Dec 092017

This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

The Maine Christmas Tree Association (MCTA) is a non-profit organization comprised of family farms that produce real Christmas trees and wreath products for retail, wholesale, mail order, or “choose’n cut” during the Christmas season.  Producers may specialize or offer a combination of mail order, retail, “choose’n cut,” or wholesale production of tree and wreath products.

The purpose of MCTA since it was incorporated in 1962 has been to promote real Christmas trees and share information about fresh Maine Christmas trees and wreaths.  From finding a farm near you to the care and recycling of your tree, the Maine Christmas Tree Association is your resource for Christmas trees in Maine.

For a listing of choose/cut farms, click here.  To view locations for wreaths and other retail products, click here.

Dec 052017

Thanks to the VA for providing this information… you can always find the latest list on the Program Books Page in the Community Service Section.

Nearly every month we receive and post an updated list from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs of their needs. The list includes volunteer opportunities as well as items needed, plus a short list of items that are not needed or cannot be accepted at this time. We’ve just posted the December List: VA-Wish-List-December-2017.

Dec 022017

Webmaster’s Note: This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

Attention Lecturers, Community Service, FH&H Directors…

The Maine Office of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division wants to help consumers become better informed about the latest scams and how to identify them, how to be a smart consumer, explain how the implied warranty law works, and offer assistance in the event of a dispute a consumer may have with a business.

To arrange for a free speaker to discuss consumer issues with your community group or organization, contact Complaint Examiner, Martha Currier at marthadotcurrieratmainedotgov  (marthadotcurrieratmainedotgov)   or (207) 626-8847.

Nov 272017

Shop Grange for the holidays! Here are some Grange Craft Fairs and Holiday Events being held around the state! Granges are invited to submit their holiday-related events for posting. Visit this post often for updates and more events! Shoppers… when you visit, be sure to tell a Granger you saw their “ad” on the Maine State Grange Website!


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Grange Name: Danville Junction Grange
Event we are having: Christmas Craft Fair – Many vendors, selling jewelry, soups, dips, cheesecakes, knit goods, and much more. Raffles, 50/50, and door prizes. Hot dogs, sandwiches, and homemade soup for sale.
Where our Grange is located: Old Danville Road & Grange St., Auburn
Time we’re having it:  9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Who/Where to get more information: Glenys Ryder, 783-6898

Grange Name: Enterprise Grange #48
Event we are having: Pictures/breakfast with Santa. Donations for pictures with Santa will benefit Grange Charities – House in the Woods, Home for Little Wanderers, BBCH. $5.00 for breakfast will benefit Grange Building Fund. Pancakes, Eggs, beverages, fruit. Games, coloring, with breakfast and Santa will have some treats.
Where our Grange is located: 15 Alexander Reed Rd., Richmond, ME -Alexander Reed Road is in town Richmond, off Rt. 197, across from the fire house and library.
Time we’re having it:
Who/Where to get more information: Marilyn – beeldehillattwcdotcom  (beeldehillattwcdotcom)   or 207-737-2611

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Grange Name: Wilson Grange #321
Event we are having: “Happy Holidays Yard and Bake Sale.” This is your chance to perhaps find that unexpected gift at a great price or buy some sweets for that holiday gathering.
Where our Grange is located: 1338 Maine Street in East Wilton, across from Shelly’s Hometown Market
Time we’re having it: 9:00 a.m. –2:00 p.m.
Who/Where to get more information:

Nov 262017

Short messages from your Communications Department

Calling all crafters, bakers, gift makers… we’ve started receiving announcements of holiday events such as craft sales, bake sales, yard sales, etc. We might be a little late in the game, but here’s a reminder that it’s easy to get your Grange event posted on the Maine State Grange Website Calendar–you just have to submit it!

Just make sure you include the “who, what, where, when, and why” and make it sound interesting and fun! We need to know

  • Who is offering it… name of your Grange;
  • What it is… a craft sale, bake sale, yard sale;
  • Where your Grange is… include directors or a landmark;
  • When is it… include date, start time, end time;
  • Why you’re having it… describe who should come, what sort of items you’ll have, etc. and, if appropriate, who benefits from the proceeds;
  • Another who… who to contact for more information (which could be for crafters interested in participating or customers).

You can just use this form… don’t forget to click “submit” at the bottom! (Note this promotion is only available for Grange Events. Another benefit of being a Granger!)

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

This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

2-1-1 Maine works with statewide organizations who are generous enough to provide a Thanksgiving meal, a Thanksgiving basket, a Christmas meal, a Christmas basket, and gifts for your loved ones during the holiday season. For holiday resources available in your area dial 2-1-1 to speak with a Call Specialist or text 898-211 for an online conversation.

Thanksgiving Meals & Programs Across Maine is the 2-1-1 website listing resources for help–and projects that might benefit from some help from your Grange!

Nov 182017

Maialisa / Pixabay

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will do-nate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organizations selected by customers.”

For Grangers and Grange friends, it’s quite easy. Just use this special link to the Amazon Website: (We have a button with the link readily available in a sidebar on the website.) You’ll know you’ve succeeded when the upper left corner includes the words “Supporting Maine Grange Foundation.”

Amazon is already tracking your purchases… they will, at regular intervals, send the Foundation a donation based on one-half percent of all purchases made using the Amazon Smile link. It costs you, the shopper, nothing. Other than using the link, you need to nothing to make this happen. Your shopping habits and purchases remain confidential–the only thing Amazon sends to the Maine Grange Foundation is money! The only thing you do (other than using the URL) is shop!

You can also download an Amazon Smiles Program Flyer to post on your bulletin board and distribute to members and friends… the more shoppers we have, the more money we raise.
Amazon Smiles LOgo

Nov 152017

A mug WB

In my very little spare time, I’ve been reading an excellent book about writing. One sentence I encountered recently kept me awake for a while. “Your readers don’t know anything.” That’s very good advice to those of us who are trying to communicate. And it is excellent advice to those of us who are involved in organizations that have their own language and vocabulary.

I think this goes beyond the five w’s that should be included in every press release to include making sure we explain things that may seem commonplace to us, but not to our readers who “don’t know anything.” What does it mean, for example, when we describe the Grange as a ‘fraternal’ organization?” Our readers might not know. (Fraternal comes from the word “fraternus” meaning brother. One dictionary defines it as “of or being a society associated in brotherly union, as for mutual aid or benefit.”)

We shouldn’t be condescending, certainly. But in our communication, it does make sense to consider the real possibility our reader or listener doesn’t know much.

I’m pleased to announce that much of the Grange year-end activity required of your Communications Department is nearing completion. We have updated the officer list on the Bulletin sidebar and website, revised the ODD Directory (listing all current officers, directors, and deputies), and posted all program books that have been made available. There’s still some “under the hood” stuff to do, but most people won’t notice it—and don’t need to anyway!

Let me remind folks that for the most part, I don’t generate what’s communicated, I am very dependent on others. I cannot share what I don’t know or don’t have. I wish every Granger in Maine would consider him/herself a reporter. A goal for this year is to increase the number of posts (stories) about Granges that are succeeding either with membership increases or events that are successful. No story is too small for our website. You don’t have to be an award-winning writer—we can use a photo and tell the story in a caption of a few sentences—that’s called a “cutline” in the media business.

While no story is too small for the website another reality is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to capture the attention of traditional media. Even my local reporters are telling me they are covering fewer and fewer events in person. I received some criticism during State Convention for “not having the television people there.” Please understand, media presence at events is getting more and more difficult to achieve. I attempted to explain to my critic that simply holding a convention isn’t newsworthy. I’m not sure I succeeded, so let me remind everyone that it is much easier and effective to make news than it is to write press releases.

The media business is changing in many ways and it’s truly a mixed bag. While the Internet makes sharing information and news relatively easy, traditional media is struggling to find its role in a digital world. I can attest that some reporters subscribe to the Maine State Grange website as a source of news tips and leads. If you want to attract the media, telling your story on it might be a great way to start!


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