Brian Woodworth, Community Citizen 2012

Brian Woodworth, Community Citizen

A crowd of some one hundred friends and neighbors gathered at the Valley Grange Hall last Friday to celebrate community and community service by honoring Brian Woodworth as “Community Citizen of the Year, 2012.” A massive conspiracy somehow managed to keep the award a secret and even after being proclaimed “guest of honor” when he and wife Cindy entered the packed dining hall he still didn’t believe it. He asked what was really going on and when told he replied, “No way.”Following a fantastic community potluck featuring good food and good friends, the group assembled in the upstairs hall to both honor and to some extent “roast” Brian… The audience learned a bit about his tendency lock his keys in his truck and certain cousins who admitted to wondering years ago during their teen years whether or not Maine permitted cousins to marry. “He was so darn cute.”Among the many groups represented were the Sebec Lake Association, Kiwanis, the Guilford Historical Society, the town of Guilford, and Friends of Central Hall, but the consensus seemed to be that while Brian certainly is a big asset to organizations, his community service is at the same very individual and personal and caring.

Celebrating at the Grange has to include eating!

Brian’s daughter Beth was unable to attend, but her letter was read as the final testimonial. “…He is always willing to help people, even those he does not know. He is constantly sparking up conversations with the casual passerby, warning them of burnt out taillights or helping with directions. I am so proud of my dad and it is nice to hear that he is being recognized for his greatness…. He is always there when someone needs him, if not patching up a roof, plowing snow, or tuning up a car he is brightening up their day with his positive attitude and cracking a joke… I want to congratulate him for being the amazing person he is and let him know how proud I am to call him my dad.”

Valley Grange is proud to call Brian our “Community Citizen of the Year” and we thank the many who made this special night possible.

Grange Members Stay Members!

Harriet Mitchell is happy to be a Granger!

In conjunction with our Annual Community Service Program, Valley Grange recognized long-term members. This year the list included Paul Curtis joined May 7, 1952 (60 years ago) and two 65 year members: Elizabeth Herring who joined August 30, 1947 and Harriett Mitchell who joined May 29, 1947. Harriet was able to attend and accept her recognition in person, pointing out that she has a birthday coming soon and will be 87 years young.  She admits that as the years have passed she hasn’t been too active, and there aren’t too many of her generation left. But she still recognizes a few people and proved it by pointing several folks out.

Valley Grange Master Jim Annis noted that “Grange Members tend to stick around” because “membership is a great thing and very likely contributes to a long life.” He also suggested Harriet should mark her calendar and plan to come back for her seventieth anniversary five years from now.

Program Director Walter Boomsma said that while the Guilford-based Grange has lots of energy and projects throughout the county, they can always use help and are especially seeking new members. “It doesn’t have to be a 60 to 70 year commitment,” he noted. “But we hope and trust that members will want to remain a part of an organization that is steeped in tradition, but very relevant in today’s communities.”