Jan 292015

By Karen Flagg, CWA Director

The CWA Conference will be on August 22,2015, all the information is still accurate with the exception of the times which we will start at 9:00 A.M. for the Dress Revue, break for a paid lunch and then continue with the Needlework Contests and go over the upcoming events for 2015-2016.

The labels that we will be using are available in the pamphlet from the Trustees of the New England Grange Building. I am asking that everyone fill in ALL the information that is required and put it in a plastic sandwich bag before pinning it to your entry.

The first CWA Workshop will be on the first Saturday of ?the month, February through May at State Headquarters starting at 10:00 a.m. Please feel free to bring a friend with you even if they are not a Grange member. You also?may work on items for the contests, Big E, etc. I will provide materials for the items for the Big E.?There will be coffee, tea or water available for drinks. Please bring your own lunch and plan to have a good time of fellowship. IF there is bad weather, then of course the date will be cancelled.

Jan 282015

Roberta Meserve from Danville Junction Grange and Barbara Carson with her third grade class at Park Avenue School in Auburn

Submitted by Glenys Ryder
Community Service Chair, Danville Junction Grange #65

What a wonderful time Roberta and Norma Meserve, Steven Haycock, and Glenys Ryder from Danville Junction Grange had distributing dictionaries to the third graders this year!? The children were so enthusiastic, and we came away from each school with such a positive feeling!? I honestly think that we gained more from this project than the students!

This year we distributed three hundred fifty dictionaries in nineteen classrooms at four different schools in Auburn and New Gloucester.


Jan 272015

By Matt Dunn, Youth Director

As most of you know?as part?of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) we all need to have Medical Insurance.?The Insurance Marketplace is an option to find health insurance and this can be a bit confusing, especially if you?are not computer savvy. Well, the Youth Department has been given a?way to assist you with this.?Anyone who would like to help please contact me at mdptsfanathotmaildotcom  (mdptsfanathotmaildotcom)  ?and I will assist you with getting information so you can help others. More importantly if you need assistance with the Insurance Marketplace, please contact me at the email listed above or at 602-0856 and I will assist you or get you in contact with someone else who can.?I hope we get many people to help and please call or email if you think you need assistance.

Jan 262015

capital_buildingBy Master Vicki

There are two forms that should be of interest this time of year by every Grange, subordinate and pomona.

The first is the 990 E-postcard required to be file with the IRS annually filing. There is no fee unless you do not file. These forms are currently being done by the State Secretary as they must done on line—no action is required on your part.

The second is the renewal of corporation filing for the State of Maine which currently costs $35.00 and is accomplished by filing an annual report. The State of Maine no longer sends written renewal letters to each corporation (Grange), unless specifically requested. An e-mail reminder comes in February (assuming an email address is on record with the state). The filing is due by April 15th and penalties are applied if the renewal is filed after June 1st.

If you are currently incorporated, http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/corp/helpful.html will provide additional detail and information regarding renewal requirements.

Granges are not required to be incorporated, but it should be noted that any organization or business that does not incorporate may find their owners/members liable for actions and accidents. For general information about incorporating in Maine visit http://www.maine.gov/sos/cec/corp/incorporating.html.

Jan 262015

By Walter Boomsma, Communications Director

A dear old Granger was feeling sorta lonely, and decided that perhaps a pet would bring some joy and companionship into his life. He went to the pet store and explained his dilemma, noting that he wanted something unique, small and easy to care for. The pet shop owner was very helpful; ultimately selling him a talking centipede. The centipede came in a small white box that served as his home and seemed the perfect pet.

A Grange meeting was scheduled for that evening and, after finding a suitable spot for his new pet, it occurred to him that he might take it with him to the meeting. After all, the small box would certainly be easy to carry and unobtrusive during the meeting.

“How’d you like to go to Grange with me?” he asked. “We’ll have a good time.”

The box remained silent. Thinking this a bit odd, the Granger raised his voice slightly. “How’d you like to go to Grange with me?” You’ll met some great people!”

Again, nothing.

Becoming a bit frustrated, the Granger raised his voice even higher. “How’d you like to go to Grange with me? We not only have fun, we learn too!”

Again, the box remained strangely silent.

The Granger leaned down close to the box and screamed, “HEY IN THERE! I ASKED YOU IF YOU’D LIKE TO GO TO GRANGE WITH ME!!”

This time there was a shuffling sound and a small voice replied, “I heard you the first time! I’m putting my shoes on!”

When you invite people to Grange, silence isn’t always “no.” You may need to keep asking and you may need to give them some time to get ready.

Jan 262015

The following information health insurance came to us from National Grange:

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) requires most people have health insurance coverage or pay a fee to the federal government.?? Options for coverage are private insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, or Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). If you do not have health insurance after February 15, 2015, you will be subject to a penalty of either 2% of your income or $325 per adult and $162.50 per child, whichever is higher.

For those who did not have health insurance coverage during 2014, you will be assessed a penalty fee with your 2014 federal tax return.? You’ll pay the higher of 1% of income or $95 per person and 47.50 per child.? The fee is set to increase every year.? You might be eligible for an exemption from the fee if affordable health plans were not available to you, if you had only a short gap in coverage, or other possible exemptions might apply.

The Health Insurance Marketplace is a way to find health coverage that might fit your budget and meet your needs.? You can connect to Marketplace by phone at 1-800-318-2596 or online at Healthcare.gov.? Many communities have organizations and individuals who can help you and answer questions.? A list of organizations in your local area can be found at https://localhelp.healthcare.gov/ or by calling 1-800-318-2596.

Jan 252015
Share your ideas with other Granges!

Share your ideas with other Granges!

In case you missed it, here is a tip from the Family Health and Hearing Note in Director Chris Corliss’s January Column:

A wise woman from Danville Junction Grange put a challenge to her Grange to contact a member that has not been attending meetings.? I think this is a great idea.? I challenge all Granges to do the same, drop members who have not been attending a card, saying “hello” and “we miss you.” ?Let them know what the Grange has been up to and maybe offer them a ride to the next Grange meeting.? Do it via email, telephone or USPS.? We are a “FAMILY” so let’s bring them all back together again.

Jan 242015

Agriculture LogoWhile it might be difficult to think about gardening and farming in mid-January, a group of volunteers are doing just that as they are preparing a fourth year of the GrowME program. The program is offered to K-3 teachers and schools in Piscataquis County and the surrounding areas. The program is organized by a collaboration between Valley Grange of Guilford, PCSWCD (Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District) and UMaine Piscataquis County Extension.

GrowME aims to utilize local volunteers who will work with teachers to schedule an agricultural activity in their classrooms during Maine Agriculture Week (March 24-28). Ana Bonstedt, Home Horticulture Coordinator for Piscataquis County UMaine Extension is particularly excited over the “hands on” aspect of the activities. “Thanks to our rural nature in Piscataquis County, we don’t have the ‘nature deficit’ that some more urban areas experience,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be offering our kids an opportunity to involve all their senses and get some hands on learning.”

Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange agrees. One of his specialties is visiting second graders at PCES to make butter. “We have fun and the kids almost don’t realize they are learning–some have even asked for instructions and then made butter at home as a family activity.” Volunteers also conduct seed planting activities, apple tasting and create animal graphs. “We also spend some time just talking with the kids—many have chickens and gardens and it’s fun to share experiences.”

Boomsma notes that last year volunteers visited with over 60 classrooms and 800 kids “from Greenville to Dexter to Milo,” but says there should be no shortage of volunteers and resources thanks to the collaboration. “We’ve got master gardeners and farmers available through Extension Programs and PCSWCD includes partners and resources that are committed to good stewardship. Our continued goal is to keep this informal, local, and a true partnership between our schools, teachers, and volunteers. It’s not so much that we have a program to offer—it’s more about working together to make good use of our resources. Our volunteers will have the sort of agricultural experience and background to be especially relevant to students while providing insight into the importance of agriculture in our area.”

The group focuses on kindergarten through third grade but is willing to consider requests from teachers of other grades.

GrowME volunteers visit for about thirty minutes and work with students on a simple, grade appropriate activity. Teachers and administrators who are interested need only furnish contact information: teacher’s name-email address and grade. Interested teachers may email grangeatboomsmaonlinedotcom  (grangeatboomsmaonlinedotcom)   or call Boomsma at 343-1842. An online sign-up form is also available at http://growmehelp.wordpress.com.

Jan 222015

This year the Maine State Grange will again sponsor the Community Service Grant Program with funds of up to $1,800.00.

The Maine State Grange will reimburse 50% of funds spent by Subordinate Granges on community service projects which are approved up to $250.00 (total project cost $500.00). Please fill out the application (2015 Community Service Grant App) and send to the Maine State Grange Headquarters. The funds must be used to purchase materials for your project. The project must be completed and receipts for materials only sent to the Maine State Grange by September 1, 2015. You will be reimbursed for half of the total receipts submitted up to the amount approved. These funds are to benefit the community and cannot be used for Grange hall improvements.

Funds on approved projects will be expended on projects submitted through September 1, 2015 or until money in this account is depleted, whichever comes first. There is no implied expectation that this program will continue after September 1, 2015 and no projects should be done after that time with the expectation that it will be reimbursed.

Jan 202015

By Christine Corliss
Community Service/FHH Director

The Community Service/Family, Heath & Hearing Committee has put together a new packet which was distributed to the Deputies at a recent Director/Deputy Meeting held in Augusta.? Thanks to Walter it will now be available on the website for you to print out.? The former packet is still valid, we have just included a lot more information on the State Programs such as Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital, House in the Woods, and Coups for Troops, just to name a few.? If you have any questions please feel free to contact me personally at Christinecorlissatymaildotcom  (Christinecorlissatymaildotcom)   or via telephone at 207-651-6494.? If you would like to mail any of the nomination forms, activity sheets or community service book please feel free to mail directly to me at my home address of 162 Center Road, Lebanon, ME 04027.

Let’s have our Granges “shine” in the community – Making a difference one project at a time.

Webmaster’s note: This is an incredible document… 33 pages of useful information including some tips on how to report your community service and a sample sheet suggesting what your book might look like!

Download the packet by clicking this link:?2015 Community Service Info Pack?or visit the program books and information page… there’s lots of good stuff there!