It’s Grange Month!

by Mary Annis, Valley Grange Secretary

The Grange is now just over 150 years old.  On December 4, 1867, sitting around a plain wooden table in Washington, DC, seven men organized the Grange. They were all men of vision – had faith in God, their fellow man, and the future. Their focus was on agriculture and the principle that life would not exist without farming. From these humble beginnings, a fraternal order known as the Patrons of Husbandry was born.

Through the years the Grange has been responsible for many projects that have made life better for both farmers and the average citizen. In 1896, the Order was the impetus behind getting the Rural Free Delivery system implemented. This allowed the mail to be delivered directly to farm families who used to have to travel for miles into town to pick up their mail.  And, of course, it continues to this day.

When the Grange was organized the forward-thinking men recognized the importance of women in the farm household.  This was well before women had the right to vote.  In the Grange, there are four offices that can only be held by women. And they were also given an equal voice in all matters coming before the body with full voting privileges.

Do you have an idea to make life better? In the Grange, there is a way to see your ideas come into being.  In your local Grange, you can write a resolution explaining your idea and present it to the members. The members discuss it and vote on it. If passed it goes on to the County Grange, or Pomona Grange, where the same happens. Then it will go to the State Grange and be presented at their annual conference, discussed and passed. It is a great way to have your voice heard.

There are several active Granges locally. Our Grange is Valley Grange, located at 172 Guilford Center Road. We do many activities throughout the year to help our community.  From Project Linus to knitting to working on several projects with the local school children, it’s all a labor of love.  To find out more about the Granges nearby you can visit the Maine State Grange website (mainestategrange.org) or the Valley Grange website (valleygrange.com). We are a friendly group of people and love to have visitors at our meetings.  The next meeting scheduled for Valley Grange is May 18, when we will be presenting our Community Citizen of the Year Award.  It’s an “open” meeting, beginning at 6 pm with a potluck supper and the ceremonies beginning at 7 pm.  We’d love to have you come.

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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!

Spring Cleaning! Help Needed!

sweeping_the_floor_400_clr_11612Please note this has been postponed until Tuesday, May 8, 2018, at 4 pm!

We’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).

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

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.

Y’all Come!

Installation 2017 Postcard

Come See Us at River Festival!

Books and Balloons 2017

Community Night at Valley Grange!

Postcard Announcement