City man leads Eagles in raising $25 million for diabetes research

VERGENNES / IOWA CITY, Iowa — Vergennes resident Tom McGrath was proud last week of the efforts of the local Fraternal Order of Eagles and of all members of the international philanthropic organization for taking a major step toward stamping out the dreaded disease diabetes.
After six years of fundraising and development, the Eagles officially opened the doors of The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center, or FOE DRC,  with a special dedication ceremony on Aug. 23 near the University of Iowa College of Medicine, which houses the research center.
Research efforts within the FOE DRC are supported by a $25 million gift from the Eagles — the largest in the organization’s 116-year history.
“The time is right to stand up and help put an end to the diabetes epidemic that’s plaguing our country,” said McGrath, who is FOE DRC co-director and the current Eagles grand trustee. “Our organization was built on the backs of men and women who stood at the forefront of societal change, unwilling to back down. The FOE DRC is our way of honoring those individuals and making an impact in the world of medical research that will live on for generations.”
The center, located at the University of Iowa’s Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building, is a state-of-the-art facility featuring 20,000 square feet of advanced research space with cutting-edge medical equipment. The FOE DRC’s team of 100 researchers will pursue innovative diabetes research studies and develop new preventative techniques and treatments in their effort to cure the epidemic currently affecting more than 9 percent of the American population (nearly one in 12 people).
Research efforts funded by the FOE DRC are currently under way on the university’s medical campus and will be united within the new center upon its official opening later this year.
The Eagles have more than 1,600 aeries and auxiliaries throughout the United States and Canada.

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