Valley Grange Hosts Spirit of America Awards

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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.

 

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

What Valley Grange Does…

River Festival Means Balloons and Baked Stuff!

Kids Write!

We can’t resist sharing a few notes we’ve received from Mrs. Gokas’ Third Grade Class at Piscataquis Community Elementary School! The kids wrote them as part of wrapping up this school year and getting ready for summer.

Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for all you do for our school. It means a lot to us. We enjoy all the stuff you help make happen. For example, Bookworm, Arts Alive, Words for Thirds, and GrowME. 

I have a lot of fun doing all of these programs you help with.

I like the dictionary that you gave us.

Thank you for letting us read to you and be able to have Arts Alive and other programs like Arts Alive.

K.W.

(We think she really likes Arts Alive!)


Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for all that you have done for our school. We really appreciate it.

The GrowME Program was really fun. My grass plant is still alive.

The dictionary, Words for Thirds that you have given third grade has been really helpful for me in the time that has passed. 

The Bookworm Program has been really enjoyable in the passed two years. It has taught me to read more comfortably with other people each time.

The Arts Alive Program that you’ve helped with over the years have made it very enjoyable for our school.

Thank you so much!!

Sincerely,

D.W.


Dear Vally Grange,

Thank you for all the stuff you do for us.

A few things you do are GrowME, Word for Thirds, Bookworms, and Arts Alive.

You do that for our school.

From,

A.H.


Dear Valley Grange,

Thank you for all of the things you have done for us.

One thing you have done that I know that all of us appreciate is you giving all of us a dictionary. I know we use it a lot. 

The next thing you have done for us is that you put on the program GrowME. For example, this year we built dirt babies. That was really fun.

My favorite part is when you come in and have us read to you. I love to read with Bookworms.

Sincerely,

C.L.


Dear Third Graders,

Thank you for your letters. We are glad you enjoy and appreciate the things we do together. 

We really like learning, working, and playing with you. We have fun too!

Have a good summer. We’ll see you in the fall!

Sincerely,
Valley Grange Bookworms and Members

Lt. Kane to Be Honored–Again!

We’ve learned that Representative Paul Stearns will be presenting Lt. Jamie Kane with a Legislative Sentiment in recognition of receiving the Valley Grange Community Citizen of the year award. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at the Piscataquis County Commissioners Meeting. The meeting is open to the public and is held in the Peakes Building (white building) next to the Courthouse and starts at 8:30 am.

Congratulations, Lt. Kane!