What Valley Grange Does…

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Dictionary Days Are Coming!

According to the Dictionary Project records after we complete this year’s distribution we will have given out 2,766 dictionaries! Thanks to those who support our program and our fundraising efforts!
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Bells of Peace

bell-3652226_640I’ll confess–up until recently, it had totally escaped my attention that this year is the centennial of the WWI Armistice. I owe Mary Annis, our Community Service Chair a word of thanks for calling it to my attention and for suggesting that we promote the “Bells of Peace” Remembrance–a nationwide moment of remembrance with bells tolling for those who served and the fighting that stopped 100 years ago. “On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month local time Americans across the nation will toll bells in remembrance of those who served and sacrificed.

The Remembrance is being sponsored by The United States World War One Centennial Commission, along with some other events and opportunities. Yes, I do know that our Grange Halls do not have bells… but that’s not a problem! As the saying goes, “There’s an app for that.” You can visit the website and download an app for your phone that includes a countdown timer and choice of the bell that will ring on your phone at the appropriate local time! Imagine Bells of Peace tolling from every device, 21 times, in remembrance of this very special moment when the fighting stopped “Over There.”

The 21 times symbolizes the Nation’s highest honor, the 21 gun salute. If you visit the website you’ll have the opportunity to learn a lot and find some amazing resources. Another way to honor those who served and the day is to spend a few minutes becoming better informed regarding this important part of our history. You’ll also find suggestions for promoting the Bells of Peace to other organizations in your area. This truly could become a proud moment for our country.

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne

Bookworm Schedule for October/November 2018

Tuesday, October 16 — Mr. Boomsma will be at school for a program kickoff at 8:00 a.m.

Tuesday, October 23 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, October 25  — Mrs. Lander will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, October 29 — Dictionary Day! Third graders will be visiting Valley Grange for some fun and a dictionary!

Tuesday, October 30 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 1 — Mr. Boomsma and Mrs. Katz will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Tuesday, November 6 — Mrs. Kimball will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 8 — Mrs. Katz will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, November 9 — SAD 4 Veteran’s Celebration at PCSS… 8:15 am!

Tuesday, November 13 — Ms. Erwin will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 15 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Friday, November 16Community Night at Valley Grange! Join us for a free supper at 6:00 p.m. and say “Hi” to your neighbors and friends. We’ll be featuring the famous beans and mac ‘n cheese by Bill Bemis of Garland Grange! Stick around for our regular meeting 7:00 p.m. Kids are welcome!

Tuesday, November 20 — Mrs. Boomsma will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 22 — No school — Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 27 — Mrs. Orton will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Thursday, November 30 — Mrs. Lander will be at school for reading starting at 10:00 a.m.

Spirit of America!

SOA Winners

It was “standing room only” as Valley Grange hosted the Piscataquis County Spirit of America Awards Ceremony with nearly 100 in attendance. Seventeen individuals and groups were honored for their volunteerism and community contributions. (The complete list is available on the Valley Grange Website.) The program was emceed by Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange with awards presented by Senator Paul Davis and Representatives Paul Stearns and Norm Higgins.

Valley Grange Hosts Spirit of America Awards

Maine member releases easy-to-read book ‘Exploring Traditions’ of the Grange

Reprinted from the September 2018 issue of The Patrons Chain–The Official Newsletter of the National Grange


Walter Boomsma, Program Director of Valley Grange and Maine State Grange Communications Director has authored the book, “Exploring Traditions–Celebrating the Grange Way of Life.”

While this is not his first book, Boomsma believes it may be one of his most important.

“The primary goal in writing it was to encourage exploration,” Boomsma said. “The Grange is a 150-year-old organization with a strong agricultural focus and many are questioning its relevance to today’s society. I wanted to encourage people to develop a deeper understanding of what the Grange is all about–including our members. The Grange is very much about a way of life and, while farming has changed, people have not.”

Boomsma said he also believes people who are not familiar with the Grange will appreciate exploring the value of tradition in general since “tradition and ritual create stability and a sense of community, especially when we understand the basis for them.”

Betty Van Dyke accepts the “very first copy” of Exploring Traditions from Walter Boomsma, the author.

National Grange Master Betsy Huber provided a foreward to the book, in which she wrote, “These essays by Walter Boomsma unpack the teachings of the Grange and relate them to today’s world
and our everyday lives. He has a gift for taking the lessons from the farm and showing their relevance today, even for those whose only interaction with agriculture happens through their food and clothing choices. He understands the meaning the Grange Founders intended and interprets the sometimes archaic language to reveal the principles they wanted to teach to farm families who often had no other opportunity for education.“

Boomsma dedicated the book to a woman he affectionately calls a “Granger Extraordinaire,” Betty Van Dyke of Guilford. During a presentation of the first copy of the book, Boomsma said Van
Dyke explained the great influence she had during his “formative years” as a Grange member.

“I came to appreciate both her knowledge of the Grange’s teachings and her commitment to what I later came to understand as ‘the Grange Way of Life.’”

At the height of her Grange career, Van Dyke held a number of local and state positions, including serving as the Maine State Community Service Director. At 94, Van Dyke still keeps track of what’s going on at Valley Grange and is a strong supporter.

Boomsma will sign copies of the book at the 152nd Annual Convention where it will be available for sale. It is also available through the Grange Supply Store. Contact Loretta Washington at sales@nationalgrange.org or by phone at (202) 628-3507 ext. 109.

Betty Van Dyke Honored…

BV and WB

Betty Van Dyke receives the first copy of “Exploring Traditions” from Author Walter Boomsma

Guilford–Betty Van Dyke of Guilford was recently notified that a soon to be released book is dedicated to her. Walter Boomsma, Program Director of Valley Grange and Maine State Grange Communications Director has authored the book, “Exploring Traditions–Celebrating the Grange Way of Life.” He dedicated the book to Van Dyke, calling her a “Granger Extraordinaire” and explaining the great influence she had during his “formative years” as a Grange member.   “I came to appreciate both her knowledge of the Grange’s teachings and her commitment to what I later came to understand as ‘the Grange Way of Life.'”

At the height of her Grange career, Van Dyke held a number of local and state positions, including serving as the Maine State Community Service Director. At 94, Van Dyke still keeps track of what’s going on at Valley Grange and is a strong supporter.

Boomsma describes his latest book as serving a dual purpose. “The primary goal in writing it was to encourage exploration. The Grange is a 150-year-old organization with a strong agricultural focus and many are questioning its relevance to today’s society. I wanted to encourage people to develop a deeper understanding of what the Grange is all about–including our members.  The Grange is very much about a way of life and, while farming has changed, people have not.” He also believes people who are not familiar with the Grange will appreciate exploring the value of tradition in general since “Tradition and ritual create stability and a sense of community, especially when we understand the basis for them.”

In her foreward to the book, National Grange Master Betsy Huber writes, “These essays by Walter Boomsma unpack the teachings of the Grange and relate them to today’s world and our everyday lives.  He has a gift for taking the lessons from the farm and showing their relevance today, even for those whose only interaction with agriculture happens through their food and clothing choices.  He understands the meaning the Grange Founders intended and interprets the sometimes archaic language to reveal the principles they wanted to teach to farm families who often had no other opportunity for education. “

The book is available through a number of outlets including Amazon and Barnes and Noble as well as the Grange’s National Supply Store.

 

Officer Installation at Garland Grange

Installation 2018 Postcard

Valley Grange Hosting SOA Tributes

Guilford–Piscataquis County winners of the 2018 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, September 21, 2018 starting at 7:00 PM in the Valley Grange Hall 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford.

SOA Event Photo

Spirit of America Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity established in Augusta, ME to encourage volunteerism.  Since the first Spirit of America Foundation award was presented to Alma Jones by Augusta’s Mayor in 1991, over 500 Spirit of America ceremonies have taken place.

Those to be honored at the county wide ceremony include: Wayne Bennett–Abbot, Atkinson Lady Quilters, William Manahan Jr.–Beaver Cove, Elaine Hartley–Bowerbank, Kevin Black– Brownville, the Kiwanis Club of Dover-Foxcroft, Richard Gould–Greenville, Christina Pratley–Guilford, Lori Anthony– Medford, Herbert Carey– Milo, Monson Public Library Board of Trustees, Time Lab Summer Bible Club– Parkman, Jimmy Bell –Sangerville, Sebec Volunteer Fire Department, Darell Sawtelle—Shirley, Emaline McClintock—Wellington, and Gerald Packard—Willimantic,

The event is open to the public. “We hope friends and family of these recipients will come and help us salute these models of the volunteer spirit of America,” Spirit of Amerca Foundation Director Bruce Flaherty suggested. “This will be a fun, uplifting evening with no long speeches,” he promised.

Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma is excited the Grange has been given the honor of hosting the awards. “All Granges are about community and Valley Grange is certainly not an exception. We enjoy making our hall available to organizations dedicated to building strong individuals and communities. It is a special treat to host individuals and organizations doing just that!”

Additional information about the Foundation is available at http://spiroaf.com and the event at http://valleygrange.com.

See You at the Fair?!

The photo doesn’t do it justice… there’s a lot to see in this year’s Valley Grange Fair Exhibit! We’ve returned to the “then and now” theme… comparing items of today with items of yesteryear… and of course, there’s an opportunity to get familiar with the many programs we have. Stop by the Grange Building and check it out! The Piscataquis Valley Fair is on until Sunday afternoon…

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