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.”

Lt Kane Honored — Again!

Valley Grange again had the pleasure of surprising Lt James Kane of the Piscataquis County Sheriff’s Department–this time during his DARE class with Mrs. Cleaves fifth graders at Piscataquis Community Elementary School. As he was finishing up the lesson, there was a knock on the door. The class announced in unison, “Come in!” The door opened and in marched Mr. Gregory’s fifth-graders carrying a banner reading “Congratulations, Lt. Kane!” He looked a bit bewildered as they presented him with hand-made cards of congratulations. They were followed by PCES Principal Anita Wright, PSCSS Principal John Keane, SAD 4 Superintendent Kellie McFayden and several members of the media.


Kane, ever humble, joked that he was “going to start avoiding Mr. Boomsma.”

Walter Boomsma, program director for Valley Grange, explained that last year Lt Kane was honored as Valley Grange’s Community Citizen of the Year and the Maine State Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. “We just recently learned that he’s also been selected the Grange Northeast Region Law Enforcement Officer of the year, which is pretty cool because it includes all of New England and New York.”

Boomsma noted that we “haven’t received the official plaque yet but we do have a couple of things for you,” presenting Kane with a a block of cheese labelled “big cheese” and a banana labeled “top banana.” “We think you’re a pretty big cheese and you’re our top banana.”

“I want to thank you very much, I do not do it for any other reason than I enjoy being with the kids,” Kane said. He also thanked the teachers and administrators he has worked with.

Kane told the students the cards will go up on the wall in his office.

Boomsma further noted that the Grange is all about building strong rural communities and “people like Lt. Kane are among the greatest resources we have. I have seen his work. It’s boots on the ground and goes far beyond the job he has. One reason we decided to announce the award here today is I know what the kids mean to him and I know what he means to the kids.

Valley Grange will be announcing a public event which will give the community an opportunity to thank Lt. Kane. “It’s become quite normal for folks to walk up to veterans and thank them for their service,” Boomsma noted. “That’s as it should be but maybe we should also normalize thanking law enforcement officers who literally put their lives on the line every day.”

With this award, Kane also becomes eligible for the Grange National Honor which will be announced in the fall.

Later that morning, Kane met with first and second graders to talk about how kids can help and support policemen. (Photo by Khloe Kimball)

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.

Lt Kane, State Grange LEO of the Year

Kane MSG
Maine State Grange Community Service Director Christine Corliss presents Lt Jamie Kane with the Maine State Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award and a check for a $100 donation to the charity of his choice… He selected Valley Grange as the recipient to “help with their Dictionary and Bookworm Programs.” As the State’s Recipient, Lt Kane becomes eligible for a Regional and National Grange Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award. Corliss pointed out that it’s possible to receive the National Award without having received the Regional Award.

The State Award was presented at the beginning of the 145th Annual Maine State Grange Convention during the opening banquet and awards ceremony. Lt. Kane was named Valley Grange’s Community Citizen of the Year earlier this spring based on his involvement with and commitment to our kids and our communities.

Lt. Kane to Be Honored–Again!

We’ve learned that Representative Paul Stearns will be presenting Lt. Jamie Kane with a Legislative Sentiment in recognition of receiving the Valley Grange Community Citizen of the year award. The presentation will take place on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at the Piscataquis County Commissioners Meeting. The meeting is open to the public and is held in the Peakes Building (white building) next to the Courthouse and starts at 8:30 am.

Congratulations, Lt. Kane!

First County Agent in Piscataquis County…

Grangers will likely enjoy this article penned (keyboarded?) by Mary Annis–President of the Dover Foxcroft Historical Society and Secretary of Valley Grange #144 in Guilford, Maine. Set in the early 1900’s, Annis tells the story of how the “young whippersnapper” Henry Bodwell became the first county agent in Piscataquis County and met with a great deal of resistance from “UncleFrank” Merrill, the master of the South Dover Grange who was best described as “240 pounds of pure sarcasm.”

Over 300 farmers and their wives were in attendance to hear “Uncle Frank”, as the popular Grange Master was known throughout the county, expound on what he thought of the appointment [of Bodwell as County Agent]. From his remarks, nobody doubted that the going ahead would be anything but smooth for the young man that “Uncle Frank” had so sarcastically referred to as that little “whipper snapper.”

Well-researched, the article includes stories as told by Bodwell himself and will help readers understand the important role the Grange played in Agriculture and the community in general. The story of how the “young whippersnapper” wins over “Uncle Frank” and his fellow farmers is a timely lesson even though it happened 100 years ago. It takes some creativity on his part, but the young county agent wins an opportunity to explain to Grangers and farmers that his, “job as County Agent can be compared to just what is happening here on your farm today, namely neighbors cooperating with one another to aid in a common cause.”

View, print, and download the article.

Annis, Mary, “Joseph Henry Bodwell Becomes First County Agent in Piscataquis County” (2017). Cooperative Extension – Agriculture. 14.
https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/extension_ag/14

National Grange Master to Visit!

Betsy Huber

National Master Betsy Huber

National Grange Master Betsy Huber will attend the Piscataquis Pomona Grange Meeting to be held at Valley Grange on April 6, 2017. We will share a “Chicken Pie Supper” prepared by Pomona Master and Chef Extraordinaire Bill Bemis starting at 6:00 pm. Our meeting and program will begin at 7:00 pm and include a “town hall style visit” with our National and State Master Rick Grotton. This is a great opportunity for Grangers from near and far to hear and be heard about Grange on a National scope.

Huber will be in Maine from April 5 until April 8. Details of her visit and planned events will be available on the Maine State Grange website.

While an RSVP is not required, it will help immensely if we have some idea of how many people are attending, particularly with planning the dinner. Please fill out the form below. Don’t forget to click the “submit” button at the bottom!

For additional information, please contact either Bill Bemis, Piscataquis Pomona Master (207 924-4123) or Walter Boomsma, Piscataquis Pomona Overseer (207 343-1842) and Publicity Director. (Media inquiries should be addressed to Walter.)

Directions and a map to the Valley Grange Hall can be found on this site. Our GPS address is 272 Guilford Center Road, Guilford ME 04443.

Carpools and a caravan are being arranged from Bangor Grange–contact Brenda Gammon or Rolf Staples.

Your RSVP…