Nov 282017
 

Paul Lavender, Master of Mill Stream Grange, with the Grange booth at the Mt. Vernon craft fair on Nov. 26. Information about the Grange was shared with the public, a 50/50 raffle was held and candy canes given to kids, young and old. Members Jill Sampson and Debbie Lavender also helped at the booth. Mill Stream Grange invites all interested community members to visit the Grange in downtown Vienna on 1st and 3rd Friday evenings at 6:00 for a potluck supper and program. Come and see what we are all about!

Nov 192017
 

Valley Grange was proud to host the Spirit of America Awards Celebration recently. When called to the front at the conclusion of the program honoring some seventeen individuals and organizations in Piscataquis County, members were surprised to learn they too were being recognized for their “heart for community service” and had been dubbed the “Top Grange in the State of Maine.”

Parkman Grange was also recognized for the many programs and services they provide including the SAD 4 Santa Program, Veterans’ Appreciation, Mothers’ Day Tea, and a number of activities and parties for children.

There was only one empty chair in the hall as local folks came to celebrate the “Spirit of America” making for a truly warm night in spite of the cold outside.

Past State Grange Master Rick Grotton noted that we have in the past been a top award winner at the state and national level and were, therefore, being recognized as the “Top Grange” in the State of Maine and nationally for our “heart for community service.

Nov 182017
 

Meenahga Grange member Laurie McBurnie presents a $300 check to Nobleboro Central School’s Battle of the Bookers club. Front from left: Izzy Peterson, Cheyenne Wadford, Paige Lafrenaye, Olivia Stiles, Dante Maskell, and McBurnie. Back: Alden Hunold, Ivan Coffin, Ben Sawyer, William Sherrill, and John Rice. (Paula Roberts photo)

Meenahga Grange, of Waldoboro, donated $300 to Nobleboro Central School’s Battle of the Books teams. The money is to be used to purchase books for the AOS 93 program.

“We appreciate the support of the Meenahga Grange for our Battle of the Books effort this year,” said NCS librarian Kris Harriman, who co-coached the teams last year with eighth-grade teacher Laurie Stiles. “Our students already are thrilled and ready to start reading.”

Teams consist of four to six students each. Nobleboro fielded three teams last school year and captured three of the top four spots in the competition for grades six through eight at Lincoln Academy. The sixth-grade team, The Professors, placed first; The Bucket Squad came in third, and The Lit Squad took fourth.

The winning team won gift cards from Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta. All students received T-shirts and celebrated with a pizza party after the competition. The LA library staff and student aides hosted the event. Pizza was donated by The Penalty Box, Hilltop Stop in Damariscotta, and the Newcastle Publick House.

The five AOS 93 schools will compete this season. Schools pick a book each to read. Students then write trivia questions about each book. Librarians and Lincoln Academy staff then pick the best questions from each book for the trivia competition. “The better the question, the more likely you will get your own question,” a Nobleboro student said.

Last year students read “Misadventures of the Family Fletcher,” “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler,” “Crossover,” and “American Born Chinese.”

Sample questions from “American Born Chinese” include: Why did Gin change his hair? What did Tim say when Gin was first introduced to class? What does Gin turn into and why?

Nobleboro teams met every Friday at lunch last year and practiced by forming questions and asking other teams in their school to answer them.

“Part of it is to get books into students’ hands. Lincoln Academy is a big help. They donate one book and we have to buy the other three,” Harriman said.

Part of the fun of the Battle of the Books competition is to dress up in costumes. The Professors dressed up in lab coats and safety glasses, and the Great Salt Bay Community School team dressed like the Fletcher family.

This year’s Battle of the Books event is scheduled for March 23, 2018 at Lincoln Academy. LA students will moderate the event.

Nov 142017
 

Check out this news story on WVII AB 7/FOX 22!

Guilford–Piscataquis County winners of the 2017 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, November 17, 2017 starting at 7:00 PM in the Valley Grange Hall 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford.

Spirit of America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity established in Augusta, ME to encourage volunteerism. Since the first Spirit of America Foundation award was presented to Alma Jones by Augusta’s Mayor in 1991, over 500 Spirit of America ceremonies have taken place. Director Bruce Flaherty noted this presentation is based in Piscataquis County “because there are so many awards being given.”

Those to be honored (and receive a certificate signed by their Maine Legislators) at the countywide ceremony include: the Abbott Historical Society, David Kinney from Atkinson, Beaver Cove School Committee, Bowerbank Fire Department, Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society, Charlotte White Center, Partnership Food Pantry in Greenville, Herring Family from Guilford, Medford Planning Board, Milo’s Summer Meals Program, Monson Summerfest, Parkman Grange, Linda Hall & Wilson Nuite from Sangerville, Sebec Village Associates, Patricia Mace from Shirley, Wellington Fire Department, and Willimantic Civic Association.

The event is open to the public. “We hope friends and family of these recipients will come and help us salute these models of the volunteer spirit of America,” Flaherty suggested, adding that certificates from the Maine Legislature will be included. “This will be a fun, uplifting evening with no long speeches,” he promised.”

Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma is excited the Grange has been given the honor of hosting the awards. “All Granges are about community and Valley Grange is certainly not an exception. We enjoy making our hall available to organizations dedicated to building strong individuals and communities. It is a special treat to host individuals and organizations doing just that!”

Additional information about the Foundation is available at http://spiroaf.com and the event at http://valleygrange.com.

Nov 062017
 

Guilford–Piscataquis County winners of the 2017 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, November 17, 2017, starting at 7:00 PM in the Valley Grange Hall 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford.

Spirit of America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity established in Augusta, ME to encourage volunteerism. Since the first Spirit of America Foundation award was presented to Alma Jones by Augusta’s Mayor in 1991, over 500 Spirit of America ceremonies have taken place. Director Bruce Flaherty noted this presentation is based in Piscataquis County “because there are so many awards being given.”

Those to be honored (and receive a certificate signed by their Maine Legislators) at the countywide ceremony include: the Abbott Historical Society, David Kinney from Atkinson, Beaver Cove School Committee, Bowerbank Fire Department, Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society, Charlotte White Center, Partnership Food Pantry in Greenville, Herring Family from Guilford, Medford Planning Board, Milo’s Summer Meals Program, Monson Summerfest, Parkman Grange, Linda Hall & Wilson Nuite from Sangerville, Sebec Village Associates, Patricia Mace from Shirley, Wellington Fire Department, and Willimantic Civic Association.

The event is open to the public. “We hope friends and family of these recipients will come and help us salute these models of the volunteer spirit of America,” Flaherty suggested, adding that certificates from the Maine Legislature will be included. “This will be a fun, uplifting evening with no long speeches,” he promised.”

Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma is excited the Grange has been given the honor of hosting the awards. “All Granges are about community and Valley Grange is certainly not an exception. We enjoy making our hall available to organizations dedicated to building strong individuals and communities. It is a special treat to host individuals and organizations doing just that!”

Additional information about the Foundation is available at http://spiroaf.com and the event at http://valleygrange.com.

Nov 062017
 

Mill Stream Grange held a garden “work bee” recently to re-vamp the Grange Memorial Gardens. Members (from l) Libby Harville, Roger Reville, Maggie Chadwick, Sarah Firth, Pat Stanton and Jill Sampson spent the morning digging, raking, transplanting, shoveling and watering giving the garden a much needed makeover. Mill Stream welcomes the public to attend any of its suppers, 1st and 3rd Fridays at 6, for information about who we are and what we do. We look forward to seeing you!

Oct 202017
 

Yes, it’s official! Christine Corliss announced the winners of the community service and family health     and hearing contests. “We’ve had an awesome year, with great participation,” Corliss said. “But best of all a lot of communities have benefited from the programs our Granges represent.” Community Service awards were presented to:

  • First Place, Bangor Grange
  • Second Place, Danville Junction Grange
  • Third Place, Maple Grove Grange
  • Fourth Place, Valley Grange

Corliss also noted that the Committee presented a special community service Granger of the year award to Glenys Ryder of Danville Junction. “Glenys has not missed a single community service or family health and hearing contest for a lot of years. She certainly deserves recognition and appreciation.”

Oct 172017
 

Check out WABI – TV 5’s coverage of Valley Grange’s Words for Thirds Dictionary Day!

Check out WVII – Fox News coverage of Valley Grange’s Words for Thirds Dictionary Day!

This was our first dictionary day of the season… we still have more kids coming to the Grange Hall and three schools to visit! We’ve given out over 2,500 dictionaries in the sixteen years we’ve been doing this and it’s still one of the most exciting and fun things we do! Yesterday’s event included eighty kids from SeDoMoCha Elementary School. What fun!

Oct 162017
 

The California State Grange, utilizing the National Grange 501(c)(3) Foundation has established the “2017 CA Fires Support Fund” to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. This Grange Charitable Fund will be used to provide support to those affected Members & Community/Pomona Granges having needs created by the wildfires. As of yesterday, no Grange Halls have been lost, but several Grange members have lost their homes.

California State Grange Master Ed Kominski describes one Grange, Redwood Valley Grange as having some “Amazing Patrons” and note the hall has been opened to start serving their community in conjunction with the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department and North Coast Opportunities and Animal Control. Among services being provided:

  • The Hall will be open 10-6 every day until not needed and are providing Free Child Care
  • Free Professional Crisis Counseling and referrals are available
  • Lunch at 12:30 every while there is a community need.
  • All day refreshments are available
  • Town Meeting will be at the Grange – date TBD
  • The hall is a place to come, share, play music, and game tables are available.

All this is being done by Grangers who are having their own personal struggles.

Maine Grangers can help by participating in the California State Grange Fundraiser. Kominski notes, “Support and funds are coming in great numbers. We have seen fantastic support but we need to reach more people.”

The California State Grange, utilizing the National Grange 501(c)(3) Foundation has established the “2017 CA Fires Support Fund” to receive tax-deductible charitable donations. This Grange Charitable Fund will be used to provide support to those affected Members & Community/Pomona Granges having needs created by the wildfires. Every donation of $25 or more will receive a t-shirt in appreciation for the generosity – “California Granges – Moving Together”

Donate to the CA Fires Support Fund

Oct 062017
 

Bangor Grange presented Lt. Tim Cotton his Community Citizen Award at our meeting Tuesday. The following is his write-up the next day that he posted on Facebook:

“Sliding my thumb up and down the smudged and scratched glass of my Samsung phone allows a glimpse into the thoughts of my Facebook friends.

Most of my “Facebook friends” are actually my friends. Sure, there are one or two I don’t know very well, but for the most part they are my friends and I would not have added them to my motley crew if I didn’t believe we could talk for twenty minutes or so over a cup of coffee.

Today, one of my friends posted a simple statement; a question actually. “Where have all the good people gone?” I think it’s a question we all have, especially in times like these.

When the news-cycle bores it’s way into our lives like a Black and Decker hammer-drill, it is fairly easy to believe that the world has gone mad. I cannot deny that I believe the exact same thing sometimes. I certainly can’t promise you that tomorrow won’t bring us something worse than our country has experienced this week.

I can tell you that the good people are still here. On Tuesday night I met about 15 of them at the Bangor Grange Hall (#372).

Kindly, the group awarded me with a Community Service honor and plaque. I should note that I have done nothing to deserve such an honor from the Grange members. I should have been there sooner-thanking them. I am such a slacker.

Ann Staples (82 years young) organized a fundraiser for a man who was soon to die. He wanted to make sure his wife had a little something after he passed. The spaghetti dinner at their humble Grange raised over $5000 dollars in one evening. The man died on the night of the fundraiser, but he knew of it’s success before he passed.

Ann was not bragging about pulling it all together, she was telling me about it because she and her fellow Grange members were looking to do a project for our police department causes.

We talked over lasagna, homemade biscuits, beef pie, scalloped potatoes and freshly pressed Maine apple cider. Yes, I had seconds, on simple paper plates and mismatched silverware. Ann also organizes their weekly farmers market and helped local disadvantaged kids plant and care for a garden so they could have fresh vegetables. She has done this for years.

Ann was asking me what I needed while stuffing me with food to prepare me to receive MY award. Are you kidding me?

Grange Master Rolf Staples Sr. told me about the Christmas breakfast Grange #372 puts on for local kids. He told me some of the kids find the thought of a homemade breakfast with sausage, eggs, bacon, and pancakes far more appealing than the gifts they receive. He noted that some of the kids know nothing more than a Pop Tart and can of soda for typical morning nourishment. Who makes the breakfast? The ladies and gents of Grange #372, not me.

94-year old Mary Hunter knits tiny caps for premature infants. She also reminded me that she was at my wedding but that she didn’t dance.

She told me that she recalls my son has the same name as her dear departed husband and that she clearly remembers me changing my son’s name on his birth certificate two days after he was born. It’s true, I did. Purely to make his name roll off my tongue more easily. It’s a long story. Mary remembers. She is a member of Grange #372.

For years Mary and her husband visited area nursing homes with homemade crafts, provided gifts for the kids on the parade route at Hampden Children’s Day and did a myriad of other things for community causes.

There were many others. Some who had been members for a long time and one who had held leadership positions at Grange #372 since the early 1960s. He had cut some firewood that day and told me he loved the fall. I think the gentleman could have made quick work of me in an arm wrestling match, but it was his 82nd birthday so I would expect nothing less.

We stood for the Star Spangled Banner, posted Old Glory, and I was escorted to the podium for the reading of a very nice proclamation.

Each step across the sole-smoothed hardwood floor echoed the footsteps of the benevolent members who danced, wedded, and died here since 1904.

I was humbled with their kindness, uplifted by their hardscrabble homestead farm-raised ghosts. I envisioned the men and wives cleaning their nails and washing behind the kid’s ears for the Saturday night supper and dance.

Where have all the good people gone? I think they are still here.

If you have trouble finding them, put down the phone, lay off the rants, turn off the television, and become one of them. If you need to find an example of such goodness, check your local Grange Hall.

Keep your hands to yourself, leave other people’s things alone, and be kind to one another.

We will be here.”

TC


Webmaster Note: “TC” maintains a Facebook Page for the Bangor Maine Police Department with that has “gone viral” and has thousands of followers around the country. You can read TC’s original post on Facebook.