I, too, suspected that something was up when melissasutton made a point of telling us we had to be there or else. I was quite touched to be honored in that way, however: the Order of the Eagle, I'm told, is for sponsors and exceptional patrons who have made significant contributions to the Siouxland Renaissance Association, and Paul and I are the first individuals to be so honored. (The previous two recipients are major corporate sponsors.)
I'm happy that we were able to help the SRA when it needed it. Paul and I can't contribute much in the way of volunteer effort to the organization, due to our distance from Sioux Falls, but we both feel that the SRA is doing good work, and the faire deserves to keep going; if we can help out in some way, we will. We are fortunate to have the resources available, and can't think of many better ways to use them. The faire is well run, and that extends to the SRA as well. The problems that they had after the mudfest were not due to mismanagement; we have no doubts that our contributions are, and will continue to be, well used. I hope that similar assistance won't be needed in the future; if it is, however, and we are able to help again, we will.
There are those who would say "so what? The Order of the Eagle, and 50 cents, will get you a cup of coffee." To them I would simply reply "Nuts!" It means a lot to us. I'm not fully able to put down in words just how much, or why.