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 252017

Christine Hebert1

Master Sherry has asked me to remain the Junior Director of the Maine State Grange. I am honored and have accepted.

We have a wonderful team again this year with some new committee members. Let’s welcome: Priscilla Locke and Brenda Frechette. Many Thanks to Judy Meserve who will be greatly missed.

I believe this will be the magic year that a new “Junior Grange” will open in our state and I look forward to working with them.

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

Meenahga Grange member Laurie McBurnie presents a $300 check to Nobleboro Central School’s Battle of the Bookers club. Front from left: Izzy Peterson, Cheyenne Wadford, Paige Lafrenaye, Olivia Stiles, Dante Maskell, and McBurnie. Back: Alden Hunold, Ivan Coffin, Ben Sawyer, William Sherrill, and John Rice. (Paula Roberts photo)

Meenahga Grange, of Waldoboro, donated $300 to Nobleboro Central School’s Battle of the Books teams. The money is to be used to purchase books for the AOS 93 program.

“We appreciate the support of the Meenahga Grange for our Battle of the Books effort this year,” said NCS librarian Kris Harriman, who co-coached the teams last year with eighth-grade teacher Laurie Stiles. “Our students already are thrilled and ready to start reading.”

Teams consist of four to six students each. Nobleboro fielded three teams last school year and captured three of the top four spots in the competition for grades six through eight at Lincoln Academy. The sixth-grade team, The Professors, placed first; The Bucket Squad came in third, and The Lit Squad took fourth.

The winning team won gift cards from Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop in Damariscotta. All students received T-shirts and celebrated with a pizza party after the competition. The LA library staff and student aides hosted the event. Pizza was donated by The Penalty Box, Hilltop Stop in Damariscotta, and the Newcastle Publick House.

The five AOS 93 schools will compete this season. Schools pick a book each to read. Students then write trivia questions about each book. Librarians and Lincoln Academy staff then pick the best questions from each book for the trivia competition. “The better the question, the more likely you will get your own question,” a Nobleboro student said.

Last year students read “Misadventures of the Family Fletcher,” “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler,” “Crossover,” and “American Born Chinese.”

Sample questions from “American Born Chinese” include: Why did Gin change his hair? What did Tim say when Gin was first introduced to class? What does Gin turn into and why?

Nobleboro teams met every Friday at lunch last year and practiced by forming questions and asking other teams in their school to answer them.

“Part of it is to get books into students’ hands. Lincoln Academy is a big help. They donate one book and we have to buy the other three,” Harriman said.

Part of the fun of the Battle of the Books competition is to dress up in costumes. The Professors dressed up in lab coats and safety glasses, and the Great Salt Bay Community School team dressed like the Fletcher family.

This year’s Battle of the Books event is scheduled for March 23, 2018 at Lincoln Academy. LA students will moderate the event.

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 172017

Master Sherry reports from National Grange Convention, “Under this whipped cream is Jimmy Owens, Priest Analyst and State EC Member of Maine, on the receiving end of the pie in the face fundraiser for the youth dept. at National Grange.  Amanda Brozana Rios held the winning ticket and she asked Lew Bryson to assist.  High Priest Bruce Croucher and Preist Archon Roger Bostwick were also recipients.”

Nov 152017


The Agricultural Committee wishes to thank all Grangers who supported our table at the State Grange Session in support of our Agricultural Scholarships.  Our committee meets this week to put our calendar and plans together for the 2018 year.

We are looking for assistance in covering of our Maine State Grange booth at the Agricultural Trade Show booth from January 9-11, 2018.  If you are willing to sit at the booth during that time frame (9-5 Tuesday, 9-7 Wednesday and 9-3 Thursday) please call me 592-6980 or email me Karendothdotgagneatmainedotedu  (Karendothdotgagneatminedotedu)  . This booth is representative of all Granges in our state and we appreciate your support.

The Ag Committee wants to congratulate Pam and Bryan Wells the 2017 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the year. Their commitment to collaboration with other organizations to preserve our plants, woods, and fields is demonstrated through words and actions in their community-oriented Demonstration Tree Farm.

The Ag Committee met today and will have the updated 2018 Ag Scholarship Application available in January.  We will also have the newly revised guidelines for the 2018 Maine Agricultural Enterprise Award available and sent to all Granges after the New Year. We are encouraging all Granges to nominate families for the award in 2018.

The Agricultural Committee with lots of help from additional Grangers prepared and served the Maine Ag in the Classroom Annual meeting banquet and many thanks to all who served and/or made pies for this event in spite of the fact we were without power!

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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