Kids Write…

SeDo Dictionary DayOne of the best parts for us is reading the thank you notes we get from the kids after a Dictionary Day. They are often very personal and sometimes even we are surprised at what the kids remember from the day! Here are a few of the notes we’ve received from SeDoMoCha third graders:

Dear Guilford Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary and the feild trip. Hope we see you next year. We saw the news! It was funny when Miss Grant put on the soldier uniform. It was super fun to be there there. Thank you all for the fun day. We aprecheate it. Thanks Mr. Boomsma by the way we weere trying to keep you happy. THANK YOU!


Dear Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary. It was funny when Mis. Grant dress up as a soldier. It was exiding to be on the news can we do this again some time. The gardening tools are cool. I wish they where a round still. The tools woud be help full. I saw Mr. Boomsma on the news. It was not boring at all. I hope you enjoyed this letter. Have fun with the ether classis.



Dear Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary! Those were rely nice gardening tools! I alse learnd that if you look at the cameras you are not going to be on the news! That was awesome that we got to see the mail boxs. I realy like the dictionary. My brother still has his dictionary in fifth grade.


Dear Grangers,

Thank you for the dictionary. I can’t believe that we learned the longest word in the English Language! I bet the Civil War was long and not so great time. Are you doing this next year? I thought the gardening tools were cool. I hope you do this next year. My dictionary is still in good shape. Again Thank you! I really like the Grange. I hope this makes you happy there will be a drawing on the back.


Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for the wonderful dictionaries. What I learned about is Corporal Benett and the Civil War. The tools you showed us, spud, the howl the shepard’s crook and the prune. Last but not least what I’m going to use my dictionary for to help me spell, help me find the definitions, help me not use the same words over and over and last but not least learn to do sign language.



Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for my free dictionary! I use my dictionary to find words and definitions. When I was there it was so fun. When we learned about the spud, owl, pruning hook and shepherds hook. I was so happy when I got home I talked all about it it my mom and sister. It was so fun to be on the news.

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Community Super Supper Celebration

Community Suppah

We recently hosted the Spirit of America Tributes for Piscataquis County—that included some 17 individuals and organizations (community heroes) who were recognized for their community contributions. Most will remember that Lt. Jamie Kane (Community Hero) was presented our Community Citizen of the Year Award last spring. Just this past week, Janice and I were present to see him awarded the Maine State Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. This also means he’s automatically nominated for regional and national awards.

There’s a lot of good stuff going on in our communities… and that’s one reason we’ve decided to schedule a free Community Supper on Friday, November 16, 2018. This will be our opportunity to celebrate our community heroes. We’re of course inviting our past Community Citizens, but we truly hope to honor anyone and everyone who in someway makes our communities strong.

In my closing comments at the Spirit of America Tributes, I pointed out that we shouldn’t be intimidated when people receive awards and recognition for service. People who almost absentmindedly pick up trash are community heroes. If you smile at people in the grocery store, you qualify as a community hero. Several folks commented at the close of that program that it felt so good to be reminded of how good we really are. So let’s do it again on November 16th! We’ll serve from 6 pm until 7 pm—unless the food runs out! All you really have to do is show up but you could also

  • Invite a friend or neighbor
  • Post the enclosed flyer somewhere in your community

Our kid-friendly menu will include baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, ham, and assorted drinks, rolls and dessert. The main dishes are being catered by Bill Bemis (Community Hero) of Garland Grange—he’s famous for his cooking!

While no program or speeches are planned, we will have boards available where people can write the names of those who are community heroes. We hope to fill them!

Thanks to our planned open house, people can visit our little museum and stay for a traditional Grange Meeting starting at 7 pm to learn more about the Grange.

Lt Kane, State Grange LEO of the Year

Kane MSG
Maine State Grange Community Service Director Christine Corliss presents Lt Jamie Kane with the Maine State Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award and a check for a $100 donation to the charity of his choice… He selected Valley Grange as the recipient to “help with their Dictionary and Bookworm Programs.” As the State’s Recipient, Lt Kane becomes eligible for a Regional and National Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Corliss pointed out that it’s possible to receive the National Award without having received the Regional Award.

The State Award was presented at the beginning of the 145th Annual Maine State Grange Convention during the opening banquet and awards ceremony. Lt. Kane was named Valley Grange’s Community Citizen of the Year earlier this spring based on his involvement with and commitment to our kids and our communities.

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

Valley Grange Hosts Spirit of America Awards

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…

Valley Fair Display_resized

Brammer Benefit Bean Supper at Garland Grange

Please note this event is taking place at Garland Grange… Jackie was a hard-working member of Garland Grange and Piscataquis Pomona. Valley Grange is supporting and encouraging others to honor Jackie’s service to her communities and to offer some help to her family at this difficult time.

Brammer Benefit PostcardThose who cannot attend may send a donation to

Garland Grange
Bill Bemis
102 Merrill Road
Corrina ME 04928

If you’d like to help by working at the supper or donating food/supplies, call Bill at 924-4123. Thanks!

Garland Grange Facebook Page

Thank you, MHFC!

As part of their Community Care Program, Maine Highlands Federal Credit Union recently presented a donation to Valley Grange. Employees contributed based on their “dress down” Fridays with the proceeds being distributed to local community organizations. Walter Boomsma, Program Director for Valley Grange noted, “Through no fault of our own, we recently lost part of the funding of our Words for Thirds Dictionary Program, so this is perfect timing and will help us to continue to give a dictionary to every third grader in four area districts. Thank you!”

l-r: Sonya Smith, MHFC; Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director; Jim Annis, Valley Grange Master