Sep 292011

Guilford –Valley Grange of Guilford and Penquis have again joined hands to create a fundraiser where everybody wins. Organizers were encouraged by the success of an Italian Buffet in August that raised some $850 in support of the Smart Starts for Students Project. This time the organizations are putting together a Fall Harvest Supper to benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund.

Walter Boomsma, Program Director for Valley Grange said there was very little not to be excited about. “We learned some lessons from the last supper… the most important ones included the fact that our organizations know how to collaborate and create energy!” Boomsma believes the events work for a number of reasons: the fact that kids in the area are the ultimate beneficiaries and the meals are an incredible bargain.

Sheree Brown of Penquis agrees. “Everybody works hard but we have fun and the community really comes together in a special way. We have lots of cooks, servers, and other helpers—including the people who just come and eat!” In keeping with the harvest theme, the October event will feature locally grown produce. Brown recently met with the Maine Highlands Farmers group and walked away with pledges of potatoes, squash, and apples. Since granges are well-known for their baking prowess, Valley Grange members and friends will be furnishing home-baked pies for dessert.

The goal of the Piscataquis Santa Fund is to ensure that all our kids in the area have a Merry Christmas by making warm clothing and a toy or two possible for families who can use a little help. Last year over 450 kids were served throughout the area.

The supper will be served on Saturday, October 22nd from 5 PM until 7 PM—or until the food runs out! The organizations are asking for a minimum $6 donation from adults, $3 for kids from 5 – 12 and under 5 can eat free. The Valley Grange Hall is located on the corner of Butter Street and Guilford Center Road in Guilford.

Farmers and gardeners who would like to help by providing produce can call Sheree Brown at 564-7116 or visit the Valley Grange website?for a list of needs and to check out the menu.

Sep 292011
Photo by G. Ryder

Androscoggin Pomona Grange recently held a Degree Day at Winthrop Grange where nine candidates received their four degrees.

? New grange members are as follows:?

Front Row – Thelma Quimby, Danville Jct.; Peter Bohman, Winthrop; Betty Edson, Winthrop; and Kevin Leavitt, Winthrop.

Back Row – Anne Farrington, Danville Jct.; James Currier, Winthrop; Jennifer Currier, Winthrop; Beth Miller, Danville Jct.; and Burt Miller, Danville Jct.

Sep 292011

Submitted by William Guptill

Earlier this month Brother Frank Reynolds of Harvest Home Grange #52 Brooks Maine, took a fall. He is not doing well and it does not look like he is going to recover from this fall. So if all grange members could take the time to send a card his way to say hi. I am sure he would really like this. His address is Frank Reynolds, 71 Reynolds Road, Brooks Maine 04921. Frank is also one of our oldest Grange members.

Sep 262011
Words from Walter…

Welcome to a busy time of year… and it seems even busier as more granges are submitting their events to the site! That’s good news, but it brings with it some challenges and the need for a couple of reminders. Please make sure you submit all the information regarding your event. I know it’s easy to forget a detail. So before you press the “submit” button, read your entry as though you knew nothing about?your grange. You may realize you haven’t told readers where your grange is located… how they can get more information… and watch out for “grange lingo.” The public doesn’t always realize what some of the terms mean! I do try to edit, but it slows me down!

?Another?bit of good news?is that more people are coming to the site looking for information… and they ask by commenting on pages and posts. More often than not, unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to the question and sometimes I’m not sure where to find it! Recent comments have asked about “the penny collection,” how much dues are for a particular grange, and missing pages in the program book.
When you visit the site,?read the comments–if someone has asked a question and you are certain you know the answer, you can add a comment. I’ve been doing my best to reply directly, but sure could use some help.
One question posed recently was regarding a grange having their own page on the site. Currently, that simply isn’t practical for a number of reasons.? I checked with National Grange and learned that the program that was in place for grange websites has been discontinued, but they are working on another one and hope to have something available in about 45 days.?
Along this same topic, those granges who set up sites or Facebook pages (a reasonable alternative to an actual site)–please keep?your sites?and information up to date! I’ve visited some pages where nothing new has been posted for nearly a year. When I find inactive sites or Facebook pages, I will start removing the links from this site. If you find a link on this site that doesn’t work or leads you to a page that is clearly not being maintained, please let me know so I can remove? or fix it. Would you drive to a store if the most recent post was made months ago?
I recently conducted a short adult education class for small businesses and organizations on “Media Relations.” One thing that surprised me was that most attendees didn’t realize the importance of sending information to newspapers, websites, radio stations. They truly believed if they made news a reporter would cover the event! This is even more true for your State Grange website. I’m quite sure there’s a lot of “good stuff” going on in granges around the state–much more than one might think by reading the posts on this site. I’m depending on the people making the?news to be “reporters.” There’s only one of me and lots of you. So send me some stuff!
Sep 262011


State Grange is almost here, and it is time for the Juniors and Youth to be thinking about and lining up rides to Skowhegan for the activities on Saturday, October 22nd at 8:30 A.M. morning’s activities. We need youth 13 ? to 35 to do an entrance drill and fill the chairs. We usually practice the drill on Friday evening after all is finished. Also on Saturday we need the Juniors to fill the stations and to present something. I’ll let you know on Saturday what we will be doing.

We will be awarding prizes for the bowling and miniature golf tournaments, along with some other surprises. Don’t miss our portion of the day!

Sep 262011
WM Jim Owens

Brothers and Sisters,

We were saddened by the death of Sister Clara Gartley on August 19, 2011. She was a Past Lady Assistant Steward of the Maine State Grange and Past Chief Junior Deputy.

The cookbooks have arrived. They are $15 each or a CD of the cookbook for $10. Each Grange has received a letter on this along with the prices that they can purchase these products. They will make wonderful Christmas gifts.

As I write this, I am preparing to attend a legislative conference at National Grange Headquarters in Washington, D.C. More on this when I return.

National Grange meets in Tulsa, Oklahoma, November 8 – 12. If you want to take a trip out west, this will be a good opportunity for you to enjoy the National session and take the Seventh Degree if you have not already done so. I have applications for the Degree of Ceres. Let me know if you need one. The fee for the degree is $20.00. Remember that you must know the Annual Password as well as the Sixth Degree word to enter the Conferral.

Sep 202011
Submitted by Walter Boomsma
Quick Tip

While finishing up some research for my Media Relations Class, I stumbled on to a web site that I can’t resist sharing. Future Fund Raising Now?is a content-rich blog with some great information and ideas about fund-raising. Blogger Jeff may be irreverent, but he’s not irrelevant!

You’ll need to appreciate satire, but also be prepared for some very practical ideas and approaches. Check out the “Best church fundraising ever…” and see how that might work for you. (We used a version of it during a recent fundraiser at Valley Grange… “Your $2 donation buys a dictionary for a third grader!”
Don’t blame me if you end up spending a lot of time on the site!
Sep 202011

The Program Book for this year is complete and ready for downloading. Here’s your copy: 2011-2012 Program Book. This does not replace the “hard copies” normally distributed at State Conference, but will allow more folks to have a copy… and you can get it a whole month ahead of time.

Of course you’ll also find the book under “Program Books”?under?the documents?you asked for. Note that as of this writing the other program books are last year’s. I will replace them as I receive them!

Thanks to all who contributed to the building of the book… and to Laurie McBurnie for making sure there is a copy here on your website.

PS: Note that this is the time of year when I start removing last year’s information (books, events, etc.). If you need any of this information, I suggest you download a copy now.




Sep 202011

Bringing together the choicest products…

The Farmington Fair is on this week… and here’s a?small sample of?what you’ll see in the Grange Building. Once again Grangers in the area have come together and really made an impression!

For more information about the fair, visit the Farmington Fair website. The fair runs through Saturday, September 24th.

Since a lot of granges participated, maybe someone can submit a list of awards…? or tell us how these fantastic displays are put together!

Thanks to Weslene Marble for sharing?photos taken by Robert Smith of Farmington Grange!

And thanks to Karen Caton-Locke for providing a list of the results:

Agricultural Exhibits:

1st Chesterville #20

2nd Farmington #12

3rd North Jay #10

4th Wilson #321

Domestic Exhibits:

1st Chesterville #20

2nd Farmington #12

3rd Mill Stream #574

Sep 162011

Submitted by Walter Boomsma

“Words for Thirds” is the grange’s phrase to describe what has to be one of our greatest opportunities to make an impression in our communities. The Dictionary Project itself began officially in 1995 and since that time working through a wide variety of civic organizations nearly 16 million dictionaries have made their way into the hands of grateful third graders.

Many granges in Maine have made this an annual tradition. For those who have, it’s time to start planning and get your dictionaries ordered! A check with the folks there revealed that current delivery times are currently running about three weeks from the time the order is placed. Bear in mind, that could increase as more organizations start placing orders.

Boomsma Photo

For those granges who’ve not participated, this would be a good year to consider getting involved! A good first step is to contact your local school (either a third grade teacher or the principal) to see if any organization is currently providing dictionaries. If not, jump on the opportunity because you’ll have tons of fun and be doing a really good thing.?

You might think the kids would be less than enthusiastic in this day of computers and high tech games, etc. If so, Continue reading »