The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) at the Rathbun Lodge in Quincy, IL remains rooted in the tradition of charitable contributions. For many years, bingo has been held at the lodge every Wednesday for the community to enjoy. The IOOF Hall in Quincy even has a stair-lift for those who need assistance to reach the upper hall. Bingo has become a habit for those who attend and participants enjoy a variety of games including Hot Ball, winner-take-all, regulars, specials and Bingo Ball Bull Tabs. The money that is raised from these games is donated to the local community as well as to national and international charities.
Local Charities Supported by the IOOF Bingo
One local charity that receives support from the IOOF bingo games works to provide medical equipment for patients in their homes. Some of the equipment includes crutches, canes, shower chairs and hospital beds. The IOOF also supports the Quincy Library, Educational Foundation and the Quincy Little League. The IOOF also donates to the Branch Interfaith Hospitality Networ and provides scholarships to children to attend the Tall Oaks Camp in Baldwin. Those at the IOOF say that they wish to make the world a better place and leave an imprint on future generations.
National and International Charities Supported by the IOOF Bingo
One of the national charities that are supported by the IOOF is Johns Hopkins Hospital for eye research. The IOOF is also the biggest fraternal contributor to the National Arthritis Foundation. The IOOF has also made it possible for teenagers to participate in the United Nations Pilgrimage that tours to Washington D.C., New York and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Another charity that is supported by the IOOF is the SOS Village, an orphanage that provides shelter and food to children in Cambodia. The IOOF also lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery along with members of all the branches in the United States Military every 1st Sunday in May. In addition, the IOOF was given an award for its float that was featured in the Rose Bowl Parade.
History of the IOOF
The American Independent Order of Odd Fellows was founded in 1819 when the Manchester Unity of Odd Fellows in England gave it a charter. The name of this organization stems from the ‘odd’ behaviour of charity towards other people – a rare phenomenon when it was founded. The IOOF emblem of a linked chain represents the organization’s motto – love, trust and friendship.
The IOOF in Quincy was given a charter on January 2nd, 1892 and the chain links are proudly displayed on the outside of the building. In 1933, the Rathbun Lodge received its charter and the headquarters of the Quincy IOOF have remained there ever since. There have been many famous people who were part of the IOOF including Wyatt Earp, Charles Lindbergh, Charlie Chaplin and United States presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Rutherford Hayes and Warren Harding. There are many volunteers and contributors that make bingo at the IOOF possible, including volunteers to call bingo numbers, prepare food for guests and who work the floor during bingo games.