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

National President’s Message – November 2019

Hello brothers and sisters,
First of all I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.  This is the time of year to gather with family and friends and enjoy some great food and make memories.
Christina and I made the trip to Danville for their Annual Hog Roast on July 28th.  As we walked up to the Chapter house,  I happened to run into Brother Marty Eckert pushing carts of roasted pork towards the kitchen.  I spoke to him for a minute and then proceeded to the fire pit to talk to the other cooks.  Brother Gary Cameron was there along with new Brother Tim Franklin.  I was told by Gary that Brother Franklin and Brother Coats had built the whole smoker.  It looks great!  Awesome job Brothers.
We hung around for awhile talking with the PDK family before chowing down on a super meal.  Following the meal it was time for some Pig Racing.  It was fun listening to some of the pigs names and the commentary from Brother Bill Eddy.  He kept it interesting to say the least.  Following the pig races, the band was ready to get this party started!  They sounded great and did an outstanding job again.
In closing, remember that November 11th is Veterans Day.  Please take a minute to remember the people that have served this great country.  I am proud to say that I am a Veteran of the US Army.  God bless our troops!
I still have 20/20 tickets for sale.  Get them now so you will not miss any of the chances to win cash.
Proud to be a Phi Delt,
Todd Gullett
National President




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.

My Last Article as a National Officer – Bruce Smith, National President 2018-19

Hello Brothers and Sweethearts!

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!

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.