CLINTON — The Clinton chapter of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, along with chapters across the United States and Canada, have pledged to raise $25 million for diabetes research.

The funds will be used strictly for diabetes research at the University of Iowa. In turn, UI will establish The Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center in the University of Iowa Institute for Biomedical Discovery Building.

UI has committed $25 million to construction, building materials and ongoing maintenance, according to the FOE.

According to Clinton Eagles Club members Rita Powers and Barbara Garson, the local chapter is planning to hold charity events to raise money in hopes of finding a cure for diabetes.

“More children are getting (diabetes) than ever before,” Garson said. “We are hoping this will help curtail it and solve it.”

According to the American Diabetes Association, 23.6 million people in the United States have diabetes, which is equivalent to 8 percent of the population.

The National Diabetes Fact Sheet indicates that over 180,000 people under the age of 20 were diagnosed with diabetes in the United States in 2007. An estimated 4,000 Americans are diagnosed every day, according to information distributed by FOE.

According to FOE, UI was chosen as the best cultural and opportune partner as it shares a unique vision and passion for diabetes research with FOE. Also, FOE indicated that UI is home to world-class scientists and researchers dedicated to finding cures.

In addition, hundreds of thousands of Eagle members and their families are affected by diabetes, FOE indicated. Diabetes can result in kidney failure, heart disease, blindness, amputations and major health issues.

Both Powers and Garson hope community members will get involved in fund-raising efforts.

Those interested in the project can call FOE 705 at 242-1174 and leave a message including name and phone number. Also, any women interested in membership in the Ladies’ Auxiliary can call Garson at 357-4815.

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