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Around The Grange
From the State Secretary: Results of NE Leaders Conference

By Todd Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary

  May 6, 2019 --

Thank you to all who came to the 2019 Northeast Leaders Conference. The final tally was 117 attendees! The workshops reinforced the theme of the conference: “Leading Leaders 2.0”. Thank you to Jody Cameron, Faith Quinlan, Rick Hermonot and Burton Eller for being our speakers. Thanks also to National Master Betsy Huber and National Membership Director Joe Stefanoni for being with us for the weekend. Surveys were sent to all attendees. If you haven’t returned yours, please do so soon. Copies of these will be forwarded to the New York State Grange who will host this event in 2020. Some have asked why our conference was named “Leading Leaders 2.0”. The answer is simple… the last time we hosted it was called “Leading Leaders.” As we developed the program for the conference, it became apparent we were putting together an updated version of the previous one, thus 2.0!

Next up will be the Northeast Youth Conference to be held at UConn this summer. Please refer to the Youth Committee article in this issue for more information.

Well… April 15 has passed and hopefully you have all concluded your interactions with the IRS for the year. Unfortunately, this can’t be said for me and the State Grange. In February the 990N Epostcard website was taken down by the IRS for an indefinite amount of time while they repaired it. It’s now May and the site is still down. Repeated calls to the IRS have only resulted in the same explanation that the site is down and they don’t know anything else, but will when they receive an email from the IT people that it has been restored. Why am I telling you all of this? Well… this is the site we use to file your Grange returns with the IRS. Every week I make an attempt and will continue to do so until it returns. All 990s will be filed when it is possible to do so. Your status with the IRS is not in jeopardy because it would take three consecutive years of not filing for your non-profit status to be revoked. All Granges will receive receipts of the filing when it is done. Please let me know if you have any questions.

BLUE BOOKS – There will be no Blue Books printed in the format we have known for decades this year. There are two problems (well, maybe three!) – 1) Material for the book has been difficult to compile and there are still sections outstanding. 2) When submitted, a good amount of the material does not make for a comprehensive program covering two years. Generally the program material applies more accurately for the immediate program year. Instead, we will be copying the material provided by the various departments and sending packets out to the Granges. The sheets will be provided in a way that Granges can easily make any necessary copies of some or all of the material for their members’ use. My apologies, but compiling this book has been extremely difficult this year and there has been a mountain of pressing work for me as State Secretary this year. The Board of Directors will be discussing what to do with the program book and we will let you know what they decide.

DIRECTORIES – There’s a similar problem with the State Directory as well. However, it is in production and will be out to Granges as soon as possible. It is used by many and will be in the same format you have come to know.

STATE GRANGE OFFICE - As we have communicated to all Granges by letter, the State Grange has been working on finding a new home for the State Grange Office. A new home has been found… it will be located in Winchester Grange Hall in Winchester Center. For those who have not visited Winchester Grange, it is a large complex that houses a post office, Grange Hall, and the Winchester Center Fire Department is located in the back portion of the property. A little known part of the building is known by Winchester members as the “Old Firehouse” which is comprised of the former 1952 two bay firehouse with a meeting room upstairs. Over the years since this part of the building was turned over to the Grange, it has been used mostly for storage. It is large enough to house an office that is slightly bigger than the space we occupy at 43 Naubuc Ave. in Glastonbury. We anticipate moving the office to Winchester during the month of June. Email will remain the best way to contact us, followed by regular mail (at least until a new phone line is installed in Winchester). You can also reach me on my cell (860) 307-1522.

For those sending items to the State Grange, you can begin using our new address. I am currently checking mail at the new P.O. Box. The address is:

Connecticut State Grange

100 Newfield Road, P.O. Box 3

Winchester Center, CT 06094

Once we have vacated Naubuc Ave., meetings of the State Grange Board of Directors will be held at Hillstown Grange Hall in East Hartford. While the new Grange office location will be convenient for me, it will be less so for those members of the Board traveling from the eastern side of the state. We thank Hillstown for making their hall available to us on a monthly basis.

Until next time… enjoy spring, we fought through a long winter to get here!



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