Jim Maxwell

Roslyn Eagles President Jim Maxwell has helped transform the club’s building on North Second Street. A benefit is planned Saturday for Maxwell, who has been battling health issues.

ROSLYN — He’s done two stints, a total of 10 years, as president of the Roslyn Eagles No. 696 and Jim Maxwell makes no bones about it. He’s proud to be a member of the social club which began in 1904 and equally proud of the hall it has occupied in a historic building on North Second Street in Roslyn since 1959.

Members say there’s good reason.

“If it weren’t for Jim Maxwell and the time and effort he puts in here this place would have been gone a long time ago,” says Braven Bendzak, an officer of the Ronald-Roslyn-Cle Elum Heritage Club.

“Jim has totally transformed this place from a dark dungeon to what you see now,” says member Linda Ringer as she surveyed the social room in the club’s hall at 107 N. Second St., Roslyn.

Gone is the dark wood paneling that once dominated the room’s walls although doors are still framed in dark wood for accent.

The ceiling has been lowered to help lower heating costs. Maxwell says his regret that lowering the ceiling meant the high stamped tin ceiling is no longer visible. There’s more natural lighting and walls with light paint. Small single-paned windows have been replaced by custom made triple-paned windows, wood framed and designed to look like the original ones.

Rundown siding on the building’s front has been replaced by cedar shingles.

To add a special touch, members Gus and Trish Hellthaler designed and created a three dimensional eagle in the shingles. Not everyone notices it at first glance, but when they do, it gets raves.

“It’s subtle. It’s classy,” Maxwell says with clear pride.

He’s also proud of the club’s beer garden, created at the rear of the building in space that once was used only for parking. “I’ve got the biggest flat-top grill up here in Upper County,” he boasts with a grin and members say the barbecues he organizes have become popular events.

None of this happened without clear intent.

Maxwell, a former West Side resident who retired as vice president of a computer company, lives in South Cle Elum. He joined the Cle Elum Eagles in 1988, then transferred to the Roslyn club in 1996. “It’s smaller, a little more intimate. It was just a better fit for me,” he says.

“I’ve always had an agenda for this club. My goal was to leave it better than I found it,” he says.

When he became president for the first time in 2001, he was still working.

“I’d come here at 7 o’clock at night in my suit and stain boards and hang sheet rock,” he says.

His efforts weren’t just confined to improving the club’s meeting hall. Under his leadership, a not-for-profit organization, Upper County Tots and Seniors, was formed that for seven years provided toys for children during the holidays and help for low-income seniors struggling to afford basics like heating fuel.

Jeff Hadfield, one of the club’s younger members, serves on the club’s board of trustees and says Maxwell has been “a driving force for a lot of things that have happened with this club. He’s done more than is required of his role as president.”

Hadfield said the good thing is that while Maxwell is stepping down as president he’ll assume a roll as a trustee “so he’ll continue to have an influence here.”

The club now counts 535 members of its Aerie and 220 auxiliary members. Hadfield said an influx of new people in the Upper County is bringing new members of the club. “It’s primarily younger members who are joining,” he says.

FUNDRAISER

As Maxwell prepares to step aside, he’s also getting ready for a special event.

He’s been battling health issues since January. Friends have established a benefit account for him at Cashmere Valley Bank and set up a Go Fund Me account to help with medical costs. Now they’re planning a fundraiser May 5 at the Roslyn Eagles. (The event is not sponsored by the Eagles.)

A friend donated $2,700 worth of wagyu prime rib for the dinner which will be cooked by two friends of Maxwell’s who are professional chefs and will feature smoked wagyu prime rib, herbed roasted red potatoes, fresh basil and mint cherry tomato salad, rolls and cake. Two seatings are scheduled, the first from at 5 p.m. and the second at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and all proceeds will benefit Maxwell.

For information, call 509-649-3525.

Comments

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.