Feb 182018

Amazon Smiles LOgoA big thank you to all the Grangers who made purchases on Amazon in October, November, and December and chose the Maine Grange Foundation as your charity. While it is a relatively small amount, all monies raised this way will be paid once a year in June to the Educational Aid Fund. Many Grange families have received scholarships from this fund and your continued support is noteworthy.

Please encourage your fellow Grangers, friends and family members to make the Maine Grange Foundation their charity of choice when shopping on Amazon Smile. Please remember it must be AmazonSmile and not just Amazon for the charity to receive your support. This is at no cost to you.

I challenge you to see if we can double this amount in the next quarter. Download the Amazon Smiles Program Flyer, post it on your Bulletin Board and make copies for your members. Thanks for all that you do to support Granges and Grangers in Maine.

Shop Amazon Smiles

Feb 152018

As I write this the temperature is rising and there is a ray of sun, shining off the ice in my driveway! Has everyone seen enough ice for the winter? I know I have.

It is time to look ahead and make plans for warmer weather. One of the things to look forward to is the annual State Grange variety show on April 29th at Topsham Grange. We are still looking for more acts so you’re not too late. One of the highlights of this event, for those of you who have never attended, is actually intermission. We sell pieces of delicious pie donated by Grange members. (We all know what great cooks Grangers are!) Also during intermission, we will be selling chances on a number of gift baskets. Much like the ones at state grange session. We are asking for volunteers of individuals or granges to donate a basket for this worthy cause. If you or your grange would be willing to donate a basket, let us know.

One of our other big fundraisers of the year will be the State Grange yard sale. This will be held on Saturday, June 2, 2018, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The location will likely change this year. We will be finalizing plans on this at our committee meeting this week and I will pass along the details. Once again we will be offering tables for rent to individuals or Granges who would like to join us. It would be great to build up this annual event into something everyone plans on and looks forward to each year.

For more information on either of these events or if you’d like to donate a basket to the variety show or items to the yard sale, please contact me or a committee member. Thank you in advance for your support.

Until next month, watch your step on the ice and look out for the flu bugs!

Jan 272018

Webmaster’s Note: Information provided courtesy of California State Grange.

A note of explanation… this information comes to us courtesy of California State Grange. These are grants available nationally… that might be of interest to Granges interested in Community Service Projects and rural development. Unfortunately, the information has passed through several hands and formats. As a result, the “clickable links” have been lost. I suspect, however, an Internet search wouldn’t be too difficult. Admittedly, most are fairly large scale but I thought any grant information is better than none and might start the wheels of creativity turning.

If you know of any grant sources, send whatever information you have and we’ll share it on the website! Sharing resources is also “the Grange Way.”

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

Support for Communities to Prepare for Environmental Challenges

National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: Resilient Communities

The Resilient Communities program, an initiative of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) with support from Wells Fargo, is dedicated to helping communities prepare for future impacts associated with sea level rise, water quantity and quality, and forest conservation. The program places special emphasis on helping traditionally underserved, low- and moderate-income communities build capacity for resiliency planning and investments in “greener infrastructure. In 2018, grants will be offered in the following two categories: The Regional Adaptation through Regional Conservation Projects category will support projects that help prepare for fire in the Western Region, floods and droughts in the Central Region, and sea-level rise in the Eastern Region. Grants in this category will range from $200,000 to $500,000. The Community Capacity Building and Demonstration Projects category will support projects that help communities understand, organize, and take action to address risks and opportunities through

improved resilience brought about by enhanced natural features. Grants in this category, ranging from $100,000 to $250,000, can take place anywhere in the U.S., but should address multiple cities and communities. Nonprofit organizations, local governments, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply in both categories. The pre-proposal deadline is February 15, 2018; invited full proposals must be submitted by May 10, 2018. Visit the NFWF website to review the request for proposals.

New Dance Works Funded

National Dance Project: Production Grants

The National Dance Project (NDP), a program of the New England Foundation for the Arts, is widely recognized as one of the country’s major sources of funding for dance. NDP’s signature approach invests in artists to make new work and provides grants to the organizations that present those works on tour in their communities. The program provides a package of support that includes up to $45,000 towards the creation of a new work, approximately $10,000 in general operating support, and up to $35,000 to support a U.S. tour of the work. Grants are highly competitive and are awarded to around 20 dance projects each year. The upcoming inquiry application deadline is March 1, 2018. Visit the New England Foundation for the Arts website to review the funding criteria and access the application forms.

Grants to Develop Rural Community Design Workshops

Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design

The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design (CIRD) provides rural communities throughout the United States access to the resources they need to convert their own good ideas into reality. CIRD is offering competitive funding to as many as four small towns or rural communities to host an intensive, two-day community workshop to help build their capacity to solve their design challenges. The CIRD 2018 program is focused on helping rural leaders and residents come together to find creative solutions for the following design issues: Multimodal Transportation, Healthy Living by Design, and Main Streets. CIRD’s contribution includes a $10,000 stipend and in-kind technical assistance services. Support is provided for rural communities with a population of 50,000 or under. The application deadline is February 16, 2018. Visit the CIRD website to learn more about the program and to download the Request for Proposals.

Hiking Trail Projects Supported

American Hiking Society: National Trails Fund

The National Trails Fund, sponsored by American Hiking Society (AHS), provides support to grassroots nonprofit organizations throughout the country working toward establishing, protecting, and maintaining foot trails in America. The Fund’s grants, ranging from $500 to $3,000, help local groups build and protect America’s public trails. Grants will be considered for the following: projects that have hikers as the primary constituency; projects that secure trail lands, including acquisition of trails and trail corridors and the costs associated with acquiring conservation easements; projects that will result in visual and substantial ease of access, improved hiker safety, or avoidance of environmental damage; and projects that promote constituency building surrounding specific trail projects, including volunteer recruitment and support. Applying organizations must be AHS Alliance Members. Online applications are due February 16, 2018. Visit the American Hiking Society website for application guidelines, as well as information on becoming an AHS Member.

Funds for Literacy Programs in Company Communities

Dollar General Literacy Foundation

The Dollar General Literacy Foundation supports nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and libraries that offer literacy programs in communities served by Dollar General in 44 states. The Foundation provides support through the following grant programs: Adult Literacy Grants support nonprofit organizations that provide direct services to adults in need of literacy assistance. Family Literacy Grants support family literacy service providers that combine parent and youth literacy instruction. Summer Reading Grants help nonprofit organizations and libraries with the implementation or expansion of summer reading programs for students who are new readers, below grade level readers, or readers with learning disabilities. Online applications for the three programs described above must be submitted by February 22, 2018. In addition, Youth Literacy Grants support schools, public libraries, and nonprofit organizations that work to help students who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading. The application deadline for this program is May 17, 2018. Visit the Foundation’s website to access guidelines for each grant program.

Historic Preservation Supported

National Park Service

The Save America’s Treasures program provides preservation or conservation assistance to nationally significant historic properties and collections. The application deadline is February 21, 2018.

Award Honors Young Environmentalists

Environmental Protection Agency

The Presidents Environmental Youth Award honors a wide variety of projects developed by young individuals, school classes, summer camps, public interest groups, and youth organizations to promote environmental awareness. The application deadline is March 1, 2018.

Jan 142018

Greetings and Happy New Year! From the fundraising committee of the Maine State Grange.

Many thanks for all of your help in making last year a very successful one for us and for you, as we are contributing to the future of the Maine State Grange.

Another Grange year has begun and we are busy making plans and talking over ideas for this year’s fundraisers. Our first event of the year will be the annual variety show, which has become more popular each year. The show will be held at Topsham Grange #37, 47 Pleasant Street, Topsham on Sunday, April 29, 2018, at 3:00 pm (note the change in the day of the week and the time). As always, we are looking for family-friendly acts to participate at this event. Acts in the past have included musical numbers, humorous stories, jokes, skits and singing (including a performance by the Grange Singers!). This year we are hoping to include some other acts, such as dancing (tap, clogging etc.). So, if you know someone in your area who would like to showcase their talents, please let us know. Participants do not have to be Grange members and will have approximately five minutes to perform. For more information contact me at 998-2586 or email me.

If you have any fundraising ideas you’d like to share please send them to a committee member. On-going items for sale include Grange cookbooks ($5 each or two or more $4 each), Agricultural Pride t-shirts ($12 each), Grange pens; with flashlight and stylus! ($1 each) and Grange magnets ($3 each).

Until next month, stay warm and safe!

Dec 142017

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!  We had a great State Grange Session, we took in around $1,600!  The Grange jewelry was very popular and I’m sure we will try to have it again next year.  We released two out of three cookbooks, Pickles and Preserving and Desserts.  These cookbooks sell for $5.00 each or two or more for $4.00 each.  You can contact us or State Grange HQ to buy some.  Many thanks to Nate Pennell who supplied State Grange pens for us to sell.  They are not only pens but a stylus and flashlight too.  They were very popular for the Sixth Degree.  We asked Pomona Granges to donate a basket for us to use for a raffle and they came through for us.   I would like to thank the following Pomona and individuals:

  • Sagadahoc Pomona – Spaghetti Dinner Basket
  • Mike Griffin & North Scarboro Grange – Halloween Basket
  • Somerset Pomona – Tasty Snacks Basket
  • Cumberland Oxford Pomona – Home Canned Goods Basket
  • Marzie Burnell – Adult Coloring & Puzzle Books
  • Richard & Sherry Harriman – Grilling Basket
  • Steven Haycock – National Grange Coin & Solar Dancer Basket
  • Norma Meserve – Beanie Baby Basket
  • Oxford Pomona – Toiletries Basket
  • West Washington Pomona – Fall Décor with Rug Basket
  • Waldo Pomona – Puzzle Basket
  • Lincoln Pomona – Breakfast Basket
  • Penobscot Pomona – Seasonal Basket
  • Androscoggin Pomona – Scratch Ticket Basket
  • Cumberland Pomona – Money Tree
  • Hancock Pomona – Fall / Halloween Basket

Ruby Bryant donated the following baskets:

  • Dog, Christmas Plate, Harvest, Ice Cream, Soup & Crackers & Fall

I would also like to thank all those who worked in the kitchen selling meals and goodies which was another fundraiser we had.

It has have been my honor to serve as your fundraising chairman for the past two years.  Together we have raised a lot of money and had lots of fun.  We have had the annual Variety Show and Yard Sale.  You’ve been generous and bought many candy bars and t-shirts.  As State Grange Session the delegates gave me the privilege of electing me Steward of the Maine State Grange and the Worthy State Grange Master has asked me to serve as Deputy for Oxford Pomona.  As I prepare to assume these new duties I’m pleased that the Sister Sherry has appointed by roommate and best friend Norma Meserve to serve as Chairman of this committee with me continuing to serve on the committee.

Finally, please mark your calendars and save these dates:

  • Variety Show – Sunday April 29, 2018 – 3 pm at Topsham Grange – Pleasant Street, Topsham
  • Yard Sale – June 2, 2018 – 9 am to 2 pm – Location T.B.D.
Dec 012017

National Grange LogoJoin our online silent auction benefiting the Grange Foundation and bid on one or more of the more than 40 items or packages that just might make the perfect holiday gift for someone on your list or for yourself!

Go to: www.32auctions.com/Grange150 and make an account. You can pay online if you win through your credit card or PayPal. A few of the items may not be shipped. Shipping cost for each item is listed.  Items may also be picked up on site at the 150th Gala at Decatur House at 9 PM Monday, Dec. 4 or make arrangements with a gala attendee to transport your winning items to you. We will require verification for transfer of responsibility for auction items won.

The auction closes at 8:30 PM Eastern Time MONDAY, December 4. Don’t miss out!

Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

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 Amazon.com. The difference is that when customers shop on AmazonSmile (smile.amazon.com), 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: https://smile.amazon.com/ch/34-2041352. (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

Oct 172017

Brothers and Sisters, we have had a great fundraising year!  Together we have raised over $2,100!  For a complete summary of the last year please visit the Maine State Grange website and read our annual report.  I think next year will be even better with the two of cookbooks available beginning at State Grange.  Also, we know we have a winner in our agricultural pride t-shirts.  We just now need to find the best way to market and get these products to non-members, any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

I know this information will be a bit dated for the Granges who receive the paper copy of the bulletin, but here is a list of what we will have at State Grange for sale for those who see these articles digitally.

  • 2017 Convention Pin
  • Chair Cushions (the metal chairs at State Grange session can get be brutal after a couple of days.)
  • Assorted Grange jewelry and accessories from Monroe Classic
  • Basket Raffle with baskets donated by Pomona Granges etc.
  • Agricultural Pride T-Shirts
  • Candy Bars
  • Cookbooks Desserts – Pickles & Preserving
  • Pens

Until next month… Happy Halloween!

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”

Download the 2018 National Digest

Oct 132017

A big thank you to those Maine Grangers who contributed to the success of the store at the New England Grange Building this year. As a Trustee I want to thank you and so does the Store Manager and Building Managers who run the store for us. Below is this year’s preliminary report:

This year’s fair weather had several variables, the first week was hot and humid, Grange weekend was very sunny & hot which started 95+ degree heat wave for 5 days. On Wednesday evening the cold weather moved in. There were 3 days of rain but 1,525,553 attended the 17 days of the Eastern States Exposition.

Total receipts for the store/crafts were $28,200. In the store cookie cutters were a new item and went very well as did the candy sticks. The new varieties of jams, syrups, pickles, and relishes did extremely well so did the colored popcorn. We had the pleasure of seeing many empty shelves at the end of Fair! The store took in $12,809.

A big thank you to all you crafters that supplied us with crafts: Scrubbies ran out the second Monday. We have only a few hanging towels, baby afghans, and mittens at the end of the fair. People are still asking for adult mittens, slippers, ladies sweaters, aprons, plastic bag holders, new unique Christmas ornaments, children’s stuffed toys, Halloween, fall and Christmas decorations, skillet handle pot holders, and door draft stoppers just to name a few. The craft section was $15,500.00.

Tom Gotauco had to complete the ladies and work on men’s bathroom as the contractor that was hired was not satisfactory. A little more work is needed in the men’s bathroom. Also, all the State Flags were moved from around the sides to the front of the hall over the stage. A new backdoor was installed and the cement steps were repaired. There was a lot of rot found in the process which had to be replaced/repaired. George Thomas and Steve Logan installed the window blinds and Linda says they look great!

On Grange Day, Linda picked up pastries, brewed coffee and Claire poured apple cider for the people that work or volunteer in the Avenue of States buildings for just under $300 saving us $2,300. The Blues Crew family entertainers perform 2-one hour’s sets during the day. We were graced with the presence of the National Lecturer-Chris Hamp and her husband Duane, who came to visit the Big E all the way from the state of Washington. Chris was able to cross off a few items on her bucket list by visiting the Big E and riding an elephant. Chris and Duane also marched with about 40 Grangers in the parade.

The managers want to thank all the volunteers who work the cash register in the Grange store, and the Raffle table where $4,075 is being split between the Veterans Home in Bennington, Vermont and Hurricane Relief.

Overall – A great year!