Blanketeers Needed!

Linus Project

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Community Super Supper Celebration

Community Suppah

We recently hosted the Spirit of America Tributes for Piscataquis County—that included some 17 individuals and organizations (community heroes) who were recognized for their community contributions. Most will remember that Lt. Jamie Kane (Community Hero) was presented our Community Citizen of the Year Award last spring. Just this past week, Janice and I were present to see him awarded the Maine State Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. This also means he’s automatically nominated for regional and national awards.

There’s a lot of good stuff going on in our communities… and that’s one reason we’ve decided to schedule a free Community Supper on Friday, November 16, 2018. This will be our opportunity to celebrate our community heroes. We’re of course inviting our past Community Citizens, but we truly hope to honor anyone and everyone who in someway makes our communities strong.

In my closing comments at the Spirit of America Tributes, I pointed out that we shouldn’t be intimidated when people receive awards and recognition for service. People who almost absentmindedly pick up trash are community heroes. If you smile at people in the grocery store, you qualify as a community hero. Several folks commented at the close of that program that it felt so good to be reminded of how good we really are. So let’s do it again on November 16th! We’ll serve from 6 pm until 7 pm—unless the food runs out! All you really have to do is show up but you could also

  • Invite a friend or neighbor
  • Post the enclosed flyer somewhere in your community

Our kid-friendly menu will include baked beans, mac ‘n cheese, ham, and assorted drinks, rolls and dessert. The main dishes are being catered by Bill Bemis (Community Hero) of Garland Grange—he’s famous for his cooking!

While no program or speeches are planned, we will have boards available where people can write the names of those who are community heroes. We hope to fill them!

Thanks to our planned open house, people can visit our little museum and stay for a traditional Grange Meeting starting at 7 pm to learn more about the Grange.

Spirit of America!

SOA Winners

It was “standing room only” as Valley Grange hosted the Piscataquis County Spirit of America Awards Ceremony with nearly 100 in attendance. Seventeen individuals and groups were honored for their volunteerism and community contributions. (The complete list is available on the Valley Grange Website.) The program was emceed by Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange with awards presented by Senator Paul Davis and Representatives Paul Stearns and Norm Higgins.

Valley Grange Hosts Spirit of America Awards

Officer Installation at Garland Grange

Installation 2018 Postcard

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.

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

River Festival Means Balloons and Baked Stuff!

Lt Jamie Kane, 2018 Citizen of the Year

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Jim Annis, Valley Grange Master; Lt Jamie Kane, Community Citizen; Walter Boomsma, Valley Grange Program Director. Photo Courtesy of Beth Weymouth.

Congratulations to Lt James Kane of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Office for his well-deserved receipt of the Valley Grange 2018 Community Citizen of the Year Award! And, thanks to the help of Tim Richardson and Chandra Kane, a large group of friends and family managed to totally surprise him. (He thought he was going fishing!)

In presenting the award, Valley Grange Master James Annis noted it’s a “high honor” and one that isn’t taken lightly. “Valley Grange values community and appreciates those who go ‘above and beyond’ to serve us.”

Additional testimonials and stories mentioned Lt. Kane’s role as a DARE officer at two schools and his get things done attitude when a need arises. When told a child being sponsored to attend a day camp didn’t have the proper clothing, shoes, and sleeping bag, “What do we do now?” Lt Kane said, without hesitation, “Let’s go shopping.” He even received a group hug from the girls’ baseball team he coaches at PCHS. PCHS Principal John Keane said, “I have been principal at six different schools in four districts and the best law enforcement official I have ever met.”

Describing the value of community and community service, Valley Grange Program Director challenged those present not to compare themselves to Lt Kane, “Don’t feel inadequate. Doing little things can add up. Let’s find more Lt Kanes and let’s each be a little more like him.”

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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.