Quarterly Update from Tom Barratta, Chairman

The Mohawk Valley Community Grange has had a busy few months! Getting ready for the Local Emergency Preparation Planning (LEPP) workshops February 11 meant that we needed to cut, spit and stack a load of trees that have been in the back parking area in order to make parking available to our workshop guests. Luckily, we had the help of 4 members of the Lions Club, and between them and the 5 Grange members, we got it ALL knocked out in about 5 hours. Thanks so much for everyone’s help; the Grange is completely wood-heated, and it gets CHILLY when the home fires aren’t burning! We had plenty of parking, and a nice warm Grange for our guests. In fact, I think we have enough wood stacked for the next 2 years!

The community was brought together this month at the Grange to discuss and share ideas for local disaster planning. Representatives from local emergency services, agencies, and organizations, meet with local residences to provide information on emergency preparedness. Thank you to the Sustainability Committee and all those who work hard on this important event.

Since the closing of the Tomahawk, the Lions Club is scheduling Texas Hold ‘em at the Grange every Saturday at 7:00, and BINGO twice a month on Saturday from 3:00-6:00. The Grange also co-hosted a Valentine’s Day “Evening of Amore’” with the Lions Club. We served pasta fazul, manicotti, Caesar salad, and garlic bread to a group of about 35; Jess Harris and the Parson’s Creek Posse Band played great dance music and all had a GREAT time. We are excited that the Grange is being used for additional community events and gatherings.

The Grange membership meets twice a month; a “pre-meeting” is held the 1st Saturday at 6:00 at a different member’s home for fun and fellowship, and the Grange business and Board meeting is the 3rd Monday of each month at the Grange. Check out the website at www.mohawkgrange.org for upcoming events. Everyone is welcome!

One focus for the past year is to restore the Old Mabel Schoolhouse, owned by Mohawk Valley Grange, to make it more usable for rentals. We have been fundraising to upgrade the kitchen facilities to include a restaurant grade stove and sink, and replace the old refrigerator to a more energy efficient model. We completed the wheelchair ramp, but need to hang gutters to reduce water and ice build-up on those cold days. Just like at home, the work is never done, and we sure appreciate the community support we have received to knock out projects. Call me at 541-933-3931 if you would like to help on our next work day; we always have a great time working together. It is a fun way to get involved with your community and meet new people.

New membership options are available. Some folks expressed concern about the lobbying efforts of the National and State Grange on several issues, and preferred not to support the Grange with their membership dues. We now have available a new “membership” option: Friend of the Grange. It is the same dues, $40.00 year, but all dues monies stay in the community to support our Valley, rather than being forwarded to the State Grange office. Many people have already taken advantage of this new option. Details are on the Membership Application, and the website.

Rent the Grange for your next event! Whether it is for business meetings, a family reunion, wedding or reception, the Grange offers an affordable, cozy venue. Call Wendy at 541-912-3874, or Joan at 541-933-3931 for details!

(This will be published in the Watershed newsletter)