Community Honors Dodie Curtis

Dodie Curtis reminded everyone, "It takes all of us..."

Guilford— Valley Grange hosted nearly 100 people at their recent open house and celebration of community. Festivities at the annual meeting included a community potluck supper and slide presentation featuring some of the grange’s activities throughout the year. Following the slide presentation, program director Walter Boomsma noted that Valley Grange received the First Place National Grange Award for Community Service last fall and “…in some ways winning was real easy. It’s just a matter of doing what you love and care about.”
In keeping with the community theme, Grange Master Jim Annis presented Valley’s Annual Community Citizen Award to Dolores “Dodie” Curtis explaining that her nomination included the observation “She is a former Chief of Nurses at Mayo Hospital, works with people who need physical therapy at the Fitness Center in Guilford, and spearheaded the campaign for all the tulip ribbon gardens throughout town. She also personally sold hundreds of tulips to individuals for their own gardens in remembrance of loved ones…  She is on the Library Board of Directors, involved with the Garden Club, and teaches marzipan decorating classes… if you mention her name to others you would hear her described as a loving, caring person…”

Friends and family supported this observation with numerous examples of Curtis’s caring for others and her community. Speakers included Fran Moore of the Physically Challenged Club who told Curtis, “You bring such special gifts… we bring a token of our appreciation for all you give.” Flowers and words and hugs and kisses flowed freely, intermingled with a few tears.  In her response Curtis pointed out that “when you give, it all comes back to you…” and reminded everyone “it takes a lot of us.”

65 years isnt THAT long!

Valley Grange member and musician Merna Dunham from Milo was also recognized for 65 years of Grange Membership. Opal Bennett could not be present but was also honored and will be awarded a 75 certificate.

The roots of the Grange date back to Farmers’ Clubs that existed in the 1850’s. The Grange itself was officially formed in 1867 as “Patrons of Husbandry.” Over the years the Grange’s focus has shifted from agriculture to community and community service but without abandoning the rich agricultural heritage.

Boomsma noted that Dunham and Bennett are examples of how Grange Members “Stick with it because it’s a great organization.” He added, “…and Dodie is right; it takes a lot of us” and observed that while Valley Grange is passionate about and active in a wide variety of service-oriented projects, “We really need some help. We’ll take what you can give us; even if it’s just fifteen minutes a month. The Grange is truly and easy organization to belong to, but even if you can’t belong we’ll take your hands, head and heart.”  Volunteer cards allowing citizens to express their interest are available from any Grange Member. Those who are interested can also call Boomsma at 876-4131 or Community Service Chairperson Mary Annis at 465-0820.

Information is also available at the Thompson Free Library in Dover Foxcroft where the Grange’s Award-winning Community Service Book is on display through the end of the month.

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