Degree of Pocahontas warms hearts and stomachs with Valentine brunch

Feb 11, 2024

Love was in the air on Sunday, Feb. 11, as the Wareham council of the Degree of Pocahontas held its annual Valentine brunch. 

The Degree of Pocahontas has held the event annually for the past 25 to 30 years, said member Patti Zimmerman. Zimmerman said she was involved in organizing the past decade of events. 

"It's a beautiful breakfast," said Zimmerman, who added that they served 80 to 100 breakfasts that morning. 

The Degree of Pocahontas is the women's auxiliary organization to the Order of Red Men, itself America's oldest chartered fraternal organization. The members of the Degree of Pocahontas, together with members of the Red Men, donated food and brought homemade bread for the event.

In addition to food, the brunch had raffles and scratch tickets available to attendees. 

The proceeds from the brunch — and from the organization's other annual event, a chicken barbeque held in September — go to support students. The Degree of Pocahontas funds two to three college scholarships each year. 

"We do all this to raise money to give it away," said Barbara Donahue, a Degree of Pocahontas member and Zimmerman's sister. "It's a family.” 

For Zimmerman and Donahue, the Degree of Pocahontas is a family organization in a specific sense as well as in a general sense. Their mother, Nancy Zimmerman, participated on the state level, and they joined to see what she did with the organization. 

Zimmerman said she has spent time traveling around the country, doing work with the national organization, including laying wreaths at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. She hasn't yet gotten all of the younger generation of family members to join, "but we try to get them to," she said.