Apr 262011

Submitted by Sue Hackett

Contest day was held at State Grange headquarters on April 23rd with the following results in the Junior and Youth Departments. Share A Talent or Skill – Paige Lavoie, Share a skill, received $10.00 for entering. Public Speaking 1st age 20-29 Steven Haycock, receives $15.00. Lyp Sync Rick Grotton, receives $15.00 and ribbon. Impromptu speeches: 20-29 1st Caroline Coffin ($15.00) 2nd Steven Haycock ($10.00) 30+ 1st Dana Coffin ($15.00), 2nd Rick Grotton ($10.00) plus each contestant received a ribbon. Aren’t you sorry you didn’t enter?

Apr 242011

Piscataquis Pomona has formed a committee to plan a degree day this summer (tentative date is July 16th).  A letter to area Granges explained, “No one grange is going to ‘own’ a degree or chair. Multiply four degrees times the number of officer positions and you’ll see there are plenty of opportunities to participate! If you’ve always wanted to be part of a “degree team,” but found the idea a bit overwhelming, this is your chance. Those taking officer positions do NOT have to memorize the part…”

Anyone interested in being on the “degree team” for this grand event, please contact a member of the degree committee.  Please do this by June 1st so the committee can start making sure every office is covered for each degree.

For more information you can contact: Ernest Rollins (717-7057) or email href="ewrollinsatymaildotcom,Tim">ewrollinsatymaildotcom ,TimWilson or Terry Peale 285-1051 and Sally Downing 564-3328 or email at salguydowningatmyfairpointdotnet  (salguydowningatmyfairpointdotnet)  .

Apr 232011

Submitted by Glenys Ryder

Danville Junction Grange 65 recently held their annual Open Meeting  in conjunction with Grange Month with many in attendance.  State Grange Master James Owens was there to present membership certificates to longtime members.  Popular area entertainer Phil House played several selections on the piano which delighted the audience.  Pictured from left to right are:  William Hatch, a 65 – year member, and Glenys Ryder and Joyce Poole, both of whom were presented Appreciation Certificates for their service to the grange.  Unable to attend were Tom Bennett (55 years), Lorraine Additon (65 years), and Leo Gousse (75 years).  A Community Service Award was presented previously to Scott Redmun, who has helped on our public suppers for many years.

Apr 202011

Thanks to Deborah Evans for sending information about a Bangor Daily News article regarding a group of farmers starting a Farmers’ Market as part of an effort to rescue the historic Princeton Grange Hall. It’s one of those great efforts that just makes a lot of sense.

“The thing is, it’s not just a farmers market,” Terry Starks of Princeton said. Starks will be providing eggs, flowers and vegetables to the market. “It’s a sneaky way to get this community together again — sell vegetables, get the youth involved, get everyone out of their homes and rubbing shoulders with their neighbors again, bring out the oldtimers and the new farmers. It is such a common-ground thing, food. It is the common denominator.”

Read the entire article on the Bangor Daily News Website.

Apr 192011

Submitted by Rick Grotton

April is Grange month and with all of the Community Service Awards activity throughout the state that means that potential members are at your hall for the asking! Whenever you have a community attended activity keep in mind that these guests could be future members! Make your hall inviting, create a welcoming atmosphere, greet all guests, and answer their questions concerning Grange with pride and a positive attitude. Most of all be courteous! Have plenty of applications ready and remember to ask guests to join. Many of your guests are community oriented persons so always discuss the community role of the Grange. In conversation with non members ask the following questions and listen to what they are telling you. What does your community need from the Grange? What can you do to help? Are there any projects that the non members would like to do?  Get a feel of what is going on around town and what others want to have done. Can your Grange help fulfill their wants and needs for the community? If so, offer to help. That will establish a better bond with community non members and certainly will increase your membership.

If your Grange does not give out Community Service awards, then either invite the community into your hall with various community oriented programs as a town meeting, a speaker, a voting place, or have an open house. Or, just start doing the awards night! If you need assistance, then please ask for help! Your Pomona should be able to help as well as other Granges and even your town officials or non members.

I remember being asked by a dear friend to help with a Fourth of July project back in 1985. I had been in many grange halls for other purposes but was not knowledgeable on the duties of Grange. By the end of July I found myself to be a proud Fourth Degree member! A little effort is all it takes; once you create the spark the fire can begin. Turn those negative thoughts into positive ones. Think about what you love about Grange and how it has changed your life and share these moments with non members. Rejuvenate the Grange spirit in your community with a small effort and let the rest take care of itself!

A big thank you to those Granges using the website to advertise their events! Keep up the good work and attract those new members! There are degree days held at various locations all over the State, so get’em in your hall, get’em to fill out the application, get’em voted in, and get’em to the degree day and get’em to come to meetings.

Apr 192011

Dodie Curtis reminded everyone, "It takes all of us..."

Guilford— Valley Grange hosted nearly 100 people at their recent open house and celebration of community. Festivities at the annual meeting included a community potluck supper and slide presentation featuring some of the grange’s activities throughout the year. Following the slide presentation, program director Walter Boomsma noted that Valley Grange received the First Place National Grange Award for Community Service last fall and “…in some ways winning was real easy. It’s just a matter of doing what you love and care about.”

In keeping with the community theme, Grange Master Jim Annis presented Valley’s Annual Community Citizen Award to Dolores “Dodie” Curtis explaining that her nomination included the observation “She is a former Chief of Nurses at Mayo Hospital, works with people who need physical therapy at the Fitness Center in Guilford, and spearheaded the campaign for all the tulip ribbon gardens throughout town. She also personally sold hundreds of tulips to individuals for their own gardens in remembrance of loved ones…  She is on the Library Board of Directors, involved with the Garden Club, and teaches marzipan decorating classes… if you mention her name to others you would hear her described as a loving, caring person…”

Friends and family supported this observation with numerous examples of Curtis’s caring for others and her community. Speakers included Fran Moore of the Physically Challenged Club who told Curtis, “You bring such special gifts… we bring a token of our appreciation for all you give.” Flowers and words and hugs and kisses flowed freely, intermingled with a few tears.  In her response Curtis pointed out that “when you give, it all comes back to you…” and reminded everyone “it takes a lot of us.”


Valley Grange member and musician Merna Dunham from Milo was also recognized for 65 years of Grange Membership. Opal Bennett could not be present but was also honored and will be awarded a 75 year certificate.


The roots of the Grange date back to Farmers’ Clubs that existed in the 1850’s. The Grange itself was officially formed in 1867 as “Patrons of Husbandry.” Over the years the Grange’s focus has shifted from agriculture to community and community service but without abandoning the rich agricultural heritage.


Boomsma noted that Dunham and Bennett are examples of how Grange Members “Stick with it because it’s a great organization.” He added, “…Dodie is right; it takes a lot of us” and observed that while Valley Grange is passionate about and active in a wide variety of service-oriented projects, “We really need some help. We’ll take what you can give us; even if it’s just fifteen minutes a month. The Grange is truly and easy organization to belong to, but even if you can’t belong we’ll take your hands, head and heart.” 

Volunteer cards allowing citizens to express their interest are available from any Grange Member. Those who are interested can also call Boomsma at 876-4131 or Community Service Chairperson Mary Annis at 465-0820 or visit the Valley Grange website at http://valleygrange.wordpress.com. Additional information can also be found at the Thompson Free Library in Dover Foxcroft where the Grange’s Award-winning Community Service Book is on display through the end of the month.

Apr 182011

Submitted by Sue Hackett

April 23rd is Contest Day at State Grange Headquarters for the Junior and Youth Departments as well as the Lecturer. JUNIORS will have Public Speaking, Prepared Speech 1 minute minimum, ages 8-10, 11-12, 13-14. Sign-a-Song ages 8-14; Manually spelling the Alphabet ages 8-14; and Share a Talent or Skill ages 5-14. YOUTH will have PUBLIC SPEAKING prepared speech 4 to 7 minutes; Elevator speech 1 1/2 minutes; or impromptu speech draw topic from hat, at least 1 minute and no more than 7 minutes. Three age categories 13-19; 20-29, & 30 +. SIGN-A-SONG, novice, hobbyist, group or expert. Winners in all categories go on to the Northeastern Regional Youth Conference, in Maine, on July 8-10.

MINIATURE GOLF TOURNAMENT – June 10-12 Get a group together and go to a miniature golf range and play at least 9 holes. Be sure to put people’s whole names on the score card, on back if you have to. Have fun, keep score, when you are finished send the score care to Sue Hackett, address in roster.

YARD SALE & BAKE SALE – June 24, 11-6 & June 25, 8-1 at State Grange Headquarters. Please if you have good stuff to donate we will be happy to accept it. (NO exercise equipment, except small items – jump ropes, hand bar bells, etc.) Drop things off at headquarters if you are there, for pick up call Sue at 666-8849 or email at shackett245ataoldotcom.

Apr 182011

Master John Gandy presents the Community Citizen Award to Chuck, Belinda and Brandon Lawrence of Tradewinds Marketplace on behalf of the Halcyon Grange of North Blue Hill on Sunday April 17th. Here are the master’s remarks at the ceremony:

I’d like to welcome everyone to our grange hall. Thank you for coming out today to help us celebrate. The Community Citizen Award is a nationwide Grange program to recognize the outstanding service of non-member individuals, couples and organizations. Since 1873 the Grange has sought to build and develop the best in men and women, and to make them not only better farmers, but part of a bigger and stronger community life. We are proud and pleased to be awarding our 2011 community citizen award to Chuck and Belinda Lawrence. Owners of Tradewinds store, Chuck and Belinda have been active in this community for over 10 years.

In recent years, the Lawrences have made donations to numerous local charities including the Blue Hill Public Library, George Stevens Academy, and the Bay School. A member of the GSA administrative team said, “They are supporters of our students and our programs, especially the recent Floor Me project to renovate the high school gymnasium.” Known for his sense of humor and for coming in and stocking shelves or bagging at Tradewinds, Chuck has been very supportive of the GSA students, employing many of them and always offering one a scholarship.

Recently, the Lawrences donated a van to the Washington Hancock Community Agency for the At Home DownEast program. Anne Ossana of Friendship Cottage reports that “At Home Downeast is in the development stage, with hopes of it being up and running this summer. The van the Lawrence’s donated will be used for grocery delivery and transportation to medical appointments” for those who don’t have transportation of their own.

In the past year, Chuck and Belinda have also donated to local fire departments,Blue Hill Harbor School, Hospice Volunteers of Hancock County, Ambulance Corps, Bagaduce Chorale, Island Nursing Home, and the Blue Hill Historical Society. They’ve sponsored dinners at the Simmering Pot, held a fundraiser at the store for the Tree of Life- matching customer donations – and donated food and beverages to Blue Hill’s A Fourth to Remember.

These are just a few ways the Lawrences have given back to our community. As national and multi-national chain stores grow and spread throughout our communities, Blue Hill is lucky to have local owners like Chuck and Belinda who provide excellent products in their store, but also help keep the dollars we spend at Tradewinds working for our community.

Rich Boulet, Director of the Blue Hill Public Library said, “Chuck and Belinda really get the idea of corporate citizenship in a small community. In my experience, they give generously without expectation of being regaled or recognized.”

Well, it is with honor and pleasure that we DO recognize you today. Chuck and Belinda, please come up to the podium.

 It is my honor to present to you, Chuck and Belinda Lawrence, the Grange Community Citizen Award- “In recognition of outstanding service to this community and mankind. Your dedication and personal involvement are gratefully and sincerely acknowledged by the members of Halcyon Grange Number 345.”

We are thrilled to have Paul Sullivan with us to provide the music. There are refreshments and we will be cutting the cake on the front table. So stay, enjoy the music and food.

Thank you all for coming and thank you, again, to our Community Citizens, Chuck and Belinda Lawrence!

Apr 152011

Words from Walter...

Thanks to the many who’ve submitted Grange Month Events and news! I know I’ve enjoyed the wide range of activities… some very creative ways of involving the Grange in the community… and involving the community in the Grange! (I love the Pies on Parade… I wonder if they will announce who ate the most slices of pie!)

As a reminder, when you submit an event check to make sure you’ve given all the details. Remember also that not everyone knows where your Grange is located (town). Also, for those granges with Facebook Pages, I’d ask that you still send me the details via email. An invitation to the event through Facebook just won’t work. It’s simply too time consuming for me to visit Facebook to retrieve the information. Frankly, the easier you make it, the faster I can get your information posted.

That said, if your Grange does have a Facebook Page, please let me know so we can link to it!

Another tip regarding submissions: remember that many people are not familiar with grange “lingo.” When you are describing an event, make sure an “average person” will understand what is going on. What is guest officer night? What does CWA program mean? The more information you provide, the more welcoming your grange will appear.

Traffic to the site continues to be strong. Over the past three weeks visits have steadily increased by 15% per week. We can probably attribute much of that to the coming of Grange Month!

I did, this morning, post application forms for reinstatement at both the Pomona and Subordinate level. You’ll find them on the “Secretary’s Stuff” page where you can download and print them as you need. Thanks to Sharon for sending them along.

Due to the underwhelming lack of response to my request for Farmers’ Market Information (and with thanks to Tom Roberts of Snakeroot Farm in Pittsfield) I’ll be changing the Farmers’ Market page to link to the Maine Farmers’ Market Directory… We can still feature Grange sponsored or Grange supported markets on the page–just send me the information (location, dates and times of operation, etc.)

Tonight is Valley Grange’s Open House and Community Citizen Award Presentation… we’re all excited and a bit busy! Grange Month is half over… I’m looking forward to getting news of your events. Don’t forget to include a photo! (Photos are best sent as attachments to an email.)

Apr 112011

Cathy Koronis speaks to Grangers

Officers of Sagadahoc Pomona visited Topsham Grange and filled the chairs at Topshams regular meeting on April 6. Since it was Agriculture Night, a feature of the program was a most interesting talk by Cathy Karonis, co-owner and operator of Fairwinds Farm in Topsham. Cathy and her husband Peter are also vendors at the Winter Farmers Market hosted by Topsham Grange every Saturday during the winter season.

Guests for the evening were Maine State Grange Overseer, Brother Pat Brewer, and Gate Keeper and Flora, Brother Terry and Sister Harriet Spencer. Overseer Pat Brewer assisted in presenting certificates to several long-time members, one of whom received a 75th Year Certificate.

On Wednesday, May 4th, Topsham Grange will observe CWA Night. Guest officers from several area Granges will fill the chairs and present the program. The meeting begins with a supper at 6 p.m., and the meeting following at 7 p.m.