Celebrate Community at Valley Grange!

Every year Valley Grange celebrates Community in May… our program includes announcing the “Valley Grange Community Citizen of the Year” for our area.

child-1477719_1280At March’s meeting, our members selected the 2018 winner by unanimous vote with no hesitation. I’m convinced a lot of folks will be really pleased… and will want to share in honoring this person at our Community Night on Friday, May 18, 2018. This year’s recipient is… a secret! Well, that’s not exactly true. A lot of people know who it is… we just can’t post it here. If you are really curious ask a member of Valley Grange! We have what has been described by one conspirator as a “sinister plot” to get our esteemed guest to attend.

If you like a mystery, just plan to join us on May 18, 2018. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed! We’ll start with a community potluck supper (bring a dish to share if you can). Our program will start at 7:00 pm and feature our Community Citizen as well as some important thoughts about community service and volunteering.

Valley Grange is located at 172 Guilford Center Road at the corner of Butter Street. Additional parking is available across the street. While our hall is not totally handicapped accessible, we do have a chairlift to the second floor. If you need accommodation or have concerns, please let us know. We can be quite creative and accommodating!

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Spring Cleaning! Help Needed!

sweeping_the_floor_400_clr_11612We’ve scheduled a “Spring Spruce up” for the Valley Grange Hall on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, starting at 4:00 pm. Projects include raking and repairing our lawn/parking area from winter plowing and general sprucing up outside, along with sweeping up, wiping down window sills, etc. inside. Many hands will make this work light… and we should be finished in an hour or two at the most. Please bring rakes, shovels, and tools you like to use!

We want to look our very best for Community Night on May 18, 2018!

If you have questions, please call (343-1842) or email Walter or Jim Annis (564-0820).

Newspapers in Education Winners

“We started this program before some of you were born…” was the way Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director opened the recent assembly of third and fourth graders at Piscataquis Community Elementary School in Guilford. “The Newspapers in Education Program has been around for ten years now.” Boomsma went on to introduce Valley Grange members who were present for the assembly. “These are some of the people who make this program possible.”

The Piscataquis Observer based in Dover Foxcroft began publishing the special supplement every spring, featuring news about and by area students. Local businesses enlist local students to create ads for them. Most ads are done by middle and high school students, but the Grange saw an opportunity to include some younger artists. After collaboration with Mrs. Daniels, the art teacher at P.C.E.S, Valley Grange continues to sponsor two ads every year: one drawn by a third grader and another by a fourth grader. All students in both grades participate and Mrs. Daniels now includes the program as part of her art curriculum. “This is a great opportunity for the kids to experience the commercial aspect of art and see how they might explore a career in art,” she says.

Because the Grange actively supports the local elementary school with additional programs like Dictionary Day/Words for Thirds, Bookworming, and GrowME agricultural activities, the students can decide what to emphasize in the ads they draw. “It’s always personally rewarding to see the emphasis on reading and bookworming,” Boomsma notes. “These kids seem to understand what Valley Grange values and what it takes to make those things happen. The ads feature a ‘call to action’ that often encourages people to volunteer or become a member.” Boomsma also believes “some of these kids are destined to become Grangers.”

While the ads themselves are still under wraps until the supplement is published on April 11, 2018, this year’s winner list includes third graders Braylin Beckwith, first place; Chris Merrill, second place, and Aiden Graves, third place. Fourth Grade winners include Jaiyde True, first place; Lizzi Gilbert, second place; and Caleb McKusick, third place. Every student who participates receives a “mini” certificate in the form of a magnet.

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Aiden Graves, Braylin Beckwith, Chris Merrill, Lizzi Gilbert, Jaiyde True, Caleb McKusick. The monkey on Lizzi’s head is explained by the fact it was “Crazy Hair Day” when students and staff have the option of doing something crazy with their hair!

Blanketeer Support

Here are a couple of links that will help those who want to support the Blanketeers for Project Linus:

FA Project Linus Facebook Page

FA Project Linus GoFundME Page

Help comes in many different shapes and sizes.

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Blanketeers Help Kids Feel Safe

A diverse group of volunteers were at Valley Grange in Guilford Saturday to help make kids feel safe, according to this report by WABI – TV 5.

”Blanketeers” Make Homemade Blankets

Blanketeers Sought!

Saturday, March 3, 2018, Project Linus Volunteer Blanketeers will meet at Valley Grange from 9 AM until noon… no sewing skills required! If you can measure, cut a straight line with scissors and tie a knot you can help make blankets for Project Linus!  The material will be provided… it will be helpful if folks bring scissors, rulers, and masking tape. Students from FA will be joining us… and we are inviting quilting and sewing clubs to lend a hand. A similar event last year resulted in over thirty blankets to provide love, a sense of security, warmth, and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. Contact Pat Engstrom at 564-8290 for more information.

Project Linus

Visit the Project Linus Website

Raffle Winners Announced

Maine State Grange Past Master Rick Groton drew the winning tickets from the large rotating basket made by Roger Ricker:

  • First Place, Wayne Bennett of Abbot.
  • Second Place, Sierra Hanson of Charleston.
  • Third Place, Reid Burgess of Dover Foxcroft.

Special thanks to McKusick Petroleum and Will’s Shop ‘n Save for their generous support of or annual meat or heat raffle! Those who participate help us keep the lights on and our community service programs running.

 

Valley Grange Has Heart!

spirit award
Much to our surprise, we were one of the award recipients at the Spirit of America we recently hosted! In presenting the award, Past State Grange Master Rick Grotton noted that we have in the past been a top award winner at the state and national level and were, therefore, being recognized as the “Top Grange” in the State of Maine and nationally for our “heart for community service.

Check Out This Story!

Special thanks to Blake Lipton for hosting a group of folks who are pretty excited about Friday night’s award ceremony!

Watch the story!wvii

And be sure to join us Friday!

Spirit of America Tributes at Valley Grange

volunteer-652383_1280Guilford–Piscataquis County winners of the 2017 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, November 17, 2017 starting at 7:00 PM in the Valley Grange Hall 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford.

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. Director Bruce Flaherty noted this presentation is based in Piscataquis County “because there are so many awards being given.”

Those to be honored (and receive a certificate signed by their Maine Legislators) at the countywide ceremony include: the Abbott Historical Society, David Kinney from Atkinson, Beaver Cove School Committee, Bowerbank Fire Department, Brownville-Brownville Junction Historical Society, Charlotte White Center, Partnership Food Pantry in Greenville, Herring Family from Guilford, Medford Planning Board, Milo’s Summer Meals Program, Monson Summerfest, Parkman Grange, Linda Hall & Wilson Nuite from Sangerville, Sebec Village Associates, Patricia Mace from Shirley, Wellington Fire Department, and Willimantic Civic Association.

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,” Flaherty suggested, adding that certificates from the Maine Legislature will be included. “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.