Breakfast for Supper? Sure!

It’s an annual tradition! Grange Cooks get organized and plan a breakfast for supper featuring special dishes like Judy’s Muffins, Walter’s French Toast, Mary’s Bacon… and everyone is invited to help either by bringing a dish to share or helping us eat what we have or both! Yes, you can come in your jammies! Kids and families are welcome!

The date is Friday, December 6, 2019, and the time is 6:00 pm. The Grange Hall is located at 172 Guilford Center Road, on the corner of Butter Street in Guilford. You don’t have to stay for the optional Holiday Program starting at 7:00 pm, but we hope you will!

If you have questions about what to bring or how to help with the menu (both are optional!) call Mary at 564-0820 or Janice at 876-4131, Take a break from shopping and decorating to enjoy good food and friendly fellowship with friends and neighbors.

There might even be some Christmas Cookies!

Catch the Spirit of America!

Fourteen organizations and individuals to be honored

Guilford–Piscataquis County winners of the 2019 Spirit of America Foundation Tribute for outstanding community service will be honored at a ceremony on Friday, November 15, 2019 starting at 7:00 PM in the Valley Grange Hall 172 Guilford Center Road, Guilford.

The 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: Walter Boomsma–Abbot, John Brainard–Atkinson, Rodney Preble–Bowerbank, Brownville Public Library–Brownville, Friends of Central Hall and Maine Highlands Senior Center–Dover-Foxcroft, Prudy and David Richards–Greenville, Hardwood Products Company –Guilford, Damien Pickel– Milo, Barbara Wilbur–Parkman, Alvina Church –Sangerville, Sebec Community Christian—Sebec, Colleen Ashe—Shirley, and Walter Hish—Wellington.

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,” Sheriff Bob Young 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!” The Grange will be serving refreshments immediately following the program.

Valley Grange is Getting Busy!

The dictionaries for this year’s “Words for Thirds” program are on order (9 cases!). That meaans Dictionary Days are coming soon! But that’s not all that’s happening!

Bookworms will also be starting their visits to PCES in just a few weeks… We’ll have exact dates for these programs very soon!

Some dates we’re already sure of:

  • Tuesday, October 15 is SeDoMoCha Dictionary Day!
  • Friday, October 18 we’ll have our regular monthly meeting–potluck supper at 6 PM and meeting at 7 PM.
  • Tuesday, October 22 is P.C.E.S. Dictionary Day!
  • Thursday, October 25 is Bookworm Kickoff Day!
  • Friday October 25, Piscataquis County 4-H Clubs will have their annual awards dinner and celebration at Valley Grange starting at 5 PM.
  • Friday, November 15, Valley Grange hosts the Spirit of America Awards for Piscataquis County starting at 7 PM. We’ll also have a Community Social Hour following the meeting with drinks and desserts–and we’ll draw the winners of our Meat or Heat Raffle.

We could really use your help this year with our raffle! See a Grange member, stop by an event… buy some tickets and help us continue to support our communities!

Thanks again, Lt Kane!

An enthusiastic group of well-wishers and supporters took time out of a beautiful spring day to partake of Valley Grange’s free community supper in honor of Lt. Jamie Kane’s recent selection of the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Vicki Huff, Past Master of the Maine State Grange, was on hand to complete the formal presentation, noting that this really is a “big deal” considering that Kane was selected at the Northeast Regional Conference representing all of the New England States and New York. Huff said that from the stories she’s heard and previous conversations with Kane she knows he does what he does because he loves doing it–not for the awards or recognition–and that is just one of many reasons he deserves it.

Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director said that there’s a “…notable change in attitudes towards law enforcement due in a large part to Kane’s work at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. The kids are developing an understanding that law enforcement is a very positive resource in our community. They run to him, not away from him.”

During his closing remarks, Boomsma noted that it’s great that as a society we have normalized thanking Veterans for their service. “We think nothing of walking up to a complete stranger, shaking his or her hand and saying thanks for your service. That is as it should be. But we truly have an opportunity to do the same for law enforcement officers who are putting their lives on the line for us every day. Tonight we honor Lt. Kane and many will shake his hand and say thanks. But just maybe we should do that with every officer we meet in our daily lives. These men and women are making incredible contributions and helping us build strong communities.”

MPR to Explore the Role of the Grange

Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma will be a featured guest

Maine Calling is a daily program airing on Maine Public Radio that “brings you interesting conversations with interesting people on just about any and all subjects.” Grangers will definitely be interested in the program scheduled to air on Friday, May 3, 2019, at 1 pm. Featuring Walter Boomsma, author of the book, Exploring Traditions–Celebrating the Grange Way of Life, and Vicki Huff, past master of the Maine State Grange, will be featured studio guests. Several representatives of successful Granges in Maine will also be calling in as will National Grange Communications Director Amanda Brozana Rio.

The program will be aired statewide. For a list of stations, visit the Maine Public Radio Website. The program will be recorded and offered as a podcast. To access the podcast after the program airs or for more information visit the Maine Calling Webpage.

Community Night at Valley Grange!

This is our annual celebration of our communities and their citizens. Please join us!

Community to Honor Lt Kane

Save the date! Spread the word! Come to help us celebrate this honor and thank Lt. Kane for everything he does for our communities!

Special Meeting, March 29, 2019

Member Alert! Valley Grange will meet on Friday, March 29, 2019, at the Grange Hall to conduct some important business, including the selection of our Community Citizen of the Year for 2019. The meeting is scheduled for 7 pm, no potluck supper but if folks bring desserts, we can have desserts and coffee! Please try to attend… we have lots to talk about!

February Meeting Rescheduled!

snow-shovel-2001776_640Our February meeting has been postponed by one week from this Friday until Friday, February 22, 2019. We’ll have the usual potluck at 6 pm, meeting at 7 pm. The weather forecast is part of the reason but several other factors have come into play.

Please help us get the word out… this will be posted on the Valley Grange Facebook Page and a Grange Gram will be sent today.

By way of a hint, we are expecting some special guests… and don’t forget we will be discussing who will be our 2019 Community Citizen of the Year along with some updates regarding Newspapers in Education and our GrowME program.

Sorry for any inconvenience! I wonder if the Secret Shoveler will arrive now that there’s more time to get the steps cleared…

Secret Shoveler Strikes!

snow-shovel-2001776_640I headed to the Grange Hall yesterday with a deep sense of foreboding, trying not to imagine how much snow would be piled up on the steps and porch. There’d been at least three significant storms since someone was last there. I’d even loaded several types of shovels in case I encountered layers of ice and hard crust.

Imagine my surprise when I arrived to find only a little light snow to remove. It seems a secret shoveler had arrived at some point during recent weeks and removed the major accumulations. If you happened to drive by at the moment I discovered that you’d have seen me leaping for joy at the base of the steps!

The identity of the secret shoveler at this point is, well, a secret! The only evidence remaining was a pink snow shovel left on the porch. Since the shoveler was probably wearing gloves, it will not be dusted for fingerprints. It will, however, remain on the porch either to be reclaimed by its rightful owner or to be used by those who might be inclined to stop at the hall after a snowstorm and clear off the steps.

To our secret shoveler, we say, “Thanks!” It’s great to live in a community where folks help each other and the community. While we’re being grateful, we owe a big thanks to Jim French of French Construction for keeping our parking lot plowed during the winter!

Valley Grange does our best to remain “open for business” throughout the winter and knowing that it’s a community effort strengthens our resolve. This Thursday (February 7) we are hosting the Piscataquis Pomona Grange meeting with a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. On Friday (February 15) we’ll get together for our regular monthly meeting which also includes a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. We’ll be discussing our annual Community Night in May and selection of Community Citizen of the Year 2019. You’re invited to join us and help!

Remember this. Hold on to this. This is the only perfection there is, the perfection of helping others. This is the only thing we can do that has any lasting meaning. This is why we’re here. To make each other feel safe.

Andre Agassi