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.
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.
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!
Congratulations, East Sangerville Grange! A recent post on the Maine State Grange Website about the adventures of the “Fighting 177th” was picked up by the National Grange and printed in the current issue of Good Day! the magazine published by National Grange. We can debate whether or not programs like this are traditional but there’s no question they generate excitement in the Grange and the community. So let’s hear a Grange Cheer for this exciting Grange and these exciting Grangers!
The American Red Cross is encouraging people to donate money on its Web site, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10. Apple is also accepting Red Cross donations via iTunes and the Apple App Store.
Americares, an emergency response organization based in Connecticut, is delivering emergency medicine and relief supplies and is working with a local clinic in Houston. Make a donation at americares.org.
United Way Worldwide has a relief fund to provide shelter and basic needs, as well as long-term recovery efforts.
The Salvation Army is accepting donations for hurricane relief at give.salvationarmyusa.org.
To help pets stranded by Hurricane Harvey, donations are being accepted by the Humane Society of the United States.
For volunteer opportunities or other places to donate, check with National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.
The Maine Emergency Management Agency released the following statement to assist those who are interested in contributing to disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Harvey:
Most often, the best way you can help others during a disaster is to donate money or goods. Here are some helpful tips to make sure your generosity helps the most.
Giving cash is always the best way to help disaster recovery because of its flexibility and ability to boost the local economy’s recovery.
If you’d rather donate goods, make sure you are only donating items that have been specifically requested by an organization directly involved in the recovery effort and that you have made contact with someone at that organization who will receive the items from you.
Here are some websites that can help you determine how charitable organizations rank. Most reputable organizations will allow you to designate your donation for a specific disaster or program:
- Charity Navigator rates charities based on their financial health, accountability and transparency, and results reporting. They also list some best practices for savvy donors.
- The Better Business Bureau also rates charitable organizations and allows you to check out specific charities and donor reviews.
- GuideStar is another place to find reliable information on trusted non-profits, as well as tips on choosing the right charity to give to.
- The Federal Trade Commission offers this advice for giving wisely after a disaster.
- The Maine Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division also has excellent tips for donating to charities.
Check out our fact sheet on Volunteering in a Disaster for more information on helping out personally in disaster situations.
We were contacted by Jeffrey Roth of Lancaster Farming asking for contact information of Maine farm families or organizations who are either going to help flood victims in Texas or who are providing support in other ways. The editors at Lancaster Farming are planning coverage of farmers and farm organizations which are mobilizing to help flood victims in Texas in some way. If you know of any such families or organizations, you may contact him directly:
Jeffrey B. Roth
Note this is not just a request for Grange efforts… any individuals and organizations who are mobilizing to aid victims should contact Jeffrey. A secondary challenge in a situation like this is making certain folks know how they can help. Thanks to Lancaster Farming for making this effort.
I also contacted Amanda Brozana Rio, National Grange Communications Director, who advised she is “coordinating with our National Junior Director who lives in San Antonio about how our Juniors may take this project on and invite adult members to be part of the process. At this point, I think we’re all waiting for the rains to stop and figure out what the need is that could be most adequately met by our members.”
As additional information becomes available, rest assured we will share it on the Maine State Grange website!
by Rod Hamel, Secretary
East Sangerville Grange #177
I’d like to provide a little update on what the “Fightin’ 177” has been up to lately. Our Farmer Committee has banded together to create a round robin weeding party. On Sunday afternoons, a deserving farmer is selected and we descend on them to help catch up on some weeding. Our first stop was at Two Roads Farm in Sangerville where we helped Meg and Kyle get their snap peas in good shape and after about 3 1/2 hours we had a nice little tour to see their other crops, and meet the pigs, cows, ducks, and chickens. Last week had us at Helios Horsepower Farm in Guilford where Lizzie and Andrea set us upon the scallions. “Many hands make light work” proved true and we were through four big rows of scallions in two hours. Before we could move to the next task, we noticed Kyle from Two Roads and Ben from Shaw Road Farm both on their phones with some concerned discussion. It turned out that a Two Roads Farm escapee cow missing in the woods for a few weeks appeared in a Shaw Road Farm pasture a wreaking havoc on their fences and their grass-fed beef operation. We quickly decided to demobilize from Guilford and head to Sangerville for some cattle rustling. Our weeding party of nine people plus Ben’s dad proved a worthy adversary for the cow and after a mere 90 minutes and threats of creating some steak tartar, we had her safely eating some silage in a barn ready for transport home. We finished the evening with some burgers courtesy of Shaw Road Farm and promises to return to Helios Horsepower farm and give them their fair share of weeding. This week we will convene at Marr Pond Farm in Sangerville and see what Ryan and Courtney have in store for us! The program is really just getting started and is not just for small commercial farmers–we’re willing to help out homesteaders and woodlot owners. These weeding experiences have a side benefit because they allow our busy Grangers to get together for a bit of socializing and still get some farm work done!
The Bethel Historical recently announced the publication of State Grange Historian Stanley R. Howe’s WILLIAM BINGHAM 2ND: A LIFE. (Paperback, 190 pages). Although born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1879, William Bingham, 2nd would eventually adopt Bethel, Maine as his home for most of his life.
From his uncle, Oliver Hazard Payne (1839-1917), he and his siblings would inherit a fortune that made him at one time, the wealthiest person in Maine. He spent his life as a philanthropist supporting a wide variety of causes from building hospitals and supporting educational institutions in several places around the world. Most of the buildings at Bethel’s Gould Academy were financed with Bingham gifts. He also provided scholarships to deserving students. Former Maine Governor and Senator Edmund S. Muskie’s legal education, for example, at Cornell University, was funded by Will Bingham, who rarely appeared in public and avoided publicity. At one time, he was Bates College’s largest donor. Today three foundations bearing his name carry on his philanthropic legacy. Information on acquiring this book can be obtained by calling the Bethel Historical Society at (207) 824-2908 or going to its website: www.bethelhistorical.org and visiting the online Museum Shop. The mailing address for the Society is P.O. Box 12, Bethel, Maine 04217.