by Larry Bailey, Master
I am always gratified at the generosity of our Ocean View Grange members. In a desire to honor and thank our injured Veterans, we started a drive to provide ditty-bags filled with items useful to our veterans who are at Togus VA Medical Center. The list below shows what kind of items we supplied and those members who helped.
These items were made possible by the generosity of the following members: Gayle and Rick Bedigian, Larry and Diane Bailey, Peg Fields, Ben and Judy Norton, Neva and Steve Joseph, Debbie Rogers, Leslie Korpinen, Trip Woodbridge, Gina Neilson, Nat Lyon, Gillie and Rob Sloat, Dick and Terry Bomba, Jeff and Tina Riedl.
We want to give a special thank you to Glen Cove Dental Associates in Rockland. When asked if they had anything they could donate they immediately brought out a couple of boxes full of toothbrushes, mouthwash, floss etc. These were not free samples. They bought them but were very happy to help.
Sister Debbie and Sister Neva will be delivering all the items Friday, April 21, 2017.
Webmaster Note: As a reminder, we publish an updated list of volunteer and donation opportunities for our Veterans each month in the Community Service Section of the Program Books and Information Page.
by Marilyn Stinson
Enterprise Grange #48, Richmond, Maine will celebrate 150 years of Grange by honoring citizens of Richmond and Dresden with Community Citizen Awards, Sunday, April 30th at 3:00 pm. at Enterprise Grange #48 Community Room, 15 Alexander Reed Road, Richmond.
The recipients are Laurie Saunders of Richmond and David Probert of Dresden. The public is invited and encouraged to share stories about the two great citizens of our respective towns. This is a free program and light refreshments are included.
Laurie is well known to Richmond residents for her work with the Senior Center and taking care of so many of our older residents’ needs as well as her being the producer and director of The Richmond Players. She has served on the Selectboard, Richmond Days Committee, and has been a very important part of Richmond’s past and present days. She had The Front Porch Boarding home for many years, doting on older women to help them stay out of nursing care. She has two adult children and was able to start a Senior Citizen Group in Gardiner.
Dave was on the recycling committee to get the center going and later was the “Recycling Coordinator” for 16 years. He has served on The Comprehensive Plan Committee, the Conservation Committee, and is currently on the Budget Review Committee and Recreation Committee. He and his wife have one daughter and grand-daughter living in Freeport and Auburn. He is currently active with Lincoln County Historical Association (LCHA) and on the Pownalborough Court House Stewardship Committee.
The Grange is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, fraternal organization with more than 160,000 members across the United States. Our more than 2,100 Granges contribute millions of volunteer hours and hundreds of thousands of dollars to our hometowns each year. We have a proud past and an exciting future!
Elder Abuse is of growing concern throughout the U.S. today, especially here in Maine since we’re one of the oldest states in the country. Statistics show that tens of thousands of older adults in Maine are abused each year, so it’s important that communities understand the issue and the resources available. Betty Balderston is the Elder Abuse Prevention Advocate for Legal Services and is currently scheduling presentations between now and September to civic and community organizations throughout Maine. Her 15-20 minute presentation includes information on what Elder Abuse looks like, the Red Flags that everyone should be aware of, and the Maine resources that are available to provide assistance. Perhaps your Grange would be interested in scheduling such a presentation? Betty can be reached at (207) 620-3104 or at bbalderstonmainelseorg (bbalderstonmainelseorg) . Please consider contacting Betty to schedule a presentation for your members.
Webmaster’s Note: I had a long chat with Betty that was quite eye-opening. Elder abuse can come in many forms and from many different sources. There’s not charge for her presentation — this is a great opportunity to “get the facts” and learn about the resources available!
This past Saturday, April 8, a benefit spaghetti supper was held at Somerset Grange #18 in Norridgewock. We had a great turnout, people from many towns around came. Was so good to see the dining hall full and folks milling all about visiting. this was a benefit for a long time Norridgewock resident who is now living in Madison. The apartment she had was totally destroyed in a fire a few weeks ago. Somerset Grange was happy to be of some help.
Sallie Wilder Master, Somerset Grange #18
Community Service Corner
Each month I write reminders from the committee on contests, suggestions, and helpful hints. This month I am going to just ask a few questions and leave you to ponder the answers.
- What do you want for your Grange?
- What direction do you want your Grange to take?
- How well known do you want your Grange to be in your community, state or nation?
- How important is increased membership and bringing attention to your Grange?
- How can every member work their magic to be the best we can be?
- What is your place in Grange and how can you bring your A-Game to the Grange?
Once you have found out your true answers to these questions put them into action and what your Grange grow in all aspects of Grange. Community Service, Membership, Agriculture, Family, Comradery, and Fun. Sit back, smile and have fun.
Family, Health & Hearing
June Awareness Items – Men’s Health Month, World Ocean Awareness Month, National Safety Month, International Picnic Day is June 18, 2017.
Maine State Grange Community Service making a difference “ONE” project at a time!
Glenys Ryder, Community Service Chair
Danville Junction Grange # 65
Throughout the year, Danville Junction Grange carries out many community service projects. However, none are more satisfying or enjoyable than the Words for Thirds program! It is so much fun each year to enter classrooms, bursting with enthusiasm, as students anticipate receiving their new dictionaries!!! Once they are distributed, the room is alive with excited conversation about the “longest word”, the planets, sign language, and much more that the students find in their dictionaries! Notice the intent look on the students’ faces in the photo as they study them!!
This year we were able to distribute dictionaries to over three hundred third graders at three schools in the area. We are already planning for next year!
In something of a perfect storm, Valley Grangers are experiencing a bit of March Madness with two major community service projects involving local students and community volunteers. First up was their annual GrowME Collaboration–a joint effort with Piscataquis County UMaine Extension and Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District. By pooling resources and volunteers, the three organizations are visiting with nearly 750 students from Kindergarten through Third Grade in Piscataquis County. With a mission of “increasing agricultural literacy and making it fun,” volunteers help kindergartners build an animal graph, first graders taste and sort apples, second graders make their own butter, and third graders construct their very own “dirt babies.”
Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange is especially proud of the fact that “we have no budget and not much structure–just a bunch of people who love working with kids and providing positive experiences around agriculture.” His specialty is making butter with second graders. “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.” He notes that teachers are often integrating the activities into their regular curriculum by using the experience as a writing prompt or a math lesson. But he maintains that the best part is everyone has fun. “Every year there are new stories to tell,” he notes.
Third graders make dirt babies that grow sprout and grow “hair” (grass). The babies include a birth certificate that tracks important events such as “first haircut.” In one classroom this year, as the babies were being collected and placed on a windowsill, one new “parent” exclaimed, “Uh oh! My Dirt Baby had an accident! She pooped and peed on my desk!” (There was some water and soil on the desk after the assembly was completed.) Perhaps in addition to “agricultural literacy” the GrowME program is teaching the joys of parenthood!
Boomsma notes that one school has requested an activity for their Pre-Kindergarten classes this year. “Finding activities that are grade level appropriate can be a challenge because we also have to make certain our volunteers are comfortable with it. This year I’ve agreed to be the guinea pig volunteer for this new activity and we’re trying a project involving sprouting bean seeds so the kids not only help with the planting, they get to watch the sprouting take place.”
Another initiative Valley Grange has supported long enough that it’s a school tradition is a contest among third and fourth graders to design two advertisements for the Grange in the Piscataquis Observer’s Annual Newspapers in Education Supplement. The program is a favorite of Piscataquis Community Elementary School Art Teacher Jane Daniels because it “gives the kids a practical side of art.” Valley Grange Master Jim Annis notes that “We have strong ties to kids…” with Grange members involved regularly at the local schools. “We’ve actually built a series of programs that range from Bookworming and Words for Thirds to our blistered finger knitters making hats and mittens for the kids who need them. The kids know us and we know them.”
Valley Grange Community Service Chair Mary Annis is quick to note that this is not a one-way street. “In addition to the fun we have, the kids help us. We collect ‘Coups for Troops’ most of which came from collection boxes placed in local schools. We like the feeling that we are redefining community and good ways of working together.”
Additional information about all of the Valley Grange Programs can be found on their website, http://valleygrange.com. The GrowME Collaboration maintains a basic information and resource site at http://growmehelp.wordpress.com. If any other Granges are interested in starting similar programs, Valley Grange will be happy to help!
Remember August is fast approaching and community service still hosts the community service book contest. Prizes range from $250.00 to $50.00, I am sure most Granges could use this money. All instructions and activity forms are available online on the Maine State Grange Website.
As spring approaches everyone tends to leave the winter blues behind and puts on the spring sunshine feeling. Let’s spread the cheer. Remember if planting a garden put an extra plant or two and donate all those vegetables to a local food pantry. Food pantries are very happy to be able to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables.
May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month, Lupus Awareness Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, & National Physical Fitness & Sports Month. Please take the time to invite speakers from some of the services in the area to bring awareness to the community and members of the Grange. Some issues are silent killers and the more awareness people have the better off they will be.
Please spread the word and feeling of Grange, family, fun and belonging every time and everywhere you can.
Maine State Grange Community Service making a difference “ONE” project at a time!