Oct 312010

Thanks to Mary Annis, Valley Grange Community Service Chair for this tip!

Here’s an idea for an easy Community Service Project! All you have to do is collect Yoplait Yogurt container covers (well, you also should eat the yogurt) from now until December 31, 2010. Each cover is worth a ten cent donation!

Save lids to save lives!

For every pink lid you send by December 31, 2010 Yoplait? will donate 10 cents to Susan G. Komen for the Cure?, now up to $1.6 million. And we guarantee a donation of at least $500,000.

?For complete information regarding this opportunity visit the Yoplait Website… and if you decide to do this as a project let us know how many lids you collect!

Oct 312010

Ramblers entertain at Bangor Grange

The Ramblers put on an awesome performance at Bangor Grange in October. The Ramblers had the 55 folks attending right on the edge of their seats,?enjoying their music?and repartee. Delicious homemade goodies were served during the intermission. They are scheduled to come back again in April.

Bangor Grange continues to develop a successful music program… check the events page or visit their website for more information!

Oct 312010

Keep those cards and letters comin’ in!

Here’s an exciting number: In the past 24 hours there have been 117 visits to the site!?A question you might want to ask yourself: Did those visitors see your grange’s news and information?

All it takes is an email… please use the webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)   address or the “submit information” tab at the top of the site. Both have been tested and are working fine… remember to include all the details–including a person (with phone number or email address) to contact for more information.

I’ve added the “recently posted” section to the right above events because of the current volume of posts. This will allow folks a quick look at headlines. You can either click on the posts of interest or simply scroll down the page. I’ve also added a page for “Farmer’s Markets”? since these seem to be an increasingly popular grange project.

If you visit the “documents” section and look at the program books page, you’ll discover I added the “Adopt a Platoon” information as a program book. If your committee is completing a special project that includes special information or forms you might consider sending along an information packet that can be posted. One of the bigger challenges we face with a website is keeping the information organized… this could help!

I attended Penobscot Pomona’s meeting last night (story coming about that) and was introduced as the “webmaster.” As I sat?at the Steward’s Station and gazed at the photo of Oliver Kelley on the wall I couldn’t help but wonder what our forefathers would think of that title–not to mention some of the tools we have now. Would they consider this progress?

Speaking of progress, it feels like we’ve reached a stage where there won’t be too many major changes to the site for a while. That means we can concentrate on packing it with information and “tweaking” some of the organization and appearance.

Let me also remind you that if your grange has a website or Facebook page, send me the address… we’d love to link to it and give visitors a way to get to your most current information. With approximately 150 granges in the state… if each meets an average of once per month… that’s (wow!) nearly 2,000 grange meetings every year–plus Pomona meetings and special meetings! That’s lots of opportunities, but it’s also a lot to keep track of!

Hmmm… is that a contest idea? Who attended the most grange meetings in a month… year…?

Oct 312010

From the Youth/Junior Newsletter:

This year the Youth and Junior Departments have adopted a platoon of Army soldiers stationed in Afghanistan. We have 33 soldiers all together; 3 are women. They are combat engineers and are on constant missions. Thy have no stores and are in poor conditions (to say the least). They have running non-potable water and their power is 110V. We are asked to send them weekly letters and to send a care package at least once a month. Please won’t you and your Grange help us with this very worthwhile project? Write letters and send them to Sue Hackett, 441 River Road, Bowdoinham ME 04008 and I will forward them once a week. I have an address to send letters and packages to but cannot give it out for security reasons.

Here is a complete Adopt a Platoon Program?including a list of ?items acceptable for sending!

Oct 312010

Beginning Saturday, November 6, The Farmington Farmers’ Market will be back in the Farmington Grange! Farmers, bakers, and crafters will have fresh veggies, beef/pork, baked goods, honey/honey products, fiber products. preserves such as jam, jelly and pickles!? This is an on going market right through April 30th!? Please come and check out the market, visit with Farmington Grange Members, (many of whom sell at the market!) and see the work that has been taking place at the grange hall!? We’d love to see you!

Oct 302010

After several days in operation… a few changes:

Oops! In my exuberance I’d managed to post last year’s CWA program book. I’ve now removed it. You’ll find this year’s CWA information in the 2010-11 Program Handbook.

The email list of state officers I created is now discontinued after one final mailing. All future ?information will be processed from the site!

As a reminder, you subscribe here on the site by entering your email address in the box at the top center–not by sending me an email. When you click “subscribe” a window will open asking you to enter letters that appear. This is called “captcha” and helps prevent spam.? There is a final step required: you’ll receive a verification email requiring you to click a link. This is to avoid other people being able to subscribe you to sites you aren’t interested in!

One new feature and clarification… just because of the potential volume, I’m asking (at least for now) that events be limited to “special programs” so we aren’t posting every single meeting.? I have, however, added a downloadable list of ?Pomona Meetings?since their locations change. In order to get your Pomona on the list I need dates and locations for all your meetings… ask your Pomona Lecturer to send them along.

Isn’t this fun!?

Oct 242010

If your grange is planning a meal for hunters you need to read this excerpt from a recent John Holyoke column in the Bangor Daily News! Get yourself some publicity!

Where’s breakfast?

If your organization is holding a hunter’s breakfast this season — or any kind of hunter’s meal — we want to let readers know about it.

And we can’t do that if you don’t get in touch.

Over the past few days our food file has begun to fill up, which is encouraging. Still, I’m sure there are a lot more meals that we’ve heard nothing about. That’s not good for your organization, and it’s not good for hungry hunters.

So, get in touch. Include the important details like menu, hours of operation, location and admission fee, and we’ll do the rest.

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. And so are the hunters.

?And here’s where you send the information: jholyokeatbangordailynewsdotcom  (jholyokeatbangordailynewsdotcom)  . I’m thinking you’ll have to “hop to it” and consider lead times… I wouldn’t send something happening in less than a week or two.

Oct 232010

The following article is based on a recent press release… view the WABI TV Five News Coverage!

“You can look it up!” becomes the answer to many of the questions third graders have when they have their own dictionaries. Students from Piscataquis Elementary School in Guilford and SeDoMoCha in Dover Foxcroft can do just that after recently traveling to the Valley Grange Hall in Guilford for some lessons in history and to receive their own dictionary.

For the past seven years Valley Grange members have been providing dictionaries to third graders in southern Piscataquis County. The local program is part of a nation-wide effort driven by the Dictionary Project—a non-profit organization based in South Carolina with a goal of assisting all students in completing the school year as good writers, active readers and creative thinkers by providing students with their own personal dictionary

Noting that Valley Grange has expanded the program to now include three districts, Valley Grange Master Jim Annis said, “This has been a fantastic program for us as an organization. It’s got us involved with the children and the schools where we can truly feel we are making a difference and have a lot of fun doing it!”

Program Director Walter Boomsma agrees and says “I never get tired of these kids’ enthusiasm. They just love the idea of having their own dictionary and in the program we do with them we try to get them to understand that they can own not only the dictionary but also all the words in it!”

An added treat for the visiting students was Sergeant Eric Boothroyd, a civil war re-enactor from Dover Foxcroft. The Sergeant provides a bit of a history lesson and entertainment. He sets the stage for the students to understand how the Grange came into being shortly after the war and continues to be an organization about “people helping each other and the community.”

Boomsma estimates that Valley Grange will distribute around 180 dictionaries this year after traveling to Lagrange, Milo, and Brownville in November. Parents of homeschooled children are urged to contact their local school or the Grange. Extra dictionaries are also available for children moving into the area. For additional information about the “Words for Thirds” program visit the Valley Grange website at http://valleygrange.wordpress.com. You can look it up!

Oct 182010

This is hard! Grangers try to figure out what color they are.

Representatives from Garland, Ammadamast, Bangor, and?Valley Grange met Friday at Valley Grange in Guilford… ‘twas a dark and stormy night but that didn’t stop folks! Those?braved the elements were treated to witnessing the obligation of Valley Grange’s two newest members—Vic and Cheryl Morin… an overview of the Valley Grange Bookworm Program… and a stirring program by Rick Grotton, Maine State Grange Co-Director of Membership. In addition to putting attendees through the paces of self-assessment, Rick provided some updates on the activities of the State Membership Committee and the four primary challenges we face: retention, positive attitudes, keeping focused on the good of the order, and welcoming people into the Grange Family.

Rick also?mentioned attending a leadership conference during which he and his team were “forced” to stand in front of Wal-mart and stop people to talk about the Grange. Now there’s an idea for recruiting! Rick challenged Valley’s newest members to “listen to the charges when you receive your degrees” and “consider why our forefathers began this organization.” He noted that two questions we should each keep asking ourselves is “How am I going to grow in my Grange?” and “How am I going to grow my Grange?”

??????????????? “What color are you and your grange?” is a program available to granges who are interested in working more effectively as a team and family. Contact Brother Rick  (RICTIataoldotcom?subject=Membership)   if you are one of those granges!

Oct 172010

Garland Grange #76 reports that the recent corned beef and cabbage?public supper?they held in October was probably “the most successful supper in recent history.” The numbers only tell part of the story, but they served over 160 paying customers, generated a gross profit of over $900 and a net profit of around $600. The hall was filled to seating capacity by 5:15 and a line wound around the tables waiting to be served… a glance outside revealed every semi-level parking surface had cars parked on it!

The crew was a bit unprepared as there they were still recovering from the Piscataquis ?Pomona meeting they’d hosted the?night before. The “crew,” by the way consisted of only four Grangers. So they didn’t have much help, but thanks to a minor miracle they did have enough food!

But wait, there’s even more! With all the challenges… as if to test their determination… fate saw to it that the power went off at the Grange Hall twice during the day of the supper! Preparations were a bit explosive when? a butane lighter go too close to the stove… so there really was “never a dull moment!”

When Andrea Rollins shared this story she said she thought she should report “what determination and persistence can create.” We agree! A big “atta boy” goes to Garland Master Bill Bemis who was back at the Grange Hall the very next morning cooking again for the craft fair… where they added a few more dollars to the pot selling “leftovers” and hotdogs! Go Garland! The next time we are tempted to think our Granges can’t do something, we might want to think about Garland Grange Gusto!