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!

Be Ready to Help a Child…

All of us have some contact with children, as volunteers, bookworms, parents and grandparents, or just friends. Please be prepared for possible questions or statements… here is one well-written, easy-to-read article that will help you:


Thanks to the JD Foundation in Abbot Maine for sharing this… if you need additional assistance, please reach out to a grief support group or professional. You can reach Cheryl at the JD Foundation at 207 876-2295.

Thank you, Veterans

I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks.

~William Shakespeare


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!

Clicking for Babies

Angela Hobson, South Sangerville Grange has asked us to help publicize this… Valley Grangers and friends who’d like to participate can also bring hats to the Valley Grange Hall at any meeting or event, including our meeting on October 19th–we’ll make sure the hats get to Penquis!

http://clickforbabies.org/South Sangerville Grange is supporting the “Click for Babies” program–a drive to create knitted or crocheted PURPLE caps for newborn boys in and girls. The project is designed to help educate parents about the “Period of Purple Crying,” a normal, but frustrating period of increased crying all infants experience in the first few weeks and months after birth.

Granges in the Piscataquis and Penobscot area should get their purple caps to the Penquis Office in Bangor (262 Harlow Street) or Dover Foxcroft (50 North Street) by October 26, 2012–Caps will be distributed in November and December. Caps can also be mailed to Wendy Pace, Penquis, PO Box 1162, Bangor ME 04402. You can download a Purple Hats Poster from this site and visit the CLICK for Babies website for additional information including patterns. Let’s hear some clicking!

Valley Grange Featured on “National Grange Radio!”

National Grange Radio is available in the form of “podcasts” on the National Grange Website… Programs run about 20-30 minutes in a talk show format on a wide variety of subjects. (They are referred to as podcasts because of the popularity of listening to them on I-Pods, but you can also listen on any computer, tablet, or even smart phones as long as you have Internet accesss.) National Grange Program Assistant Austin Miller recently sat down with Tracey Hanson, Junior Grange Activities Director at the Rhode Island State Grange, Walter Boomsma, Publicity Director at Valley Grange No. 144 in Guilford, Maine and Steve Runkel, President of Cape Fear Grange in North Carolina, to talk about the types of programs Granges participate in to get area children ready to tackle a new year of school. Hear what they discussed and enjoy the ideas. (When you arrive at the site you’ll need to click “launch podcast” at the end of the description.)

Pizza and More… that’s amore!

Valley Grange Goes Italian!

Penquis Volunteers and Valley Grange recently partnered for the second annual Italian Buffet to benefit the Smart Starts for Students Program. This event is a winner on a number points. For one thing, we’ve got two organizations who share a passion for the cause and a collaborative spirit. The food is incredible and the cause is one that people understand–we even had people drop off donations who couldn’t stay to eat. Penquis Volunteers served nearly 100 hungry diners and a few “meals to go,” raising over $500 in the process. But those who missed the dinner have not necessarily missed the opportunity to support the cause. Valley Grange continues to accept donations of cash and school supplies. We’ve currently increased the amount raised to over $600, thanks in a large part to the Piscataquis Pomona Grange’s recent decision to donate the proceeds of their recent “fun and fundraiser.” Please consider joining hands with us in support of our kids. We do have some pledges of and can accept actual school supplies, but we are so close to the deadline for distribution, “cash” is best–very soon volunteers will begin packing the backpacks and cash donations allow us to purchase items needed. Contributions can be made directly to Penquis or through Valley Grange.

Pizza was only part of the menu!

Special thanks go to those who generously supported the dinner: Will’s Shop & Save, Nor’easter Restaurant, Living Word Community Food Cupboard, Shiretown Pizza, Sav-A-Lot, and Forget Me Not Flowers.This is truly a community effort with unmeasurable support and effort.

While these local efforts truly remain local and benefit “our” kids, we are part of larger effort. WABI-TV 5 recently reported on the effort, covered by Diana Bosch in what is, unfortunately, her last story as she will be relocating to North Carolina. Diana has always reflected the stations commitment to covering community events in our area and will be missed. Again, thanks to the many folks who are volunteering their time and energy to help kids truly have a “smart start” this year with the basic school supplies they need. While the official fundraising drive ended on July 31, the need hasn’t stopped! If you need help making a donation, email Walter Boomsma or call 343-1842 today!

Yarn Drive Temporarily Suspended…

With thanks to all who provided lots of yarn, we are suspending our yarn drive until fall… bins are being removed from all locations except the Grange Hall. (We’ll never refuse yarn, we’re just not actively seeking donations at the moment.) Thanks to PCES, “The Pulse” Radio, County Extension, and Penquis for providing bin locations. Our “blistered finger knitters” are still knitting and we anticipate having lots of mittens and hats for our kids this fall!

Brian Woodworth, Community Citizen 2012

Brian Woodworth, Community Citizen

A crowd of some one hundred friends and neighbors gathered at the Valley Grange Hall last Friday to celebrate community and community service by honoring Brian Woodworth as “Community Citizen of the Year, 2012.” A massive conspiracy somehow managed to keep the award a secret and even after being proclaimed “guest of honor” when he and wife Cindy entered the packed dining hall he still didn’t believe it. He asked what was really going on and when told he replied, “No way.”Following a fantastic community potluck featuring good food and good friends, the group assembled in the upstairs hall to both honor and to some extent “roast” Brian… The audience learned a bit about his tendency lock his keys in his truck and certain cousins who admitted to wondering years ago during their teen years whether or not Maine permitted cousins to marry. “He was so darn cute.”Among the many groups represented were the Sebec Lake Association, Kiwanis, the Guilford Historical Society, the town of Guilford, and Friends of Central Hall, but the consensus seemed to be that while Brian certainly is a big asset to organizations, his community service is at the same very individual and personal and caring.

Celebrating at the Grange has to include eating!

Brian’s daughter Beth was unable to attend, but her letter was read as the final testimonial. “…He is always willing to help people, even those he does not know. He is constantly sparking up conversations with the casual passerby, warning them of burnt out taillights or helping with directions. I am so proud of my dad and it is nice to hear that he is being recognized for his greatness…. He is always there when someone needs him, if not patching up a roof, plowing snow, or tuning up a car he is brightening up their day with his positive attitude and cracking a joke… I want to congratulate him for being the amazing person he is and let him know how proud I am to call him my dad.”

Valley Grange is proud to call Brian our “Community Citizen of the Year” and we thank the many who made this special night possible.

Just Five Minutes…

Just Five Minutes is a PowerPoint presentation converted to video that was produced in conjunction with our 2012 Community Citizen Program to give folks a sense of what our Grange is all about and to present some thoughts about community service.

(Should you experience difficulty with buffering, you can watch the program on You Tube by clicking the You Tube logo on the bottom right.)