Phi Delta Kappa Celebrates Centennial

Phi Delta Kappa Celebrates Centennial

This New Year’s Day the brothers of Gamma Theta Chapter mark the one hundredth anniversary of their founding charter, issued to the original local membership on January 1, 1920, by the then young and growing Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity. Founded in Marion, Indiana in 1902, Phi Delta Kappa was established by seven young men with the shared vision of, “a Brotherhood of business and professional men, conceived in fellowship, based on ethics and faith in the Supreme Being, and dedicated to the preservation and perpetuation of the American Way of Life.”   The national fraternity now has over nine hundred members spread among eleven chapters, located in Indiana, Florida and Mississippi.

While few organizations can match the “Phi Delts” at being quintessentially “Danville”, the original chapter house was actually located in Clayton, moving to the first of several Danville locations later that decade. The current home of Gamma Theta, acquired and built in 1964, features of sixty-six hundred square foot chapter house which includes a community room, commercial kitchen, bar room and rec room set on three beautifully wooded acres with outdoor cooking facilities and a playground for the kids and grandkids.

From its beginning a century ago, Danville’s Phi Delt membership has included a broad cross section of local businessmen, civic and agricultural leaders, professional men and hundreds of hard-working men who have wanted to give back to their community. The current roster numbers one hundred eighty-two and includes several third-generation members as well as twenty-two new initiates from just the last year.

The membership, along with their Sweethearts, families and guests enjoy a full schedule of club activities including regular Friday night dinners, bi-weekly steak dinners, golf outings, cooking contests, holiday events, formal dinner-dances and several national fraternity events. Philanthropic efforts include the Relay for Life, Sheltering Wings, Family Promise and six annual college scholarships.

A Grand Centennial Celebration is planned for this June to usher in the next century of good works, brotherhood and fellowship at the Gamma Theta Chapter of the Phi Delta Kappa Fraternity, here in the community we’ve been proud to serve for the past one hundred years.

National President’s Message – December 2019

Hello brothers and sisters,
Merry Christmas and Happy New year to you and your family.  Let’s not forget the reason for the season.  Christmas is to remember the birth of Jesus Christ.  May he bless you.
Butch, Larry and I made the trip to Florida for the Fall SEC meeting on October 4-6th.  Brother Joe and Kelly were at the airport to pick us up and let us use their car for the weekend.  We really appreciate you guys doing that for us.  Thanks again.  Thanks to Florida Nu for the beach party on Friday and the Swampfest on Saturday.  We had a great meal of gator tail, frog legs, catfish nuggets and chicken.  Everything was delicious.  Thanks to the brothers and sisters for their hard work and hospitality.
Brother’s Butch Rhonemus, Larry Detro and I, along with 4 other brothers, made the trip to Kokomo for initiation on October 21st.  Kokomo helped, Delta Nu Plymouth, bring in 3 new brother’s.  Congratulations to Brother’s Trump, Johnson and Martin on being Phi Delta Kappa’s newest members.
Brother Butch and myself are heading to Mississippi for the Chili Cook-off November 9th.  We look forward to seeing all our Mississippi family.  The weather there should be a little warmer than Indiana.  It is supposed to be a high in the lower 30’s all week.
If you haven’t bought 20/20 tickets, now would be the time.  Early bird drawings begin this month.  Get in contact with me and I will hook you up.
Proud to be a Phi Delt.
National President
Todd Gullett

PHI DELTA KAPPA FRATERNITY – BETA ETA CHAPTER ‘The Best Kept Secret in Winchester?’

 

 

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.

Northern Chapter Chase – Larry Detro, Jr

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.

Thank you to all the Phi Delt chapters.

Am I Really Almost Done? – Bruce Smith, National President

Hello Brothers and Sweethearts!

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!