Jan 292018
 

Click to enlarge image

I know we do not usually feature local Grange events as posts to the website, but I’m making an exception with this one. because it may well represent an exciting future of “local” Grange events on several points!

First, at least three Granges are involved in this Community Discussion being held on February 2, 2018. It’s obvious from the flyer that Kennebec Valley Grange is hosting and East Madison Grange is sponsoring. What’s not as obvious is that Halcyon Grange is also involved–Master Heather Retberg and Bonnie Preston will be sharing their experience and expertise as part of the discussion.

Second, there’s some creative scheduling involved with a potluck before and music following. That’s three different incentives and opportunities at Kennebec Valley Grange right in a row–and each truly does follow the “community” theme.

Along those same lines, Highland Lake Grange recently shared information about the Beekeeping Program they offered before their “regular” meeting. As an exciting epilogue, Master Dave McGowen reports that two folks who attended the Beekeeping Program “stuck around” after and expressed interest in information about joining the Grange!

These are great examples of “everybody wins” ideas and programming! We often talk about our “grassroots” and how there can be and are differences in Granges and their focus. But the opportunities for collaboration, cooperation, and creativity abound!

Certainly, our structure suggests this could happen at the Pomona Level–one of the purposes of the Pomona Grange is to provide an opportunity to share and support. If there’s diversity in our Pomona, would it make sense to do a Pomona Event that features every Grange? A piece of the event might be to set up tables for each subordinate/community Grange and invite the public to come and learn about all the Granges in the area. (The host Grange would best be the most geographically central.

But informal arrangements can also work extremely well based on shared interests or physical location. There’s an old example explaining synergy (the combining of energies) as two plus two equals five. When two Granges get together to collaborate and cooperate, one plus one equals three!

And remember, collaboration and cooperation are not limited to other Granges. Valley Grange is currently working on a spring event that will potentially include Project Linus, quilting clubs, and high schools.

Share your stories! Do not underestimate your successes! Something as simple as how you schedule programs and meetings may trigger an idea that another Grange can use. Take photos of your successful events and send them for sharing.

Collaboration, cooperation, and creativity — another example of “the Grange Way.”

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Jan 212018
 

Photo by David Colby Young

Danville Junction Grange #65, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is four feet up in the air!! The foundation is being replaced. It will be necessary to dig around the entire building. Two chimneys had to be removed and the kitchen floor and sills completely replaced. A sill on the front porch will also have to be replaced.

While the hall is unavailable, our scheduled meetings are being held at the Danville Union Church, just up the hill from the Grange hall. Instead of refreshments after the meetings, we are now serving dessert at 6 p.m.

Hopefully, we will be able to resume our monthly bean and casserole suppers on Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m. Bingo is played at 7. Hope to see all of our “regulars” as well as some new faces at that time!

Jan 212018
 

Let the nagging begin!

Seriously, this is your first reminder to start planning for Grange Month… National Grange recently announced, “One hundred fifty years—what a milestone! This year’s Grange Month should be filled with celebrations in every Grange, coast to coast! We have a proud history of supporting, educating, advocating, and entertaining rural Americans. Very few organizations last for 150 years so this is our time to celebrate.

Our theme for 2018 Grange Month is “That’s the Grange Way.”  Following up our Doers theme from 2017, it’s the Grange Way to be doers, to volunteer and give and contribute to life where we live.  To be outstanding citizens and be the bridge between two sides who won’t compromise. To teach the world how to get along, what faith, hope, and charity really mean in everyday life.  How to love others even if you don’t like them or don’t agree with them.   We want to tell the world what the Grange Way means, and why they should care, why they should want to join us and help with our efforts to improve lives from the grassroots up.”

And the really good news is the following resources are already available from the National Grange website:

There are a few more items, so you may just want to visit the 2018 Grange Month Page on the National Grange website. (The one thing that’s currently missing on the page is the order form for community service awards–that was available in the January issue of the Patrons Chain, but I’m also working on making it readily available, perhaps on the MSG website. More to come on that!

While it is traditional to think of April as “Grange Month,” when your Grange celebrates it is truly optional. Here in Maine, some Granges choose to wait until May when the weather tends to be more cooperative.

You’ll need to start making decisions soon, though! A good Grange Month Celebration should include advance planning and publicity. Celebrating a “Community Night” that includes honoring a local citizen is one of the more common practices. But this would be a great year to think outside the box! How about planning a special community service project that ties in? Would it make sense to have a special guest speaker or a panel discussion regarding community… or to announce the start of a community garden? 2018 is a great year to put your Grange “on the map” and in the public eye.

Here’s a publicity idea for you. At your next meeting, have someone snap a photo of members sitting in a circle having an intense discussion. Write a short “cutline” (caption) describing how members are planning your Grange Month Celebration, then send both to your local newspapers–and the MSG website. (Email the photo as an attachment–photos cannot easily be sent using the “submitting information” tab.)

If you need some help or have some great ideas to share, let us know! Let’s work together for the most successful Grange Month ever! That’s the Grange Way!

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

 

 

 

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

Sep 042017
 

The annual Maine State Grange Session is fast approaching! I’m putting together some plans for the kitchen and could use your help.

Volunteers are needed.

Several people have already volunteered to take on some of the major kitchen responsibilities, but I am still looking for people who are willing to volunteer some time to help in the kitchen (schedule somewhat flexible). Anywhere from three to seven people (depending on the time of day) will be needed in the kitchen. “Jobs” include making sandwiches in the morning, and serving lunches, beverages and/or snacks. Help is needed Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. The kitchen will not be able to function efficiently without sufficient help. Please let me know soon what you would like to do and which day(s) and time(s) you are available to help.

Donations are welcome.

Please let me know what you plan to donate what by Sept. 30 so I can plan to purchase the rest. Items needed include:

  • Bottled water
  • Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite, Diet Sprite, orange, root beer, ginger ale
  • American Chop Suey (3 batches needed)
  • Individual bags of potato chips
  • Desserts–cookies & bars
  • paper goods such as hot cups, paper towels, dinner plates (sturdy), napkins, plastic forks

We plan to sell coffee and muffins each morning; sandwiches (ham & cheese, chicken salad, tuna salad, PB&J), cookies/bars, chips, and a hot meal (chop suey Thursday, mac & cheese Friday, with biscuit) at noon; and beverages (coffee, tea, hot cocoa, water, soda). Beverages and snack items will be available at all breaks.

Please contact me by email  (lmcb293atgmaildotcom)   or at 207-563-5347 to let me know what items you/your Grange can donate and if you are available to help out in the kitchen. We’ll have fun and eat well!

Aug 232017
 

Last Saturday night was our beanhole dinner at the Fairview, followed by music by the lake. We served close to 100 beanhole bean enthusiasts yeast rolls, brown bread, cole slaw, blueberry cake, ham, and of course, beans and hot dogs. A Smithfield bargain at $8.00. At 6 p.m. sharp the Snow Pond Pantastics delighted all with their steel drum band music. Nothing more fun than that sound by the water. After a set of “steel” the “regulars” plus or minus, kicked it into gear and played under the lights until about 9:30, extending our 6:00-9:00 Jam Session, as the crowd demanded. Special performances by two young ladies, the first visiting with her grandparents and just nine years old and the latter, a friend and sometimes performer at our Jam, a 12-year-old singer. She sang “Happy Birthday” to our Grange Lecturer, Kevin James… just 39, again this year. At the end of the night, the Fairview Grange had benefitted by about $800.00 which keeps your local Grange open, able to stay relevant in your community, and able to maintain and improve the facility. We appreciate the support of all who attended and especially want to thank those who shopped, cooked, planned, cleaned, prepared, served, baked, lugged tables, built the stage, cut the grass, washed dishes, hauled the trash or in any other way worked to put on the event. It doesn’t happen by itself, so thanks to those Grange members! Also, we should add that it was especially nice to see some of our long time Grange members who have “been there, and done that” support the Fairview by attending. David, Marilyn, Elery, Olive (and young Mr. Bobby Corson) and any others I may have missed. I was busy in the kitchen! Big thanks, Rick “Master” Fairview Grange.

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Aug 212017
 

Short messages from your Communications Department

Some exciting news from an exciting Grange…

Maybe, just maybe, we’ve started something! For those who missed it, in my August “Exploring Traditions” Column, I described our experience attending Ceilidhs while on vacation in Nova Scotia and suggested some parallels for our Granges. “Why aren’t we dancing (literally and figuratively) more? Shouldn’t we at least be tapping our toes? It should be hard not to enjoy the Grange Way of Life when you’re sitting in a Grange Hall…”

Well, one Grange has accepted the challenge. If you haven’t seen her comment on the column, Sue Mack of Harrasseket Grange wrote “Excellent column! As a bagpiper and veteran ceilidh-attender myself (both Cape Breton and Scotland), I couldn’t agree more. We’re going to start the proverbial ball rolling next Saturday at our regular bean supper at Harraseeket Grange #9 in Freeport. I will be playing Scottish smallpipes to entertain folks as they wait for their supper to be served (good music, good smells!). I’m also inviting a harper or 2 to join me. How about you? Come join us!

So let’s congratulate and support them for trying this! It sounds like this could become a regular part of their monthly supper… so there’s great food and more! Remember, a Ceilidh is a “social gathering (often including music, dancing, story, and joke-telling.” Let’s remember that our suppers are more than good food and fundraising… they are an opportunity to create community, have fun, and maybe do some toe-tapping in the process.

A few details: The baked bean supper (and ceilidh) will be served this Saturday, August 26, from 5-6 p.m., at Harraseeket Grange located at 13 Elm Street in Freeport. The all-you-can-eat, homemade menu includes three kinds of homemade beans, hot dogs, pickles, biscuits, brown bread, potato salad, cole slaw, pasta salad, homemade pies, coffee, and beverages. The cost is $9, $4 for kids 6-12 and free for kids under 6.

Somebody take photos and send them… and if your Grange is trying to make your suppers into more than a supper… and make your meetings and events more than just meetings and events, please tell us about it! You can use the “submit” tab on the website or just email the webmaster (attach any photos to the email).

Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Jul 242017
 

Porter Grange #569 got a well-deserved face lift this summer. The outside of the building was painted and a new porch light was added in memory of Dottie Locke who we lost last year. On Saturday, July 22, we had an open house with refreshments to celebrate the National Grange 150th birthday. Porter Grange was delighted to pass out four applications to interested visitors. They were in impressed with our Words for Thirds Program and our local School Scholarships.

Our Grange was able also to put up flags in Porter Village with special donations from Jana Mayotte and Gary Nickerson in memory of Francis Mills and Ron and Marie Nickerson respectively.

Porter Grange will be holding a Bean Supper, Friday, September 22 from 5:00 pm. until 6:30 pm. We have also scheduled a Free to Veterans and their families breakfast on November 11 at 7:00 am.

For more information on any event or just to say, “Hi!” contact portergrang569atgmaildotcom  (portergrang569atgmaildotcom)  

Porter Grange Hall Before

Porter Grange After!

Front Porch Light

Front porch plaque

Jul 112017
 

by Amanda Brozana
National Grange Communications Director

National Grange is seeking help with creating a collection of cookbooks, especially those still on sale by state and local Granges, to use when finding recipes for Good Day! magazine.  If your state or local Grange has a copy of a cookbook that is still available for purchase, please contact me to find out if we already have a copy or to find out where to send a copy. We will also provide information on where interested parties can purchase the cookbook and for how much. We would love for Good Day! to help you sell your books, so take stock and let me know!

Contact Amanda  (communicationsatnationalgrangedotorg)  

May 062017
 

By Walter Boomsma,
MSG Communications Director

Check out this feature article in the Bangor Daily News Homestead Supplement! Granges featured in the article include Halcyon in Blue Hill, Fairview in Smithfield, and Valley in Guilford. I might be a little biased, but I think it is one of the most positive and well-documented articles we’ve seen recently. How cool is it to see a headline announcing that Maine Granges are making a comeback?

Grangers in the BDN coverage area may want to pick up a copy of the weekend edition, including the Homestead Edition. You can also read the entire article online. Feel free to add a comment to the article, letting folks know what your Grange is doing–several Grangers have already done that! (Make sure to mention the name of your Grange and community!)