Valley Grange Supports Veterans

Valley Grange supports our troops and veterans in several ways including the Garry Owens House, recently featured on WABI TV-5:

Garry Owens View the story here.

We are currently collecting personal care items (razors, shaving cream, etc.) for the shelter which, by design, receives no state or federal funding. If you’d like to help with a donation, please contact Mary Annis at 564-0820 or drop them off at a meeting. Thanks!


Valley Grange Supports Veterans and Kids

Valley Grange recently demonstrated their support of Veterans with a donation of collected items and cash for the Garry Owen House in Searsmont, Maine. We also learned about some of the work being done on behalf of our Veterans from Alex “Bear” Allmayer-Beck, LCSW and Program Director for the Garry Owen House. Alex later wrote, “I particularly enjoy events like this because they restore my faith in what America is really about. As a person who immigrated to the United States to leave the atheistic dictatorship of Tito in Yugoslavia, a day never goes by that I don’t thank God that I am a citizen of the U.S.A.”

Joining Alex was Bruce “Joker” Marshall, an active member of the Maine Chapter 3 of the Patriot Riders. Bruce shared several success stories demonstrating how the Riders have help Veterans in many different ways.

Bruce and Bear

“Bear” and “Joker” at a recent Valley Grange Meeting

In “other business” Grange Members voted to support the “4 Friends for Smiles Campaign” –a Dexter-based program run by four third grade girls (“K-Kids” who, with the help of their Moms are making and delivering baskets to kids who are in the hospital on the EMMC pediatric floor. The girls created the project so they could “pass along some niceness” and the folks at Valley Grange are happy to help! Since they received their dictionaries from Valley Grange last year maybe the looked up the word “niceness,” but defining words with actions such as theirs truly gives the word meaning!

What a bunch of cut ups!

Over twenty “cut ups” met at Valley Grange recently to manufacture blankets under the direction of Pat Engstrom. (The blankets are made by cutting and tying fringe around the borders.) Several dozen blankets have been made and distributed to the Linus Project and the Veterans’ Home in Bangor. A special thanks goes to the group of students from Foxcroft Academy who attended and pitched in. No doubt we’ll be doing this again!

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Bring Your Scissors!

hands-697645_1280If you can handle a pair of scissors and tie a knot, you should join a group of cut-ups at the Valley Grange Hall!

Saturday, November 12, 2016

9:00 a.m. until…

The coffee pot will be on and there may be a few snacks… running with scissors will be strictly prohibited.

Under the capable tutelage of Pat Engstrom all men, women, and children will be manufacturing blankets for Project Linus and for Veterans. She says it’s real easy and has even convinced Jim Annis to try his hand at it! No sewing is involved.

Any questions call Pat at 564-8290 or Janice at 876-4131. Material will be provided.

Speaking of cutting, remember that we are collecting coupons that you have no use for as part of our “Coups for Troops” Program. Bring what you have! Additional items collected include Box Tops for Education and aluminum can tabs.

Valley Grange Creates Opportunities!

Community Counts Flyer

Help a Hero

Troop SupportCommunity Service Director Mary Annis has been advised there is an acute shortage of disposable razors at Togus VA Center—so much so that our heroes are shaving every other day to conserve! (Is there a man among us who has not suffered the results of shaving with a dull razor? OW!) So, let’s see how many packages we can come up by our next meeting (February 20)! Bring ‘em to the meeting… or get them to someone who is coming. Janice is going to see if she can get the folks at the college to help out… what organizations are you involved in that would be willing to help? (I thought about linking this to Coups for Troops, but the idea of kids bringing razors to school doesn’t seem quite right!) If you aren’t coming to the meeting, give them to someone who is! There’s also a need for hairbrushes for the ladies… for some reason they have plenty of combs… This doesn’t seem to be something we need to create a program for… we just need to get it done! You can be a collection center… just get donations to the Grange Hall or Mary Annis… let’s see what we can do! Let’s get the word out and get collecting! Thanks!


Tramp, Tramp, Tramp…

If you remember the next line (“the boys are marching”) you’ll want to tramp on over to Valley Grange on Saturday, June 2nd for a few hours of Civil War Music and related activities. The day’s activities are sponsored by the Daughters of Union Veterans—Sarah Elizabeth Palmer Tent #23 and will start at 2 PM. The Back Porch Bluegrass band will be featured and the Sons of Union Veterans—Daniel Chaplain Camp #3 will have some additional presentations. Admission is by donation with $5 suggested. Refreshments will be served by Valley Grange and door prizes will be drawn. This is a family-friendly event! For more information, contact Mary Annis at 564-0820.

Cheer up, comrades, they will come.

And beneath the starry flag we shall breathe the air again,

Of the free land in our own beloved home.

Bookworm Schedule November 2011

Reading is fun!The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who’ll get me a book I ain’t read.

Abraham Lincoln

Welcome back, Mrs. Erwin! Thanks to a change in her work schedule Mrs. Erwin will begin bookworming in November… expect some changes to this month’s scheduled readers.

Thursday, November 3 – Mr. Boomsma

Friday, November 4 — Dictionary Day for SeDoMoCha Third Graders… be at the Grange Hall by 9 AM for a fun time!

 Tuesday, November 8 – Mr. Boomsma

 Thursday, November 10 – Mrs. Boomsma

Note that S.A.D. 4 will conduct their annual assembly honoring Veterans today at 1 PM. This is an event you don’t want to miss. The kids always present a great program with lots of meaning.

Tuesday, November 15 – Mr. Boomsma

Thursday, November 17 – Mr. Boomsma

Friday, November 18 is Dictionary Day in S.A.D. 41. Contact Mr. Boomsma if you are interested in joining the team that travels to Lagrange, Milo, and Brownville with Dictionaries!

School Vacation November 21 through November 25–bookworms get vacation too!

Tuesday, November 29 – Mr. Boomsma

Grange Adopts Platoon

The Youth and Junior Departments of the Maine State Grange have adopted a platoon of approximately thirty soldiers stationed overseas… the responsibilities with this include writing each soldier letters and sending care packages once per month. They are asking for help from the Grange Family (or anyone!) with this and Valley Grange is participating. So members, man your pencils!

Specific information including a list of items needed is available for download by clicking the link in the right-hand column. Our community service chairperson Mary Annis will be handling things locally or you can address specific questions to Sue Hacket (State Youth/Junior Director) at 666-8849 or by email to What a great opportunity!

Ready… Aim…

There are several important rituals I have every year at this time… one is finding a veteran and buying a poppy. I’m happy to report I accomplished that yesterday in Dexter. Another is hanging out the flag at the end of the driveway. I have in the past been teased a bit about that… after all, I live on a dead-end road with only six or so houses past mine… so not many people see my flag. But I know it’s there and that’s important to me.

Unfortunately, I don’t get to watch parades anymore because I’m often in one. I catch glimpses of units going by as we line up and of course I see who’s in front of me and who’s in back of me. But getting ready for it brings back a flood of memories from childhood.

My Dad was a WW II veteran and those childhood Memorial Days were second only to Christmas in importance as family events. I’m not sure how much help I actually was, but he and I had lots of projects to complete before the big day—projects that included working at the cemetery and rehearsals for the honor guard. Folks in town used to say they could tell when my Dad had charge of the honor guard because of the precision. Everything was synchronized. When those guys fired the rifles you only heard one shot. (After it was over and we’d put the rifles away the guys would discuss who’s rifle jammed or misfired during a volley. I felt like I was an insider to a secret that no one else knew.)

I confess that to this day it’s hard for me to watch a ceremony without being a little critical. When we stop for it during the parade I can’t see them but I want to hear one shot.

There are times when it’s important we do that—when we come together and work together and the result is that many shots sound as one. I wish Memorial Day was one of those times—a time when we could put aside politics and political differences, pause in our busy lives, and “fire” one shot:

Thank you!

Editor’s Note: For some fascinating facts about gun salutes and rifle volleys check out this site. Do you know how many volleys are typically fired and why?