May 292014

Submitted by Larry N Bailey

It was my genuine pleasure to present a 65 year pin and framed certificate to sister Charlene Stimpson. She was a guiding light when we first joined the Ocean View Grange and did so with great humor. It is because of long-term members such as she that our Grange still stands and is there for our use today.

We fielded a crew of Grangers again this year to adopt a local highway section where we picked up all the trash along the road. It is a satisfying activity and one I can recommend.

Our first bean supper of the year was held on May 17th and was a great success. The residents always enjoy the meal and the joy of seeing their friends, relatives and neighbors after the long winter. The funds raised will go towards heating assistance and the building fund. One day (not soon I hope) we will need a new roof.

Starting June 12th Ocean View Grange will sponsor a Farmers market at our Grange.  We have received a very good reception from local farmers and expect the market to be a great success. The market will be open on Thursday mornings from 7:30 AM to 2:00 PM starting June 12th.

May 222014
Photo courtesy of the Piscataquis Observer includes Walter Boomsma, program director, Bill and Julie Orton, and Jim Annis, master.

Photo courtesy of the Piscataquis Observer includes Walter Boomsma, program director, Bill and Julie Orton, and Jim Annis, master.

Julie Orton, principal of PCES (Piscataquis Community Elementary School) was named Valley Grange’s Community Citizen of the Year during recent Community Night activities.

Program Director Walter Boomsma noted that Mrs. Orton gets credit for a number of collaborative programs between the school and Valley Grange. “It started with Words for Thirds and just took off from there,” he announced. “We quickly added bookworming and Newspapers in Education. Our GrowME collaboration truly started with a program at PCES that’s become huge–this year volunteers visited nearly 5o classrooms and interacted with at least 850 students in the area.”

The event was attended by many of Mrs. Orton’s fellow teachers, staff, friends, and parents of children attending PCES who spoke of Mrs. Orton’s compassion, leadership, and strong work ethic. Many considered the event somewhat “bittersweet” as this will be Mrs. Orton’s last year leading PCES–she’s retiring and looking forward to a slightly more leisurely pace. She does plan, however, to continue educating and nurturing children and may be back at school to substitute teach.

A “Just Five Minutes” slide program challenged those attending to consider the value of a daily five-minute commitment to communities. Boomsma pointed out that if “each person in our county between the ages of 20 and 80 spent five minutes per day, “the dollar value is over six million per year and equates to 188 full-time workers.”

Valley Grange was the recent recipient of some community service and honors were bestowed on the “Helping Hands” team from Mountain View Youth Development. Audience members quickly rose to a standing ovation after learning of the amazing makeover the kids and their supervisors completed to the Grange’ dining hall.

Maine State Grange Master Vicki Huff made a surprise appearance for the occasion and presented secretary Mary Annis with a certificate recognizing twenty-five years of membership. Annis is also the Grange’s Community Service Director and responsible for many of the programs Valley Grange runs to support our communities.

Photo courtesy of the Piscataquis Observer. Mary Annis, Linda Erwin and Vicki Huff celebrating Mary’s quarter century of membership.

Photo courtesy of the Piscataquis Observer. Mary Annis, Linda Erwin and Vicki Huff celebrating Mary’s quarter century of membership.

May 162014
By Karen Flagg,
CWA Director

Karen FlaggI hope everyone is finally getting a chance to get out to enjoy this warmer weather. Just a reminder that the Decorated Item (Class P) this year is a Christmas Stocking and it may be crafted in any manner and then decorated. It cannot be bought and then decorated (Class Q). The Welcome Sign must be made of wood with all woodworking and finishing done entirely by the contestant and can be no larger than 12 inches wide by 3 feet long.

By the time you read this, hopefully everyone will have received the CWA packet with the annual appeal for donations along with the information for the 2014 National Grange Quilt Block Contest. I will also enclose a copy of their score sheets so that you will know how National will judge the blocks.

Jim Tetreault is the new National Lecturer and is extending an appeal to all Grange members to solicit donations of quilts, pillows and/or table runners. These will be used for a charity auction to benefit the National Grange Foundation. “Building the National Grange Foundation gives us the opportunity to expand programming.”

May 162014
by Walter Boomsma
Communications Director/Webmaster

We’ve received word that the date of the Bangor Grange CWA night has been changed from June 7 to June 3 with all other details remaining the same.

Let this be a reminder that potential attendees should always confirm the details of events–particularly before driving long distances… this is one reason we continually insist that event information include the name and contact information of someone who is responsible for the event.

As Communications Director, I would also remind event planners that it is important to avoid changing event dates unless absolutely necessary. No matter how hard we try, doing so will cause and communicate confusion.

I remember rescheduling a dictionary presentation once when there just wasn’t any other option. I did everything I could think of to get the word out. On the original date I got a call from a television news crew. They were standing on the porch of the Grange Hall wondering where everyone was!

May 152014
NelsonRobert and Agnes Nelson, Agriculture Directors

Since you last heard from Bob and me, we have prepared and helped with Legislative Luncheon for Ag-Day on March 12 at State Grange Headquarters. Bob and I want to especially thank the Agriculture Committee members, State Grange officers, Legislative Committee members and any other Grangers who helped us with fudge, and pies, set up the hall, serve and cleanup for the luncheon. We appreciated it more than you know. We served about 150 for the luncheon.

Bob and I attended Ingraham’s Open House on April 9, 2014. We had a table set up and sold Agriculture Scholarship Raffle tickets and Maine Grange Cookbooks. Please contact us if anyone would like raffle tickets. We hope grange members will encourage their Grange to support the Agriculture Scholarship this year.

May 10 the Agriculture Committee judged the Agriculture Scholarship applications. Thanks to the committee members who were able to help with the judging. We had 12 qualifying applications this year. The committee selected 3 applications for $500.00 scholarships. They are as follows:

  1. Kristen Vafiades from Corinth, Me.
  2. Samantha Dubois from Hollis Center, Me.
  3. Monique Bickford from Clinton, Me.

It won’t be too long and the fairs will be starting up. We encourage Granges to consider exhibiting if they can. It is great publicity for the Grange. We look forward to getting to as many fairs as we can this year.

Last week Bob and I were totally surprised and overwhelmed by Waldo Pomona members for honoring us with the Pomona Grange Award for Public Service. It was such an unexpected surprise. State Master Vicki Huff was there and did the presentation. There were several other visiting dignitaries there. We were so very honored by all.

The problem with Deer Ticks is back. The cold weather didn’t kill the ticks, as we would hope. They are just waiting to get back on the move. They are becoming a real problem in Maine. More and more people are being reported with Lyme Disease. Bob and I have a niece with a severe case of  Lyme  Disease. It took some time before it was finally diagnosed. One of my sisters has a dog diagnosed with Lyme Disease earlier this spring. It is not always easy to diagnose this disease. If you are out and about in wooded areas, tall grass areas or areas animals travel make sure to check pets, children, clothing and yourself for these little critters daily.

May 152014
By Christine Corliss
Community Service/FHH Director

I want to thank the members of Cape Elizabeth #242 grange for the wonderful evening on May 10th.  The meal was great and it was a joyous evening.  During my visit there it was great to hear all the community service projects going on and the upcoming ones too.  A sincere thank you to Sister Nancy Clark of Harraseeket Grange #9, Master for the Evening.  Due to Sister Nancy’s encouragement, I would like to add a little fun to the Community Service Corner each month and offer a recipe that has to do with Fellow Grange Member’s heritage, so I am asking Fellow Grangers to send me a favorite traditional recipe from your heritage as often as you like and I will post one each month for others to enjoy.  I will start this month off with a recipe from my heritage which is Portuguese.  Please when sending in recipe to include your name, grange and heritage.

“Kale Soup”

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound Portuguese linguica, broken into large chunks
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans cannelli beans, drained
  • 5 Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
  • 1 London broil (cubed) @ 1 lb.
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Pimenta Moida (Portuguese hot chopped peppers)
  • 1 bunch kale – washed, dried, and shredded
  • 1/2 head savoy cabbage, shredded

Here is the easy part!!!! Throw all ingredients except beans with water to cover over all in large 12 qt. soup pot.  Cook on medium heat stirring occasionally until kale and cabbage are tender, add beans cook about another ½ hour and then eat up.  In our family best served with a Portuguese roll (pop) or Portuguese bread to dunk in broth.  Hint:  substitute Portuguese roll for any thick crusted bread.

Christine Corliss, Riverside Grange #475 – Portuguese

May 142014
By Vicki HuffVicki - Sash (2)

Last month I spoke about the lady that had been waiting since 4th grade to be asked to join Grange. I’m proud to say she has received her degrees and is now a 4th degree member.

When we are thinking about asking members to join we should also be “asking” ourselves about new ideas. I said in my Master’s Address that we need to start using the words “we can”. Our Granges can and will succeed when we work together and as a team. There is work for all but we must remember that not all work at the same pace. Even though we all contribute at different levels we are working for one common goal.

The Deputies, State Officers and I are here to help you succeed. We will do what we can! I might not always be able to return a call the same day or even the next day but will do my best to see that your concern is addressed and your questions are answered. Let’s all do what we can for our Grange and our communities.

Is your garden in? This is the hopeful time of year on the farm and in the Grange. Let’s plant!

May 122014
By Ronald and Lillian Dolloff
Memorial Fund Committee Co-chairs

The Grangers Memorial Fund was created by the delegates of the Maine State Grange Convention in Waterville in 1981 at the suggestion of Wallace and Geraldine Brown (Lillian’s parents) of Yarmouth Grange.  It was felt that this would give people an outlet to honor beloved Grange members and friends.

The names of beloved Grange members and friends are recorded in the Memorial Book which is in the possession of the Maine State Grange Chaplain, and may be viewed at the annual state Grange session.

This fund was originally started to purchase needed items for the headquarters, but has since been used for other things. Only the  Executive Committee can approve expenditures but must maintain a minimum balance of $20,000. Currently there is a balance of $24,000 and approximately $4,000 available.

Some of the fund in the past has been spent on: furniture for headquarters; flowers for deceased state grange officers and former officers; monument for former state officer; sound system; paint for headquarters; donation to the Cathedral of the Pines; Grange promotion; piano; helped furnish a room at Grange Cottage; helped with chair lift; office chairs and computer table for headquarters; grave markers for former officers; furniture for guest room at headquarters; money used over the years for grange expenses.  There were other things too, but this gives you an idea of how valuable this fund has been.

Any Granger may make suggestions regarding this fund to any member of the executive committee or to us. Donations may be mailed to Mr. and Mrs. Ronald E. Dolloff, 100 Pine Street, Waldoboro, ME 04572.

May 112014
By Walter Boomsma
Communications Director

2014 DirectoryI can say with some authority that a frequent search and question I receive starts with “Where is…?” and ends with the name of a Grange. This directory is an attempt to allow folks to answer that question on their own—no muss, no fuss, no waiting.

The information contained in the directory comes from the 2013-2014 roster file, but only includes very basic information: Subordinate Grange name, street location, and the Pomona Grange. (For those unfamiliar with grange hierarchy, subordinate Granges are local/community Granges. These local Granges are organized into a regional group referred to as a “Pomona.”) One reason for only including basic information is to avoid the need for constant updating. If you need to contact a specific Grange refer to the Roster or any officer of the Maine State Grange.

Those who frequently need additional information such as meeting times or current officer names are encouraged to consider ordering a Roster from Maine State Grange Headquarters.

In addition to downloading directly from this post, you’ll find a link to the directory on the “Program Books” page–see the tab at the top of the website.

If you find errors in this directory please contact webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg  (webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg)  .

Suggestions and compliments are also welcome! Special thanks to Laurie McBurnie for providing the file necessary to create this resource for you.

Subordinate Grange Officers are reminded that it may be wise to consider updating the location of your Grange Hall. Thanks to  the E-911 system every building must have a street address. Thanks to GPS technology this makes buildings easier to locate. If we want new members they have to know where we are!

Download your copy of the 2014 Directory of Granges!

May 112014

Grottonby Rick Grotton, State Overseer

Please look over the Distinguished Grange applications as the June 30 is the last day for this year’s application.  The application year runs from July 1, 2013-June 30, 2014. If you have new members waiting for degrees check around for Degree days before the deadline or organize one at you grange. Any new members may give your grange a net gain for the year.  As I have mentioned previously, there are many Granges in Maine that qualify for the award so please complete the application and send to State Grange or myself. We need 10 qualified Granges in Maine to complete the “challenge” by National Grange. Let’s have fun doing this every year!

Membership is increasing in many Granges. If you have members in waiting, please do not make them wait. In your efforts to get new members do your best. Sometimes it doesn’t take much effort at all. At the recent State Spirit of America event in Augusta, I noticed a lady standing alone watching the ending of the event. I started talked to her and discovered that her mother had liked attend the annual event previously. This lady said that for herself she had free time now and wanted something rewarding to do with her time. Of course being membership minded, the bells and whistles went off in my head. We  talked about Grange, I got her address, sent her an application (guess I wasn’t too membership minded or I would have had one on me) and connected her with a grange in her town. So, in conversations with friends, family, and people you have just met, TALK GRANGE!  It could lead to a new member. Speak with pride and joy of your Grange. It will be noticed. Wear clothing that advertises the Grange in public. Who knows if someone would come up to you and ask you about Grange.  It does happen! Do something unique for your community that will always be connected with Grange. Open your halls for functions whether grange related or not.

Finally, I do want to congratulate those grange members who were honored for volunteerism in their communities at the annual Spirit of America event. Keep up the great work and thank you! For those who were present you might have been shown on WABI Channel 5 news that same evening. Hope you all head into the warmer weather with many rewarding plans for your Granges!