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Wednesday, February 28, 2024
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President's Message
President / Master:
Robert Buck
115 N. Georges Hill Rd.,
Southbury, CT 06488
Phone: 203-267-6796
president@ctstategrange.org

CT State Grange Office:
P.O. Box 3
100 Newfield Road
Winchester Center, CT 06094
Office: 860-909-1101


Grange:
Bethlehem Grange #121
2023 Honor Grange Information
Coming Soon

Presidentís Message: Results from NE Leaders Conf.
  FEBRUARY 1, 2024 --

This country we live in is truly a great nation of which we ought to be proud. Granted it is not perfect, but if you want a majestic symbol of the USA upon which to reflect, consider the Bald Eagle. It is truly one of nature’s most majestic creatures and awe inspiring as well in its strength and beauty. They are rooted to areas where they can find what they need to survive. They are resilient enough to have bounced back from the edge of extinction from the effects of DDT. Unlike us, they are lone wolves, socially speaking, so not quite united with each other except that they do tolerate one another to a certain degree. At the Shepaug Dam here in Southbury this morning before writing this(1/20), I had the good luck to see six of them and study them and their behavior from relatively close up. What does this have to do with the Grange, you might ask?

National President Chris Hamp has formulated the slogan “Grange Strong: Rooted, Resilient, United.” The Grange, right back to its founding in 1867, has been a strong part of the history of the country for over 150 years. Just study the reasons for its founding, some of the things our Order has accomplished to better life in the US, and the effect we continue to have in our communities and as a lobbying power rural America. Imagine the power we could exert if we grow our organization. We are rooted, resilient, and united.  Last weekend, eight people from Connecticut joined me and 85 other Grangers in Concord, New Hampshire for a great Northeast Leader’s Conference. We were right downtown with the New Hampshire Statehouse across the street from the Holiday Inn. The workshops included topics of harnessing artificial intelligence (AI) to our advantage, leadership and conflict resolution, and grant writing.  AI (Canva and ChatGTP were discussed) certainly is a powerful tool if used with caution. Leadership and conflict resolution continue to be topics of importance as we strive to work together in harmony with many different types of personalities. Grant writing is the only way to go for many Granges to fund large projects that are out of reach of their own fundraising events. The camaraderie was great with folks from the seven northeastern states in attendance. Then on the way home, after enjoying lunch in Derry, NH with old family friends, I ran into a snow squall, two whiteouts and bad road conditions crossing the southern part of the state. I got through that only to blow a tire out on a pothole in Brattleboro, VT! Got to change the tire for the spare in a third whiteout! It was an adventure, no less!

It has been brought to my attention that Connecticut State Grange pays $1.00 assessment per year per member to National Grange to help fund the National Convention. This helps cover the cost of the convention in regions that are not as financially able to cover the costs by spreading the cost out. A committee has been appointed to study options for cutting the cost of our State Session. In talking to the Presidents of the other states, their conventions take various forms, some meeting in hotels as we do and some in other less costly venues. The different conventions also vary in length. All these things will be studied so that we can change our Session to best fit our needs. We also have a fundraising committee to investigate larger scale fundraising to cut the State grange budget deficit.

With many Granges getting sizeable grants to fund various repairs and improvements to halls, the topic of Grange income has come up because of how it affects the 990- N e-Postcard filing. A Grange must average $50,000.00 or less over three years to file the 990-N e-Postcard. If your average is greater, your Grange will need to file the long form 990 tax return. While the State Secretary files the 990-N e-Postcards for Granges, he WILL NOT file the long form tax return for your Grange. You must do that yourselves if necessary.

The keys and ciphers for the Annual Word will only be distributed after the appropriate quarterly reports are filed by Grange Secretaries. So, get those reports in promptly. Once secretary handbooks are distributed to Granges, State Secretary Todd Gelineau will be planning Schools of Instruction for secretaries as these are integral to educating all on proper procedures.

Plan to attend.

State Lecturer Dave Roberts has planned the Northeastern Lecturer’s Conference for June 21-23 at the Holiday Inn in Norwich. This is a great event for all (not just lecturers) interested in Grange to attend. You can garner new ideas for programs and events for your Grange to put on. It’s always good to see how things are done elsewhere. Like all Grange conferences, the fellowship and networking are fantastic. You will make new friends and see old ones too.

The National Grange Presidents Conference will be held February 16-18 at the Sun-N-Sand Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Maggie and I will be driving down and hope to get much out of this event. I will be reporting on it later. The Ag Day at the Capitol program is coming up fast as well. That will take place in March. We will have representatives at that as well. Our Agriculture Committee has had some turnover and change. Thanks to Irene Percoski for serving as she has stepped down. We have new leadership on that committee. Kristin Donihee will be Chair with the help of her two daughters. New contests and programs have been formulated.

As we continue through the winter, reflect back on the Fourth Degree and think of the farm in winter wherein we look over the past year and what we have accomplished and plan for the new year in your homes and lives, and in your Granges.

 



 
 
 

 
     
 
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