By Richard Wholf
Special to The SUN
Pagosa resident Patsy Troutner was thrilled to be the first recipient of the new “Star of the Year” award. She received the award at the 127th annual session of The Grand Chapter of Colorado, Order of the Eastern Star (OES), held Sept. 19-21 in Aurora, Colo.
Troutner was recognized by the Worthy Grand Matron Lydia Wingate and Worthy Grand Patron Mike Brewer for her outstanding leadership in organizing and inspiring men and women to establish a new Eastern Star Chapter in Pagosa Springs.
More than 240 representatives of the 4,600 Colorado OES members gave Troutner a standing ovation during Saturday’s administrative session. The last Pagosa OES chapter ceased to exist about 20 years ago. In addition, the Pagosa chapter, Peace and Harmony No. 158, is the first new OES chapter in Colorado in over 16 years.
Troutner said, “I did not do this by myself. I feel that the award is recognition of all the Peace and Harmony Chapter members, their hard work and dedication. They worked very hard to meet all the requirements for the chapter to be instituted under dispensation and then receive its charter.”
OES is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women may belong. Worldwide, there are currently more than 1.2 million members under the General Grand Chapter. It is believed to be the fastest-growing fraternal organization in the world.
From the website of the OES Colorado: “Although not a part of the Masonic fraternity, membership is based on a Masonic affiliation or relationship, a belief in a Supreme Being, and a desire to acquire additional knowledge and self improvement. While this is an Order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, it is open to all faiths, except no faith …
“The degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star teach lessons of fidelity, constancy, loyalty, faith and love … and build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness. The stated purposes of the organization are: Charitable, Educational, Fraternal, and Scientific.”
The Grand Chapter of Colorado supports the statewide community though the collection of stuffed animals for traumatized children, annual youth scholarships, young women’s organizations such as Job’s Daughters, the Order of Rainbow for Girls, along with DeMolay for Boys. Collectively, millions of dollars are raised by OES members throughout the General Grand Chapter for its various charities each triennium. Colorado OES supports Service Dogs.
The Eastern Star is also a social organization with frequent formal events and ceremonies. Being a member is a wonderful and fulfilling way of life. If this sounds interesting to you, or for more information, contact: Troutner at (505) 927-9182, Gayle Hawkins at 731-2028 or Donna Kummer at 946-8201.