Valley Grange Receives Award

At the 149th Maine State Convention, Valley Grange was recognized as the fourth-place winner in the 2022 Community Service Program. In presenting the award, Past State Master Vicki Huff noted that Valley Grangers “should not be disappointed with fourth place–the competition was really fierce! The top six entries were separated by a total of four points.

Dictionaries and Words Are Coming!

We’re scheduling Dictionary Days… so far we have

  • P.C.E.S. on Thursday, November 17, 2022
  • SeDoMoCha on Wednesday, November 30, 2022
  • Ridgeview Elementary on Monday, November 21, 2022 (drop off only)
  • Brownville Elementary on Friday, November 18, 2022
  • Harmony Elementary on Friday, December 2, 2022

As a reminder, these days are not public events. If you are interested in attending, please contact Walter Boomsma by email or at 207 343-1842.

Kids who receive dictionaries and their families are invited to our Breakfast for Supper on Friday, December 2, 2022. You can come in your jammies!

Saco Grange Supports Operation Gratitude

Saco Grange recently dropped off thirteen quilts at Community Health Services for their Veterans in Hospice Lap quilt program. All quilts are headed to Bangor for in-home hospice care. Our wonderful Saco Grange Quilt Club made most of the quilts. Project Linus and some from the community were also received. We strive to donate patriotic quilts for our veterans in Hospice. Always accepting quilts. For more information about the quilt club or Saco Grange visit the Saco Grange Facebook Page.

Dictionaries Coming to Schools Soon!

Dictionary Day Planning Underway

Yes, it’s that time of year! Valley Grange will again be conducting our “Words for Thirds” Dictionary Project. At this point, we are gathering approximate census/counts of third graders so we can order the dictionaries. The purchase of those dictionaries was approved at our September meeting.

We’ll probably be planning the actual dictionary day distributions in early to mid-November. We hope we can offer the same options as we did before COVID:

  1. A field trip to the Grange Hall
  2. A personal visit to the school/classrooms
  3. A “drop off” with a support video for teacher use.

Obviously, that choice will be made by each district. We distribute to Piscataquis Community Elementary School (Guilford), Brownville Elementary School (Brownville), Ridgeview Community School (Dexter), SeDoMoCha Elementary School (Dover Foxcroft), and Harmony Elementary School (Harmony). Home-schooled students are of course included. Parents should contact their school or the Grange.

We’re proud of our program and know the kids look forward to it! We’ve been distributing dictionaries since 2004 and are approaching the 3,000 mark! Some of our students report using their dictionaries in high school. These dictionaries empower the kids and encourage them to “look it up!”

Stay tuned! There’s more to come!

Valley Grange Collects!

At our September Meeting, we created some piles–PB&J for the Bangor Savings Bank Drive, Lap Afghans for the Veterans’ Operation Gratitude Program, and raffle tickets! We also added 350 knitted hats from Blistered Finger Knitter Roberta in New Jersey. Do knitting needles ever wear out?

An order of dictionaries for our annual “Words for Thirds Dictionary Day Project will be placed soon. Since starting the program in 2004, we’ve provided nearly 3,000 dictionaries to students throughout the area. If COVID cooperates, we hope to do more “in-person” presentations this year.

Raffle tickets are on sale and available from any member, or call Janice Boomsma at 343-1496. We’ll be drawing the winners at our November meeting and look forward to handing out $250 in prizes! Community support is needed and appreciated!

Our schedule for the rest of the year:

  • Friday, October 21, 2022, we’ll have a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. This is usually the meeting at which we prepare for dictionary days by labeling the books, assembling the hats and mittens from our Blistered Finger Knitters for distribution, and resisting our second annual “Sock it to Us” efforts. The program was so successful last year we may be “good to go” this year! Jim and Mary are Grange Bees* for this meeting.
  • Friday, November 18, 2022, will include the usual potluck supper at 6 pm and program at 7 pm and include drawing our raffle winners. Walter and Janice are Grange Bees for this meeting.
  • Friday, December 2, 2022, is our Fellowship Breakfast for Supper–you can come in your jammies! This is always a fun night… we start at 6 pm by enjoying some breakfast specialties such as homemade muffins, breakfast casseroles, “Walter’s French Toast,” and assorted treats and surprises. It’s all about food, fellowship, and family… you won’t want to miss it!

Get those dates on your calendar and plan to join us for any one or all of these gatherings! Anyone can join us–you do not have to be a member. We do plan to keep our hall open through the winter and appreciate all who help and support us in some way.

Unfortunately, another Grange in our area is closing–St. Albans now joins Garland Grange as “closed.” Valley Grange would certainly welcome members from these two Granges with open arms. If you were a member of St. Albans or Garland Grange and would like to join us, contact secretary Mary Annis (564-0820) and she’ll make it happen!


*Grange Bees are the unofficial hosts for a meeting who make sure the heat’s on, the hall is ready, and we have everything we need. If you’d like a turn, we’ll not only show you how, we have a checklist!

Bring on the PB and J!

Did you know that since 2012, the Bangor Savings Bank Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive has collected more than 83,000 jars that have been donated to local food insecurity programs? That’s a lot of sandwiches!

While it’s not an official Grange Program, it’s an easy one to support.

Stay tuned! Valley Grange will be making it easy for you to participate… with a semi-official approach. We’ll be collecting jars and delivering them–you can bring your donation to our September 16th meeting or give them to someone who is coming… leave your donation in the tote on the front porch of the Grange Hall… and you’re not limited to one jar of each! We’ll post some additional details soon!

Jars of peanut butter or jelly can be dropped off at any Maine or New Hampshire Bangor Savings branch during operating hours from Thursday, September 1, 2022, through Friday, September 30, 2022. For each donation received, Bangor Savings Bank will donate one additional jar of peanut butter or jelly to local food insecurity programs.

Peanut butter, a protein-rich food item, is too often in short supply and high demand at local food insecurity programs. And what’s a more classic pair than peanut butter and jelly? Something as simple as donating a jar can make a big difference to a neighbor in need. And with school back in session, we can support our local schools and backpack programs by donating a jar of peanut butter or jelly!

At the Fair!

Don’t forget to visit the Grange Building while you’re at the Piscataquis Valley Fair! Valley Grangers Mary, Jim, Irene, Janice, and Pat did an awesome job of creating a booth showing how wool gets “from sheep to shawl.” They were assisted by two “Chief Deputy Administrators of Material Handling.” (Thanks to 4-Hers Lilly and Alex for assisting with unloading, lugging, and some assembling.) You’ll also see some of the many ways Valley Grange supports our communities.

Walter has updated the Pomona informational display so folks can learn what the Grange is all about and discover where there are Granges in the area.

Stop by and pick up a free “I love Valley Grange” pin!

Hot ‘Nuff for Ya?

It’s cool to cool off–at least some! We’re particularly interested in the forecast for Saturday, July 30, 2022, because that’s the day of Riverfest!

The current NOAA forecast is “sunny and in the low 80’s.” I’m not sure we can ask for anything much better than that! Valley Grangers will be there, talking about Grange Membership, handing out pins, and selling raffle tickets! See the complete schedule of events on the Riverfest Facebook Page. The parade starts at 9:30 am and vendor tents open at 11:00 am. Stop by and say “Hi!”

Alumni of the Valley Grange Bookworm Program and Dictionary Recipients are especially welcome!

If, for some reason, you can’t make it and would like to buy a raffle ticket, contact any Valley Grange member. It’s your chance to win up to $100 and support the many Valley Grange Programs, including:

  • Words for Thirds–Third graders in four area school districts receive a dictionary that is theirs to keep! Nearly 4,000 have been distributed to date.
  • Bookworming–Volunteers visit school and listen to second and third graders at PCES read.
  • GrowME–An annual program of hands-on activities in local schools, promoting agricultural literacy.
  • Veterans Honor Program–In conjunction with the Community Health and Counseling Hospice program, we collect lap quilts and afghans as part of a celebration for individual vets.
  • Blistered Finger Knitters–Knitters create lap robes for seniors and hats and mittens for local school children.
  • Sock It to Us!–We collect socks and distribute them to six local elementary schools.
  • Project Linus–We host an annual “blanketeers” day to make blankets for kids and members participate in Project Linus Day.
  • Hall Use for non-profits–Past use has included 4-H, Guilford Historical Society, D.A.R, Spirit of America Foundation…
  • Newspapers in Education–Contest encouraging fourth graders to explore commercial art and advertising.
  • Garry Owen House–We support this transitional shelter where homeless veterans can find hope for the future.
  • Bikes for Books–We support this Mason’s Program that encourages literacy both financially and through our Bookworm Program.
  • Community Citizen Award–An annual celebration of community and recognition of “boots on the ground” service to our communities.
  • Kiddy Ditty Bags–We provide the local courts with these activity bags designed to entertain children who must sit in courtrooms.
  • Teddy Bear Parade–We provide teddy bears to local law enforcement agencies as requested.
  • Special Programs–“If you have the passion, Valley Grange is the place.” We are always willing to consider addressing community needs and opportunities… and we have annual programs including an annual fellowship breakfast, balloons and baked stuff at Piscataquis River Festival, an annual picnic fun and fundraiser…

Some programs have been temporarily suspended due to COVID mandates and restrictions—we can’t wait to get them going again!

Benefit Supper for Roger Ricker

Judy and Roger Ricke are valued members of Valley Grange. Roger is also a long-time member of the Wellington Fire Department but has recently been suffering some serious health issues. The Wellington Fire Department has scheduled a benefit meal on Sunday, July 31, 2022, at 1 pm. Please support this effort and Roger and Judy!

If you cannot attend but would like to donate, please send a check payable to Valley Grange to Mary Annis, 28 Orchard Road, Dover Foxcroft ME 04426 with “Roger Benefit” written on the memo line. We will forward all donations!

And help spread the word!