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Washington news April 29

By Charlotte Henderson | Apr 29, 2021
Photo by: Christine Simmonds From left are Master of the Evening Star Grange Mildred Melgard and Washington columnist Charlotte Henderson at the community service awards in Washington April 24.

Evening Star Grange awards

Evening Star Grange #183 recognized two local women last week with Community Service Awards. The organizers of the event, who must have an “in” with the weatherman, planned the ceremony for outdoors on the Gibbs Library patio. It proved to be an almost heavenly day with sunshine and warm breezes gracing a group of smiling residents ready to enjoy the high spirits of the event.

For many of us it was the first “reunion” with friends for a long time. Some people — with a quick “I’ve had my shots,” — slipped off masks off for a good look at all the smiles and an occasional special greeting. Then back on they went for much-missed hugs we hadn’t been doing for more than a year.

Wendy Carr presented the awards and cited some of accomplishments of the recipients and there were testimonials from community members who wanted to add their own words.

Among them were Brian Alves, Pastor Brad Bean, Norman Casas, Peg Hobbs, Tom Johnston and Kathy Ocean. The Grange members who organized of the event managed to supply delicious light refreshments with COVID-19 precautions in mind. The event was a super high for Mildred Melgard and me as we received this very meaningful recognition.

We couldn’t help but comment to each other that it should be us giving awards back to the Grange and all of our amazing little town. My heartfelt gratitude for this honor from the Grange.

Grange principles for today

The Grange — officially the Patrons of Husbandry (husbandry being agriculture) — was formed just after the Civil War in 1867.

An early goal was to help farmers deal with the high costs of shipping their goods by railroad. It’s the longest lived nationwide agricultural advocacy group in the U.S. One of the first accomplishments of their lobbying was the Rural Free Delivery system of mail. The Grange allowed women to be members which was unusual for the time period and programs were organized within local chapters to educate about home-making and health care. Children’s programs eventually led to the formation of Future Farmers of America.

At meetings, members learned skills that aided their farming techniques and also encouraged political activity that would make marketing easier for them. All through the Grange literature are references to wholesome family life, honesty in business dealings, good stewardship of their property, and lending a hand to those who need it.

Today, Evening Star Grange is involved locally with their core activity focused right here. They create Kiddy Ditty bags for youngsters who are in the court system, raise money to contribute to scholarships, conduct suppers to benefit a special need, purchase dictionaries for students at Prescott, distribute fruit baskets to shut-ins, organize Easter Egg Hunts in spring, participate in fall Halloween events, and present the community Variety Show annually.

Grange membership is dwindling. Everyone thinks “It’s just the times.” But the time for local efforts to connect community members to each other is always now. This small group of dedicated, reliable, hard-working and talented people has a place for us all.

Contact Mildred Melgard to find out more: 845-3102.

Mother’s Day breakfast at B&B

The Mother’s Day (month of May) Dinner at Blueberry Fields B&B May 8 is booked full and, I’m sorry to report, no reservations are available.

However, Cyd and Deb are doing the usual Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning breakfast, including Mother’s Day from 8 to 11 a.m. Note that Blueberry Fields will be closed for two weeks from May 17 to May 31.

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