The following is an article printed in The News Gazette in Winchester, Indiana
The Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity was founded in 1902 in Marion, Indiana. It was originally a social fraternity of young businessmen. The Winchester Chapter which is Beta Eta was founded in 1912.
Around the World War II Era, there were many Chapters throughout the nation. As has been the case with many civic organizations, the membership has diminished over the years. Currently there are eleven chapters remaining with seven of them in the state of Indiana, three in Florida, and one in Mississippi. The total membership is 901 nationally, with the largest chapter in Winchester with 227 members.
The Patriarch of Beta Eta is the elder Statesman of the National Membership. Fred Armstrong, retired insurance and real estate broker, is a 72 year member of Beta Eta Winchester. He still frequents the Chapter House when he is in town. Way to go, Fred!
In addition, PDK Beta Eta has been blessed to have tremendous continuity in leadership as both Secretary Zeke Horner and Treasurer Bill Robbins have served in their offices for over 30 years each. Current Chapter President is Larry Detro, Jr., who has spearheaded most every event this year.
Each Chapter has its own business plan, but every Chapter contributes in many way to its community.
Current local officers for Beta Eta Winchester are as follows: President – Larry Detro, Jr.; Vice President – Charles Berger; Assistant VP – Chris Moore; Secretary – Zeke Horner; Treasurer – Bill Robbins; Assistant Treasurer – Scott Dull; Master of Ceremonies – Mason Hummel; Sergeant at Arms – Tyler Lennington; Inner Guard – Shean Bosworth; and Outer Guard – Darian Mallory.
Trustees that keep the facility in top condition are as follows: Kenny Collins, John Wolfe, Rob Kelly, Jerry Fair, and Steve Burge.
Beta Eta Winchester is very active on the national level as well. Current National Officers are the following: Vice President – Todd Gullett; Auditor – Butch Rhonemus; and Secretary/Treasurer – Zeke Horner. National Board of Trustees are Jim Byrd- Chairman, and Chris Parks – Member. Foundation Board of Trustees are Ron Anderson and Jeff Woolf.
Beta Eta Winchester has contributed to many local causes throughout the year. Examples include the following: all elementary schools in Randolph Central, Driver Middle School, Winchester Community High School, Winchester Athletic Boosters, Winchester Band, Winchester Concerts in the Park, Winchester Alumni, Winchester Homecoming, Winchester Prom, Winchester Police, Journey Home, Christ Starfish Foundation, Rotary Club, Department of Child Services, Boys’ Little League, Girls’ Softball, and many other worthwhile causes.
Recently, PDK Beta Eta donated $1,000 to the Randolph County Food Pantry and $1,500 to Secret Families of Randolph County.
Another event that receives contributions locally is the Second Saturday of the Month Scholarship Breakfasts. Beta Eta was able to award $2,300 in scholarships in 2018 and is on track to exceed that amount in 2019. Breakfasts are from September through May.
Total donations to our community in 2018 was over $11,000. This is a good secret, but don’t tell anyone. PDK Beta Eta has been a nice secret for 107 years.
This is last article that I am required to write. But, like I wrote last month, I am sure I will be checking in with all of you when the mood strikes me.
I first want to thank all of my brothers and their sweethearts for such a memorable journey through the chairs. The love and brotherhood I received everywhere I journeyed in PDK land was phenomenal. I would like to thank my Chapter, Beta Nu, for their moral support as I traveled. A special shout out to PNP and Emir Jim Myers for being my travel buddy on most of the adventures. Jim’s heart is into Phi Delta Kappa more than anybody I have ever been around.
I was blessed to have several other PNP’s at Beta Nu to bounce my ideas and receive guidance from. Thank you to Brian Nelson, Greg Sumpter and Jon Handy. All of the brothers I have spent time with in the chairs have been fantastic. They taught me what I need to do and how to do it. I have leaned on and learned from brothers Chris Linsinbigler, Craig Brutout, Jeff Woolf, Chris Parks and Greg Trombly quite a bit over the years.
I have built many wonderful friendship that will last a lifetime. Scott Dull, although he never liked me (LOL), has become a fantastic friend and mentor. Pappy Reid is another PNP that I bounced many of my ideas off of. All of the officers under me are learning the ropes and will do the Fraternity well as they move on up the ladder. Hopefully they can each improve PDK every year until the end of time. God Bless you all.
I wanted to go over some of the things in my life that have changed since I got in the chairs. When I started I had two grandchildren, Lilly and Myles. That number is now SIX! Kamryn followed by Grayson, Carson, and Creighton joined the family. My youngest child, Alex, got married to a wonderful and smart young lady. I am very proud of all of my children and their spouses. I love my family!
I am so blessed my dad became a brother at Delta Nu. I also was able to put a 50 year pin on his friend Pete Martin in Plymouth this year. Beta Eta came to Kokomo to initiate my dad. It was incredibly moving just sitting back and watching the initiation by THE BEST ritual group in all of PDK.
I listened to several of the PNPs to get the Spring SEC back on the road at a neutral site. I decided to do that when it was my time. We now have had two great weekends in the Smoky Mountains. I am looking forward to see where Doug Leach picks for next year.
I got the opportunity to get back into coaching baseball after a 10 year absence. I love baseball and I love coaching. I had the idea to get the 20/20 into a national bank (PNC) to make it easier for everyone after me to make deposits and not have to flip banks every couple of years. It seems to have worked out nicely.
I missed an article once and I wanted a fix so that it would never happen again. The SEC came up with emailing our article to each other and the editor. That way you get six reminders to get your article into the editor! It seems to be working well.
Sadly I saw two Chapters close their doors for good during my VP year. Since they were both Indiana Chapters I kind of took the reins on both of the closings. We brought all of the Marion brothers into Beta Nu. Emir Buck Rodman from Beta Beta joined the brotherhood at Delta Nu.
I have witnessed the outstanding charity work that the individual chapters do grow each year during my years in the chairs. We picked St. Judes Children Hospital as our National Charity. I have seen many great brothers step and take care of all kinds of issues and problems at their chapters. I have witnessed several chapters find new charities to help out and spread the massive amount of love to others in need.
Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank my wonderful wife Sarah from the bottom of my heart for all the love, support, traveling (booking the flights, rental cars and hotels) other help and proofreading my articles during my journey.
It has been my pleasure to have been given the opportunity and the support as I made the journey of my lifetime through the National Officer Chairs. Seven years and it seemed to fly by. I LOVE the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity and I will continue to do whatever I am called upon to do. I will jump in if I see a problem and I can help fix it. I am a very blessed man! I hope you all have enjoyed my monthly articles for the last seven years. It has been my pleasure to serve you all! I hope to see many of you at the National Convention in Kokomo this July!
Until next time remember to tell your loved ones every day that you love them. Hug a brother and get involved. Proud to be a Phi Delta Kappa!
On the weekend of April 26 thru 28 the Northern Chapter Chase took place here in Indiana. Brother Doug Leach of Gamma Theta – Danville coordinated this event and done an excellent job.
Here at Beta Eta we kicked off the Chase on Friday by providing a variety of food to our members, having a drink special, raffling off a gift certificate to Firehouse BBQ and Blues, giving away a gift certificate to Jason’s Meat Market as a door prize and cranking up the jukebox.
On Saturday morning we headed to Beta Nu – Kokomo in the Colt’s bus with 12 members aboard and 4 other couples following in their vehicles. When we arrived we had a great breakfast waiting for us. We had a few drinks and socialized for a while then headed north with three couples from Kokomo and two couples from Danville for our next stop, Lambda – Peru. The folks here had a meat & cheese tray and vegetable tray ready for us. Again we had a few drinks and socialized for a while then headed north for our third stop, Delta Nu – Plymouth. These folks had ham & beans, cornbread and a variety of food waiting for us. Once again we had a few drinks and socialized before heading north to our fourth stop, Zeta Eta – Laporte. These folks had hamburgers and a variety of food waiting on us. And once again we had a few drinks and socialized before we moved on to our last stop, Gamma Lambda – Michigan City. These folks had chicken and a variety of food waiting on us. This being our last stop we socialized a little longer and had several drinks before finishing the night and heading to our hotel.
The Chapter Chase is a truly awesome time. The brotherhood that is experienced is amazing. The effort all the chapters put in for this event is amazing with all the food and “drinks” waiting for us and the hospitality that is extended. If you have never done this you are missing a great time and should try to experience it at least once. I want to thank Doug Leach for organizing the Chase.
I also want to thank all the brothers and sisters from each chapter for the food and hospitality and those members from Beta Eta, Gamma Theta and Beta Nu that made the journey north. If I were to talk about every stop in detail this article would not fit into the magazine as you experience something different at each chapter.
This is my second to last article that I am required to write. Trust me I will always write articles when the mood strikes me. I enjoy writing more than most do. I enjoy talking too, as most of you already know. I do want to thank all of the National Officers for not missing any articles this year. I forgot to email mine in once in my seven years. I felt like horrible about that mistake. We came up with a system at an SEC meeting to make sure it should not happen again. So far it is working well. That is what I like about problems, there is almost always a good fix when good minds get together and work it out.
The Chapter Chase is in the books again. Thank you to National Master of Ceremonies, Doug Leach, for getting it all set up. Thank you to Beta Eta for bringing the majority of the travelers. Thank you to all of the Indiana Chapters for your fantastic hospitality. I missed the stops in Peru and Plymouth due to my baseball coaching responsibilities. I apologize to both of those chapters. I was hoping to be able to do the whole chase again this year but a quitter made it impossible.
We did have a third coach this year to help us out. He got his feelings hurt and quit. A week or two later his son quit the team. It just reminded me of something my dad told me years ago, and that was “Winners Never Quit and Quitters Never Win!” That mentality still follows me into all aspects of life.
I know this is also very true when it comes to fraternal matters. If enough of the brothers quit caring about their Chapter it will fail. If there are no new members to take over for the ones that do it all now surely that Chapter will fail. I am not a quitter, sometimes when I really should quit I still continue to battle and try to win. It all comes down to how much you care and appreciate what you are fighting for.
I love our Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity. I will continue to work to better the Fraternity for as long as I draw a breath. I love the brotherhood. I love traveling to other chapters. I love the events and the charities we support. I just can’t see my mentality for success ever changing. How about you? Do you believe in PDK enough to continue to fight the good fight? Do you care enough to step up your game to help your chapter and the fraternity as a whole? I sure hope you do. We need your support. False allegiance is really not acceptable now, is it?
I hope to see many of my brothers and sweethearts in Kokomo for the National Convention in July (17th to the 20th). I am sure Beta Nu will put on a great convention. The convention tells me that it is getting close to my time in the National Officer Chairs to be done. Next month I will convey some of my final thoughts as a National Officer in Phi Delta Kappa. It may be my longest article ever. Then again it just may be tears on the page.
Don’t forget to buy your 20/20 tickets from any National Officer. Some really need to get their allotment of tickets sold. National VP Todd Gullett is our best salesman when it comes to 20/20 tickets. His salesmanship has helped out with all of the SEC members travel expenses over the years. He has made it possible to donate extra money to our National Foundation and St. Jude’s and other charities. Thank you to everyone that buys the 20/20 tickets to help support the SEC brothers, the National Foundation and St. Jude’s. It is people like you that keep the fraternity growing and doing the great work we do.
Until next time remember to tell your loved ones every day that you love them. Hug a brother and get involved. Proud to be a Phi Delta Kappa!
The following is an article from the Kokomo Perspective about PDK brother Jeff Haworth of Beta Nu. It was submitted by National President Bruce Smith.
Spring break started off on the right foot for the local president of AFSCME and his wife as they left for a “bucket list” vacation that began in Las Vegas and was supposed to end with a cruise in the Pacific Ocean.
But when Jeff Haworth suffered a heart attack partway through the vacation, new plans were created for him and Sheila, which included a multi-day stay in an intensive care unit in a hospital in Mexico. “I was scared. I was very scared. I didn’t know if that was the end or what kind of treatment I was going to get,” said Haworth, 55.
The couple began their dream vacation in Las Vegas, visiting with longtime friends, before flying to Long Beach, Calif., to visit with family. From there, they left on a cruise, and everything was going well until two days in. Haworth began feeling ill and was vomiting heavily, but the pair had a catamaran excursion planned that they previously had booked through the tour company Pronatours. Sheila suggested Haworth stay with the ship and skip the excursion, but he wanted to go.
The excursion took the group to an island where Haworth continued vomiting. He began having slight chest pain, he said, but he and Sheila considered that it could be from all the retching. Regardless, Sheila checked with a woman from Pronatours, Lety Gomez, and asked if Haworth could leave with one of the other tour groups that was coming and going, as he wasn’t feeling well, and Sheila would finish out the excursion Another woman with the tour company, Lety Osuna, assured Sheila that they would get him back to the ship. “It never entered my mind that he was having a heart attack,” said Sheila.
On the way back, Haworth told the woman he was with that he thought he was having a heart attack, so she radioed ahead to a harbor doctor in Mazatlán, Mexico, and took him there instead of to the ship. When they arrived, the doctor was waiting on Haworth. He did an EKG and determined that Haworth was, in fact, having a heart attack. He administered nitro and told Haworth that he had to call an ambulance.
Haworth wanted to wait for Sheila, but the doctor told him that if he waited he would die. There were three hospitals in Mazatlán, a city of 750,000 people, and the Haworths said they were fortunate that the closest hospital had the city’s only cardiologists. And it was a state-of-the-art hospital that was only three years old, Hospital Marina Mazatlán.
Around the time Haworth arrived at the hospital, Sheila’s excursion was cut short. She said the tour guides claimed the water was changing and that they needed to head back to the ship. When she arrived back on land, Osuna was waiting for her. She told Sheila that her husband had a heart attack, and they needed to go to the hospital immediately. “I’m bawling. I’m scared to death,” Sheila said.
At the hospital, Sheila found Haworth lying in a hospital bed and described him as looking completely gray. The doctors told her not to talk to him, as they didn’t want him trying to talk back. They explained that Haworth’s main artery was clogged, and he needed a stint. They also needed his insurance card, which was back on the ship.“I’m going, ‘This is crazy.’ I don’t have the insurance card. We didn’t have passports. You don’t need them when you leave and come back through the U.S., so that’s going through my head. I’m saying, ‘Oh my god, how are we going to get out of here?’” she said. However, Osuna arranged for Sheila to get back to the ship to get her belongings and insurance card and assured her that everything would be fine.