2017 Fraternalist of the Year: Diane Bradley

2017 Fraternalist of the Year: Diane Bradley

Nov 06, 2017

Diane Bradley has been an active member of Western for over 60 years with Michigan No. 225 (Bannister, MI), as well as regularly participating in other lodge and community events.

bradley-foty-official.jpg diane-with-frame.jpg

Don Nieland presented Diane Bradley with a clock to recognize her as the Fraternalist of the Year. Her husband Tom Bradley is photographed to the left.

Diane and her husband Tom Bradley. (Diane Bradley is 2017's Fraternalist of the Year. Her husband, Tom Bradley, was Fraternalist of the Year in 1985.)


Every year, Western Fraternal Life has the privilege of selecting a Fraternalist of the Year. This is someone who has exhibited leadership within the society, has served others, and been innovative. This year, there were many entries to choose from. From those entries, Western is proud to announce that Diane Bradley has been chosen as the 2017 Fraternalist of the Year.

Bradley has demonstrated her leadership skills on many occasions. Her lodge leadership roles include: chairman of the Mid-Winter Break Jamboree, chair of the formal program honoring 50 and 75-year members, chair of the casino bus trip, co-chair of the joint blood drive with Ashley High School Honor Society, chairman of hospice activity with youth and adults on Join Hands Day, program chair for the Christmas party, worker for the lodge booth at the fall dinner and bazaar, and assistant for the YELL! group on their project for youth in foster care. She is also the leader of the Bannister ZCBJ Czechoslovakian Folk Dancers, member of Delta Kappa Gamma, worker and program chairman for the Czechoslovak Harvest Festival, and worker at the Ashley Community Christmas.

"Diane Bradley is an asset, not only to her lodge, but the community as a whole."

As an example of her service to others, Bradley worked with fellow member Joanne Fornusek to create a session for a reading program at a local library. Fornusek researched and provided stories while Bradley prepared the craft. Five YELL! members also helped with the craft and did gymnastics demonstrations.

As a member of St. Cyril's Catholic Church, Diane sings in the choir. She is a member of the Alter Society and helps with funeral dinners and rummage sales. She is also a church money-counter and greeter. Her enjoyment of sewing regularly keeps her making items for the needy and charitable organizations. Bradley also shares her passion for sewing with others who want to do it. On Join Hands Day, her lodge made 198 clothing protectors, 118 neck pillows, 122 catheter bag covers, 155 hand pillows, and 25 ladies shawls for Great Lakes Caring Hospice. She contacts them every year to see which items the hospice needs. These are just a few examples of how she contributes to her local community.

As an innovator, Bradley helped start the Bannister ZCBJ Czechoslovakian Folk Dancers in 1976. As a leader, she has collected music, organized recordings, and arranged for a musician to accompany the dancers. While most dances are original Bohemian, Slovak, or Moravian, a few were choreographed by Bradley. Participating in the dance group is not restricted to lodge members, but some do decide to also become members after they enjoy the dances.

Throughout the year she writes grants, seeks donations, and organizes groups of people. She is an asset not only to her lodge, but the community as a whole.

During Bannister's Harvest Festival on August 6, Vice President of IT and Secretary Don Nieland surprised Bradley with the Fraternalist of the Year award, an engraved clock.

Western Fraternal Life thanks and credits Sally Stoll, Vice President of No. 225, for nominating Diane Bradley and providing this and much more information with her nomination.

Category: Member Benefits

Cindy Motsinger

Communications Coordinator

Related News

2018 Fraternalist of the Year Mary Haggerty

Every year, Western Fraternal Life has the privilege of selecting a Fraternalist of the Year. This is someone who has exhibited…

2014 Fraternalist of the Year: JoAnn Parks

Learn all about our very deserving Fraternalist of the year, JoAnn Parks!

2018 Minnesota Scholarship Fund Recipients

Call 877-935-2467 to speak with a Western Fraternal Life Representative.