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Around The Grange
Farewells, Recognitions, Thanks Punctuate PA Grange Session

By Charlene M. Shupp Espenshade, Lancaster Farming (10/23/10)

  OCTOBER 30, 2010 --

As one Grange leader said farewell, another prepared to lead the state’s oldest agricultural organization. Tears of appreciation were shown as outstanding Grange members were honored. These were just a few of the many notable moments at the 2010 Pennsylvania Grange Session.

The session was Oct. 16-18 at the Radisson Hotel in West Middlesex, Pa.

In her final Master’s address last Saturday, outgoing Pennsylvania State Grange Master Betsy Huber challenged the membership to continue to grow the organization.

How many times have you said, I can never give back to the Grange what it has given to me?’ Now is your chance, she said. It is critical that each member takes responsibility for making his Grange grow.

National Master Ed Luttrell was also in attendance. In addition to bringing greetings from the National Grange, Luttrell encouraged members to contact him regarding questions or concerns they may have of the national organization. This is your Grange, he said.

At Sunday’s All-Granger Banquet, Huber announced that Paul Miller was the 2010 Pennsylvania Granger of the Year. Miller, of Shoemakersville, is a member of Virginville Grange.

A 66-year Grange member, he is a seventh-degree member and has had an active Grange career. He is a past president of Virginville Grange and serves on the executive and building committees.

Outside of the Grange, Miller is a member of the Berks Heim Volunteer Service Board, the Berks Encore, Zion’s Church, Zion’s Cemetery Board, Berks Historical Society and the Hamburg Historical Society.

He is noted for his recruitment of Grange members, is a consistent honoree by the membership department and has been the state’s top recruiter multiple times. In 2008, his family was honored as the state Grange Family of the Year.

This is unbelievable, Miller said at the announcement and discovery that his family made the five-hour trip to surprise him. He thanked his wife, Dorothy, for her support.

The Reyburn Family of Lincoln University was named the 2010 Pennsylvania State Grange Family of the Year.

The entire Rayburn Family has been active at all levels of the Grange in Pennsylvania from the Community Grange to Pomona (County) Grange to State Grange. They are a true Grange family in every sense of the phrase, Huber said.

The Grange Family of the Year is awarded based on involvement and participation in community (subordinate), Pomona (county), state and national Grange functions, activities and events.

The Reyburns include parents Samuel and Frances; children Sara Beth (Kohut), Howard and Stanley; Stanley’s wife, Jessica; and grandchildren Kay, Merle, Harvey, Gayle and Ruby.

All adult members belong to Russellville Grange #91 in Chester County, and the children belong to Russellville Junior Grange #550. Their membership dates to 1946 when Samuel first joined the Grange.

The family members have served in a wide range of committees and offices. Samuel is a past Master of Russellville Grange. Today, Stanley serves in that role.

Sara Beth Kohut, an attorney, served in various offices and on committees, and helped Russellville Grange apply for county property tax exemption as well as providing pro bono legal services to draft a rental contract. She was recently elected Master of the Chester County Pomona Grange.

Jessica was instrumental in starting the Russellville Junior Grange and serves as its leader.

The Grange Executive Committee presented Huber with a quilt in recognition of her tenure as Master.

Brian Ebersole of Duncannon was selected as the Friend of the Youth by the state Grange Youth Department.

Jenn Nauss, the 2009-10 Pennsylvania State Grange Youth Ambassador, said that Ebersole has worked on behalf of the youth of the Grange both on the delegate floor and advocating for the department.

Ebersole is employed by Gov. Ed Rendell’s office to work on health care policy. Within the Grange he serves as a member of the Pennsylvania State Grange executive committee and is a past state Overseer and Steward.

If you think about the roads your life goes down, I am so glad one of those roads for me was the Grange, Ebersole said at the Grange Youth luncheon on Sunday. It was his time in Grange that inspired him to begin a career in politics.

Meiss Elected Pa. State Grange Master

The delegates elected Carl Meiss of Valley Grange in York County as its Master on Monday. He replaces Huber, who has served as Master for the past eight years. Meiss is a retired police officer and has worked for the Pennsylvania State Grange for the past eight years as its public relations and membership director.

As he begins his term, Meiss said his goals are to continue the work started by Huber and continue to grow the organization.

My immediate goals are to continue to move the Grange forward through many of the programs initiated by Betsy Huber and introducing new programs and ideas to focus our membership recruitment efforts for our youth. As can be seen with this new Pennsylvania State Grange officer team, we have already begun the focus on our youth, he said.

Other awards presented during the annual session are as follows.

Top Adult Grange Recruiter: Paul Miller, Virginville Grange

Top Youth Grange Recruiter: Deidra Bollinger, Elizabethtown Area Grange

Distinguished Grange: Elizabethtown Area Grange

Community Service Award, Subordinate Grange 75 members and over: Big Knob Grange

Community Service Award, Subordinate Grange Under 75 members: Liberty Grange

Community Service Award, Pomona Grange: Jefferson-Clarion Counties


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