You’re invited!


No, that’s not a typo! Breakfast is not just for breakfast anymore… join us for a potluck fellowship breakfast followed by a brief Christmas Program. Come in your jammies if you’d like!

November Meeting — Let’s Sign!

November Meeting

Here We Come, Santa!


Just a few of Santa’s Helpers… Squash Secateurs really had their work cut out for them… no pun intended!

By Walter Boomsma

With a hearty “Ho! Ho! Ho!” lots of Santa helpers got together for a Harvest Festival to benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund! The night may have been cold, but the warmth of community (not to mention all the steam from cooking) sure created a snuggly night!

Led by Chief Cook and organizer Sheree Brown, Santa’s kitchen workers put on yet another incredible meal! These meals have been so popular we’re creating a mailing list so folks can be assured they won’t miss one! (We’ll have both email and post card versions available… more to come about that!)

One diner tapped me on the shoulder and said, “You know what’s really nice about these meals?” He didn’t wait for me to answer before he added, “Seeing all these kids actually working!” (He was one of the first to ask to be on our mailing list, so we’re going to try not to disappoint him next time! Truth be told, I hadn’t noticed that the majority of our hard workers were young people! I did notice, however that there was always someone willing to work whether it was peeling squash, carving ham, or setting up very cold metal chairs upstairs.

Barbara never misses one of these... and I think she waved to make sure we noticed!

Barbara never misses one of these… and I think she waved to make sure we noticed!

People were quick to line up and harvest a plate full from the serving line but just about everyone left some room for apple crisp. In fact, we were fortunate to have a few “leftovers” but only until the band took intermission and we had an impromptu auction. We sold everything that was left–there wasn’t so much as a crumb remaining! And we raised yet another $58 for Santa in the process. How can you go wrong when you have this combination… great food, a fantastic cause, generous folks, hardworking volunteers…

But wait, there’s even more! There was lots of toe tapping and swaying to the music as the Friends Band including Kathy & Buzz Vanadestine, John Whitman, Gary Knowles, Cornell & Judy McLellan entertained us with some old favorites and some pretty bad jokes! (Do you know what Adam said to Eve in the Garden of Eden the day before Christmas? “Merry Christmas, Eve!”) Ba-da-boom. But you know you laughed.

While we didn’t give a prize for folks who traveled the longest distance, we were really pleased to have the Maine State Grange Master (president) join us all the way from South Portland. And while we consider Vicki a “dignitary,” she didn’t come as one. She came as a supporter both of Piscataquis Santa and Valley Grange. In fact, she sold one of the winning Meat or Heat Raffle Tickets!

We did have some questions about how Valley Grange and these events supports the Piscataquis Santa Fund. There are, as many know, sponsors grouped basically by school districts with Piscataquis Santa serving as an umbrella. Each of those districts is basically responsible for raising funds for their individual program, but one of the real benefits of the fund is the pooling of resources.  Valley Grange has members from “Monson to Millinocket”–therefore when we started these collaborative efforts, we determined that we would raise money under the “umbrella” and not specifically for any one district. In this way, if there is a particular need or shortage in one district, Penquis has the funds to meet that need.

Every year we get a few calls from people who’ve benefited from Piscataquis Santa in the past… they beg to volunteer to help because they fully appreciate the value of this program. Yes, it’s important to “pay it forward,” but in this way, it’s possible to “help pay back.” The generosity we experience from businesses and individuals is heartwarming and rewarding. Thank you, one and all!

The Friends Band donated their time and talent... thank you!

The Friends Band donated their time and talent… thank you!

Eat and Learn with Extension

Saturday, September 7 Valley Grange hosts the UMaine Extension Piscataquis County Annual Supper and Meeting and it looks like there’s going to be something for everyone!

logo-piscataquis-santaAnother yummy supper is prepared by Penquis Volunteers and all proceeds will benefit Piscataquis Santa, served from 5 PM until 7 PM by donation to benefit Piscataquis Santa. The meal deal includes baked stuffed chicken, Angus beef tips, mashed potatoes with gravy, mac and cheese, glazed carrots and string beans, dinner rolls, fruit pie and vanilla ice cream, coffee, tea, and lemonade! Suggested donation is $8 for adults, $4 for kids 3-12, under 3 eat free! 100% of the proceeds benefit the Piscataquis Santa Fund! (There will only be 109 days until Christmas from this event!)

A LOGOThe program parts include lots of exciting things! Prior to and during supper there will be Extension exhibits and demonstrations including a working bee hive and opportunity for the kids to make “bee hummers,” information on gardening, farming and nutrition. Bring your gardening, farming, nutrition, 4-H questions! There will also be lots of material available… The annual meeting starting at 7 PM will feature highlights of local programming and a feature presentation by Dr. Lois Stack, UMaine Extension Ornamental Horticulture Specialist, “Native Plants in the Home Landscape.” All exhibits, demonstrations, and the program are free!

This is collaboration and cooperation at its best! You can come to one thing or you can come to everything!

We’re Ready for Community Night!

Party 3 (640x464)Well, almost! While this photo doesn’t show it (you’ll have to come see), the stage is painted and looking great! Members are reminded we still have some “primping” to do… and those who can are asked to stop by Friday (17th) afternoon and find a project–sweeping, dusting, setting tables, etc. Our celebration of community begins at 6 PM with a potluck supper… and continues with a 7 PM program that’s sure to please as we honor the Piscataquis Observer and WABI-TV 5 for their service to our communities.

Remember, this is a family friendly event and the price is right–all it “costs” is a few hours of your time! (If you can, bring a dish to share for potluck.) In exchange, you’ll get a great meal, a warm sense of community, some laughs and a chance to see friends old and new.

An audio-visual presentation will surprise you when you discover the value of “Just Five Minutes.” Look for a traffic jam at the corner of Butter Street and Guilford Center Road on Friday-because that’s where Valley Grange is located!

Santa says, “Thanks!”

Barbeque and Bluegrass was a great success!

Special thanks to our sponsors for their generous support–stop by or give them a call to let them know you appreciate it:

      • Engstrom & Tumosa Tree Service – 564-8290 or 876-6907
      • Mallett Real Estate – 564-8073
      • Dover Foxcroft Chiropractic – 564-2211
      • McKusick Petroleum – 564-3406
      • Lovell’s Hardware – 876-2222
      • Walter Boomsma, teacher and trainer – 343-1842
      • Troy Brown, building and construction – 672-5586

And to the many individuals and businesses who helped in so many ways including:

      • Abbot Village Bakery
      • Jim and Sherry French, French Construction
      • Bill Bemis
      • Garland Grange
      • April Sargent
      • Vicki Curtis
      • Jim Macomber
      • Sheree Brown
      • Jessica Davis
      • Parvanah Withee
      • Dennis and Becky Patterson
      • Walter and Janice Boomsma
      • Valley Grange  Pie Makers: Judy Ricker, Cheryl Morin, Mary Annis, and Janice Boomsma
      • Penquis and Valley Grange  volunteers who worked from preparation through clean up!

And, of course, to the many folks who attended… you have helped many children to have a happy holiday–you should too!

 “Our family has had a rough year with one of our children suffering with congenital heart defects and undergoing nine operations and multiple complications trying to repair her heart. This has been very difficult on our family and financially caused us great strain.  Programs like this are what gives us a chance at rebuilding and getting life back on track while still giving our children the joy and fun of the holidays. It’s an amazing gift you give not just the children but the parents as well.”

You can still help–


You’d Better Watch Out! You Don’t Want to Miss This!

Barbeque and Bluegrass!

Saturday, December 1, 2012


The Valley Grange Hall

Corner of Butter Street and Guilford Center Road in Guilford Maine

Barbeque served from 5 PM until 7 PM

BBQ pulled pork or chicken served on fresh Kaiser rolls with baked beans, coleslaw, potato & macaroni salad corn bread and a variety of home-made pies for dessert!

Bluegrass served from 7 PM until 9 PM

Music served by the Back Porch Bluegrass Band

 You’ll eat well, have fun, and help Piscataquis Santa as he provides clothing and a special gift for needy children in the Piscataquis Region. (SAD 4, 41, 46, 68 and Union 60).

Adult Dinner $7, Concert $5, Combo ticket $10!

Child (3-12) Dinner $3.50, Concert $3.50, Combo $5!

Children under 3 years old FREE!

You can download a Santa Barbeque and Bluegrass Flyer with detailed information. We still can use some elf helpers… For more information contact Walter Boomsma. If you can help with food and/or kitchen, please contact Jessica Davis.

Visit the Back Porch Bluegrass Band Facebook Page.

Barbeque and Bluegrass — Piscataquis Santa Event

Here is your resource for information about the Barbeque and Bluegrass event… The event takes place Saturday, December 1st with barbeque being served starting at 5 PM and bluegrass being served starting at 7 PM… Featuring the Back Porch Bluegrass Band!

Download a Santa Barbeque and Bluegrass Flyer with detailed information.

Download a Santa Sponsor Letter and/or Santa Sponsor Form. We need some “elves” to help! For more information regarding sponsorships, contact Walter Boomsma. If you can help with food and/or kitchen, please contact Jessica Davis.

Visit the Back Porch Bluegrass Band Facebook Page.

This event is a joint venture between Valley Grange and Penquis Piscataquis Santa Fund. The Santa Fund provides clothing and a special gift for needy children in the Piscataquis Region (SAD 4, 41, 46, 68 and Union 60). We’ve got it covered from Greenville to Milo to Dexter!

Don’t Miss This Italian Buffet Dinner!

Saturday, July 21st

Valley Grange and Penquis join hands again for this incredible event… come enjoy the food, the atmosphere and the fun! From 5 PM until 7 PM (or until the food runs out) you can enjoy a scrumptious Italian Buffet Dinner. Menu includes: a variety of Italian Dishes, including Chicken Cacciatore, Fish Fillets Italiano, Lasagna, Pizza and More…Salad and Bread Sticks… Cheese & Fruit…and for dessert: Chocolate Cake w/Mint Frosting or Chocolate Mousse w/Raspberries. Minimum suggested donation is $6.00 per adult, $3.00 per child age 5-12, children under 5 eat free. All proceeds to benefit the Smart Starts for Students Fund, providing back to school supplies for Piscataquis area students. (MSAD 4, 41, 46, 68 & Union 60).

Grange Hall is located at the corner of Guilford Center Road and Butter Street in Guilford.

If you’d like to help us with groceries, supplies, cooking, or a little work during the dinner, check out these opportunities and let us know!

You Don’t Have to Speak Italian…

Where’s your piece?

You don’t have to speak Italian to appreciate Italian Food and the second annual Italian Buffet Supper sponsored by volunteers from the Penquis Smart Starts for Students Program and Valley Grange. We packed the house last year and expect to do so again! You also don’t have to speak Italian to be part of the fun and accomplishment that goes along with working together for a worthy cause. Because we expect this year’s event to be even bigger than last year, we’re asking our communities for some help.

Like to cook?

Dishes we need include Lasagna, Chicken Cacciatore, Fish Fillets Italiano, Cheese Pizza, Pepperoni Pizza, and Minestrone Soup. Prepared dishes will need to arrive at the Valley Grange Hall the afternoon of the dinner (Saturday, July 21st).  Please help us with planning by calling Sheree @ 974-2440 or emailing  before July 17th and letting her know your intentions.

Like to shop?

Items we need to prepare this feast include: Red Onions, Red Peppers, Yellow Peppers, Green Peppers, Leaf Lettuce, Iceburg Lettuce, Spinach, Cherry Tomatoes, Pickling Cucumbers, Shredded Carrots, Cottage Cheese, Real Bacon Bits, Croutons, Black & Green Olives, Dill & Sweet Pickles, Salad Dressings, Sliced Pepperoni, Block Cheese, Snack Crackers, Fresh Strawberries, Fresh Blueberries, Fresh Raspberries, and Grape Juice. Shopping will need to be completed and donations received by July 17 with items delivered to the Penquis Office at 50 North Street in Dover Foxcroft.

Like to work?

We need helpers to set up, serve or clean up… call Sheree @ 974-2440 or email to volunteer. If you can help with publicity we have a Italian Buffet Supper Flyer and post in your office or business… or anywhere there are people who like to eat! If you need any other publicity resources, email and we’ll try to help!

100% of the money raised by this event benefits the Smart Starts for Students Program, providing back to school supplies for Piscataquis area students. (MSAD 4, 41, 46, 68 & Union 60).