for causes such as cancer funds or donating scholarships.

It is the same for the 4th of July jamboree. According to Baker, this celebration is a way to give back to the community while thanking them for their continued support. The “community” to which Baker referred is Greenville and all Darke County communities.

Support for this celebration has not stopped growing in the six years that is has been held. The Eagles originally put on the event at the Darke County Fairgrounds, but "outgrew it," said Baker. Last year, attendance was near the 3,000 mark, but this year, it was estimated that nearly 6,000 people would visit the Park before it was over. The reason for that climb in attendance may be word of mouth, the attractions, or simply the fireworks.

The Independence Day Celebration is free for the community to enjoy, but money has to go into preparing for it. In 2010, $15,000 went into the celebration, but this year, the stakes had been raised. With the entertainment and other preparations, along with the fireworks, the accumulated costs brushed the $20,000 mark. The money for the event is raised through contributions made by the members of the community and the support of the Greenville Eagles membership. For next year, Eagles officers hope to increase community participation.

Those attending this year have already donated more than $1,100 toward next year’s event.

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