Parade of Pirates Canceled

Guilford—Valley Grange of Guilford recently announced that in a joint agreement with the administration of SAD 4, the Parade of Pirates scheduled for June 10, 2020 is being canceled. In announcing the cancelation Valley Grange Program Director Walter Boomsma explained, “After reviewing the recent changes to Governor Mills’ Executive order we made the unhappy decision to cancel the event in keeping with the spirit of the order and everyone’s safety.”

Boomsma also reminded everyone that the purpose of the parade is not cancelled. “We just have to celebrate our community treasurers differently and more creatively.” He suggested that “even something as a simple card, email, letter, or email to someone and saying thanks for being part of our schools and communities and the area we live in.”

Valley Grange offers a number of programs to support area communities ranging from providing dictionaries to third graders to making “fabric hugs”—blankets for children in conjunction with Project Linus. The Guilford Grange has a long history of programs to support schools and kids. Boomsma had a special message for the students, parents, and teachers. “In these uncertain times, I promise you this. We’ll be back.”

Program Director Walter Boomsma explains the decision.

Parade of Pirates

Additional Information and Resources

New information being added regularly! Keep checking back!

Our communities and schools are a great place to live and learn! That’s worth celebrating! We also want to provide our kids with some sense of closure–the last day of school may be bittersweet, it’s also exciting!

Announcing a Parade of Pirates!

Grange and Community to Celebrate the Last Day of School

Guilford—Valley Grange of Guilford is sponsoring a Parade of Pirates to celebrate the final day of school for SAD 4 and “acknowledge our community treasures—schools, teachers, parents, kids—everyone who helps make this a great place to live and learn,” according to Walter Boomsma, Program Director of the Guilford-based Grange. Using the school mascot as a theme seemed appropriate, according to Boomsma. “While we might not approve of everything pirates did, the fact is they led exciting lives and in many cases built up huge treasures. That certainly describes life in our schools and communities.”

Scheduled for the final day of school, June 10, 2020, and start at 1:00 pm, the parade of vehicles will travel through the MSAD 4 Campus with appropriate waving, balloons, decorated vehicles, horn-blowing, and yelling. Teachers and staff will line the edges of the driveway in what Boomsma hopes becomes a “huge event” that marks the official end of the school year and the start of summer. Noting that many events are being canceled this year, he said, “We know we can do this safely. Drivers and passengers are instructed to remain in their vehicles while driving slowly and safely through the campus. Valley Grange members and volunteers will assist with directing traffic and maintaining social distancing.”

Noting that the event is not just for parents and kids, Boomsma said that community organizations, businesses—anyone who wants to celebrate our community treasures and accomplishments is invited to follow the parade through the campus.

Valley Grange Community Service Chair Mary Annis says she’s excited, “We have a great relationship with the school and kids thanks to programs like our Dictionary Day and Bookworming… We have been missing the kids and those activities we normally do. This seems like a great opportunity to take the focus off what we have missed this year and put it on what we have.”

Want to volunteer? We need a few people to help with directing traffic and keeping it moving… just send an email. Specific information and details will be listed soon! Check back often!

National Moment of Remembrance

Monday, May 25, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Time and Date Change

Due to complications arising as a result of the recent storm , the time and date for “Exploring Connections” has changed. Tune in Friday!

Exploring Connections

Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director, to appear on National Program…

National Grange has started a series of Facebook Live Broadcasts during Grange Month to “cultivate connections in the time of COVID.” The daily broadcasts feature guests and a wide range of topics such as making balloon animals to exploring the future of the Grange as an organization.

On Tuesday, April 14, 2020, at 6:00 pm, Walter Boomsma, author, and Maine State Grange Communications Director, has been invited to appear and discuss “exploring connections,” based partly on his book, Exploring Traditions–Celebrating the Grange Way of Life.

Boomsma says he’s often a self-appointed cage rattler. “One of my goals in writing the book was to get people thinking about how the Grange–its rituals and traditions–connect to the world today. Too often we get stuck in a backward and inward perspective. We may need to turn our welcome mat around. Instead of thinking ‘Welcome to the Grange,’ we may need to focus on getting out into the world. The Grange way of life works best when we’re in the world, not when we’re in a Grange Hall. That’s as true today as it was 150 years ago.”


Tune in to this Facebook event to get your cage rattled and your mind engaged. If you’re not on Facebook, no problem! The broadcast will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube. We’ll share the link here after the broadcast.

Meetings and Events

After careful consideration, we have decided the following:

  • Our March Meeting (Friday, the 20th) is canceled.
  • Our March Blanketeering Event (Saturday, the 28th) is postponed–a new date will be announced when the COVID-19 situation allows for less “social distancing.”
  • The April Piscataquis Pomona Meeting (Thursday, April 2nd) is postponed–a new date will be announced when the COVID-19 situation allows for less “social distancing.”

With school being closed:

  • Newspapers in Education Contest Winners will be announced here and on the Valley Grange Facebook Page by the end of this week. Certificates and magnets will be distributed when students return to school.
  • Bookworms are standing by and will be scheduled at school when students return. We hope students will keep reading at home!

Thank you for your support and understanding. We’ll definitely keep you posted!

Blanketeers Needed!

Volunteers will create blankets for children in need

Valley Grange of Guilford is sponsoring a blanket-making event on Saturday, March 28, 2020,  from 9:00 a.m. until noon and volunteers are needed! Organizer Pat Engstrom notes “no sewing skills are needed. If you can measure, cut a straight line with scissors and tie a simple knot you can become a ‘blanketeer’ and help support Project Linus.”

Project Linus, a non-profit organization, provides homemade blankets to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need. A similar event last year resulted in dozens of blankets being made by a diverse group of volunteers. Engstrom hopes to see the number of blankets made increased.

“We have a great time doing this and truly just about anyone can help. We created quite a production line and it sometimes gets competitive! It’s exciting to realize we’re providing love in the form of ‘blankies’ representing love, security, warmth, and comfort to kids.”

While supplies will be provided, volunteers are encouraged to bring scissors, rulers, and masking tape. Light refreshments will be served.

For additional information, contact Pat Enstrom at 564-8290. Valley Grange is located at 172 Guilford Center Road, at the corner of Butter Street.

POSTSCRIPT: There will also be a “sewing” Linus Project in Dover Foxcroft on April 18, 2020 at the Dover Foxcroft Congregational Church, from 9:00 am until 3 PM. Contact Cynthia Vaughn at 884-8898 for more information!

Pomona Meeting Postponed

Discretion is the better part of valor! The Piscataquis Pomona Meeting scheduled at Valley Grange tomorrow night has been postponed by one week due to the impending storm. The forecast for next week looks much less threatening!

Plan to attend on Thursday, February 13, 2020 at Valley Grange for a potluck supper at 6 pm and meeting at 7 pm. Stay safe during the storm and don’t forget to check on your neighbors!

Spirit of America in Guilford

Photo by Burgess Photography

Among those recently honored by the Spirit of America Foundation were 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.