Faces In The Crowd: Tasha Galbraith

March 14, 2019

By Aaron Michell

Tasha Galbraith, secretary for the Marion Eagles FOE 4087, does a little bit of everything for the organization.
She manages the bank accounts; writes the bills; handles licenses and permits; tracks membership accounts; runs payroll; manages food safety and runs the pull-tabs – among other duties.
A jack-of-all-trades, she’s become a familiar face down at the Eagles club.
Galbraith, a ’92 Marion graduate, spent much of her childhood moving from military base to military base along with her father, veteran Paul Bates, and her mother, Karen.
But she always thought fondly of Marion. Her grandparents, Ralph and Rose Bates, lived in town while she was growing up, and they were both a big part of her life.
These days, when Tasha’s not busy at the Eagles, you’ll probably find her spending time with her family in their First Street home, where she and her husband Chris have raised three sons: Alex, John, and Xavier.
We caught up with Tasha at the Eagles Club recently, where we talked about the club and its role in the community. We learned about her hobbies and interests and her family. We learned a lot about Tasha; most importantly, we learned that she’s more than just another face in the crowd.

Left to Right: Donna Quibell, Tasha Galbraith and Paul Bates at the Marion FOE 4087.

Left to Right: Donna Quibell, Tasha Galbraith and Paul Bates at the Marion FOE 4087.

MP: Could you explain to our readers what the Eagles is all about?
Tasha: The Eagles does a lot of stuff in the community. For Christmas, we gave to the Salvation Army, the Kettenun Center; we helped with the library for their Christmas event. We’ve donated for the Mill Pond Project – a thousand-dollar donation for that. Also, we sponsored their raffle for their freezer full of meat. We helped with the snowmobile festival. We’ve given money to the drama club; the Softball/Baseball Association for Marion. We’ve given money to the PTO to help with their playground expense. We’ve been kind of into a lot of [local organizations].

MP: So is the Eagles mostly community based?
Tasha: We try to participate in as much local as we can. People will call and say, ‘Hey, I heard you were the person to talk to.’ And I tell them we’d love to help, let me get something in writing. Everything here goes through our monthly meetings. We read the letters, we read the information out loud. We vote on it. We help wherever we can.

MP: What does it take to become a member?
Tasha: To become a member, there’s an application that you fill out; you pay a $10 application fee. You need two sponsors who are current Eagle members. You complete an interview, and then at one of our meetings we vote, and as soon as you’re voted in, you get a letter from me telling you when to come in and get sworn in. Then you’re a card-carrying member. Once an Eagle, always an Eagle.

MP: And that allows you to go to any Eagles?
Tasha: Absolutely. All you have to do is show your membership card and you can get into any Eagles in the country, which is awesome. And you want to talk about some friendly folks!? You walk into the door, and they’re like: ‘Oh which club are you from? Where’s that? What’s that like?! What kind of stuff do you guys do there?’ They’re very welcoming. Matter of fact, they have bus trips – mystery trips, they call it – and they get on a bus and hit different Eagles clubs, and they’ll be gone all day. They’ll leave here at 9 in the morning and get back at 8 o’clock at night. And they’ll go to seven or eight different Eagles clubs, and some of them will have signs up: Welcome 4087! They’ll have buffets set up for them. It’s really awesome.

MP: What all do you offer your members?
Tasha: We do karaoke. We have live bands in here sometimes. We have a lot of dinners; some really fantastic dinners. Last year we had dinner and a show. Jake Slater was here, the Elvis impersonator, and he put on a fantastic show. We filled our entire banquet room – they had to pull out more chairs and tables. It was packed. Jack Nehmer organized most of that.

MP: Are you from Marion originally?
Tasha: I was born in Flint, but my dad was in the military. My grandpa and grandma, Rose and Ralph Bates, actually lived in Marion. They were real active with the VFW – my grandpa was also a veteran. And they were into a bunch of stuff. They used to do bingo at the VFW. There’s a great group of guys over there [at the VFW]. None of them are spring chickens, but man, you want to talk about some people who get out there and get it done… I mean, you call them, and they’re like: ‘Yep, we’ll be there in an hour.’

MP: How’d you make your way back to Marion?
Tasha: This is where my mom and dad came back to after he got out of the military. They bought the house here when he left the military to be close to my grandma. Wanted to be close to her and help her out with things.
I just kind of fell in love with the town. It’s a nice community; really great people here. There’s just some awesome folks in this town.

MP: What year was that?
Tasha: I think it was ’92 when I moved back. I was here for my senior year in high school, and I graduated from Marion. We did live here for a few months – my dad got stationed in Germany and he was waiting for housing – during my freshman year in high school.
He was in Desert Storm, and he got out of the military after that, and we settled back down here. We actually lived on Pine Street the first time we lived here; now we live on First Street.

MP: Where else have you lived?
Tasha: I lived in Lucas for a couple of months. I was in McBain for a couple of months, and we were looking for a place and we ended up back here again. Which was awesome; I was thrilled with it. I actually got married at the VFW hall and had my reception there – and at the time I lived on First Street.

MP: Tell us about your family.
Tasha: Married to Christopher, and he’s originally from McBain. He was in the Marine Corps for six years before I met him. We have three kids: Alex, John, and Xavier. Two already graduated and one is still in school. They all went to Marion.

MP: And we’ve heard that you have a cleaning business as well?
Tasha: I don’t do as much as I used to, because I’ve had some health stuff come up recently. I still do housekeeping for a couple of people; I just finished doing the spring cleaning at the VFW. I clean carpets – pretty much a little bit of everything. I’ve cleaned bank repos, helped with firewood, driven people to doctors appointments.
I look at it every morning and I go: ‘Okay, what can I do today that’s going to put a little more money in my pocket than I had when I got up this morning.’

MP: That’s a good attitude to have.
Tasha: And it may not be huge stuff, it might be just a little bit here and there.

MP: So you’re kind of a jack-of-all trades?
Tasha: I know a little bit about a lot of stuff, but I’m not an expert on any of it – there’s always somebody who knows more than me. One of my favorite things to do is go, ‘Okay, let me pick your brain. Because you know more than I do about this.’ I know doggone well that I don’t know everything about anything.

MP: What do you enjoy doing for fun?
Tasha: When we’re not working, we like to go to the lake in the summertime. We like to have picnics. We like to spend time outside. In my spare time, when it’s like this [snowing] outside, I like to read. I’m an avid reader. I love to read. My tablet broke, so lately I’ve been reading off my phone – I have 400 books in my library on my phone. I read mysteries, thrillers, paranormal stuff. I love Stephen King; Dean Koontz is good too. I love to read pretty much anything I can get my hands on.

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