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.

Connect with us!

The Grange Salutation is “A Granger places faith in God, nurtures hope, dispenses charity, and is noted for fidelity.” Now more than ever, we need to connect. We are all in this together. If you agree, connect with us by leaving a comment, contacting any Valley Grange Member, or sending an email!

VALLEY GRANGE ANNOUNCES AD CONTEST WINNERS

Guilford—Over forty fourth-graders from Piscataquis Community Elementary School in Guilford were challenged to create an advertisement for Valley Grange as part of the annual “Newspapers in Education” program sponsored by the Piscataquis Observer. This is the twelfth year the Grange has sponsored the program. Students have an opportunity to become “Honorary Assistant Publicity Directors” according to Walter Boomsma, Program and Publicity Director for Valley Grange. Under the direction of Art Teacher Mark Arthers students labored to produce ads that would promote the Grange and its programs.

Boomsma pointed out “everyone who participated is a winner” and the Grange is providing “thank you magnets you can use to hold your school papers on the fridge.” Boomsma also noted that the Grange was particularly pleased so many ads included a reading theme and dictionaries, reflecting the students’ appreciation for the Grange’s Bookworm and Words for Thirds Program. “Our goal with the kids is to create a love of reading and learning. These ads suggest we’re achieving it.”

Winners included Teegan Pomerleau (3rd place), Lillyon Boutilier  (2nd place), and Ava Edes (1st place). Ava’s ad included a book being devoured by a book worm and two people reading together, noting that “volunteers are needed” to “come help kids learn.”

Ava’s first place ad will appear in the Newspapers in Education supplement of the Piscataquis Observer. In addition, winning ads are used on the Grange’s promotional material throughout the year and featured on the Valley Grange Website.

Valley Grange Master Jim Annis noted that Valley Grange is happy to sponsor several programs at PCES and other schools in the area. “We just love involved with the school,” he noted. “These kids are our future and they give us hope.”

Town Meeting Time!

It’s town meeting season and time to do your civic duty by attending! And as long as you’re going, Valley Grange could use your help.

We appreciate the strong support we receive from individuals, communities and businesses. That support comes in the form of time and money. And since we’re good stewards, 100% of that support directly benefits our local communities in some way.

In spite of our best fundraising efforts, we continue to struggle to support everything we do. However, we are financially challenged every year. Therefore, for 2020 we’ve decided to turn to our local communities for some help. Earlier this a letter was mailed to each town that benefits from our Words for Thirds Dictionary Project. We are asking those towns to consider a small donation to Valley Grange as part of the town’s budget.

When you attend town meeting this year, please stay until the end when these warrant articles are reviewed and voted on. We’d genuinely appreciate a word or two of support from those who are familiar with our efforts to support our kids and communities. Thanks for ALL you do to keep Valley Grange “going and growing.”

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or ideas do not hesitate to contact a member of join us for a meeting!


View a copy of the letter sent to towns.

View the Valley Grange Fact Sheet summarizing our projects and programs.

Valley Grange Places Second in Maine State Grange Community Service Contest!

During the recent Maine State Grange Convention, Valley Grange was awarded a certificate for second place in the Grange’s Community Service Program in Maine. Judging was based on a book prepared and submitted by Mary Annis, Community Service Chairman for Valley Grange.

River Festival Fun!

Plans are underway… if you’d like to help us with baked goods, please contact Janice Boomsma (876-4131) or Pat Engstom (564-8290). We’re looking for individual portions of things like cookies and brownies. This will be a fun day!

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.”

February Meeting Rescheduled!

snow-shovel-2001776_640Our February meeting has been postponed by one week from this Friday until Friday, February 22, 2019. We’ll have the usual potluck at 6 pm, meeting at 7 pm. The weather forecast is part of the reason but several other factors have come into play.

Please help us get the word out… this will be posted on the Valley Grange Facebook Page and a Grange Gram will be sent today.

By way of a hint, we are expecting some special guests… and don’t forget we will be discussing who will be our 2019 Community Citizen of the Year along with some updates regarding Newspapers in Education and our GrowME program.

Sorry for any inconvenience! I wonder if the Secret Shoveler will arrive now that there’s more time to get the steps cleared…

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.

What Valley Grange Does…