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Around The Grange
From the State Secretary: 139th Annual Session Approaches

By Todd A. Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary

  JULY 1, 2023 --

It may be July but planning for the 139th Annual Session of the Connecticut State Grange is in full swing. This year’s session will return to the Holiday Inn Norwich where we have been for the last few years with the session opening on Thursday evening, Oct. 19 at 7:00

P.M. with meetings and events planned through Saturday, Oct. 21. There was considerable discussion last year regarding the State Grange budget and the expenses related to the annual session. For many years the State Grange has absorbed cost increases rather than increasing the cost to our members.

I’m sure you all have experienced the high cost of everything from food, utilities, travel costs, and just about everything else in our daily lives. Our convention is not immune to inflation. The cost of hotel rooms, meals and many other things associated with the session have gone up considerably this year. In an effort to minimize (but not eliminate) the effects of these increases, the State Grange Board of Directors voted to increase the cost of registrations and the banquet at State Session. The increase will likely cover the meal cost for the banquet while the added registration fees will only offset a portion of the session expense.

In addition, there has been a change in the cost of hotel rooms for this year’s session. Since COVID-19, the cost of hotel rooms has increased considerably throughout the industry. This is due, in part, to the losses these businesses experienced during the pandemic.

Room rates for this year’s session will be $109 (plus taxes & fees) for Thursday, Oct. 19 and $129 (plus taxes & fees) for Friday, Oct. 20 and Sat., Oct. 21. I can’t emphasize enough how reasonable these rates are for this hotel in this location. The rate for Thursday is the same as last year. The Holiday Inn has no difficulty renting rooms to the general public with Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods Resorts so close. There is a premium involved in holding a large block of rooms at a hotel that is routinely sold out each day/week/month.

You are strongly encouraged to make your reservations with the hotel as soon as possible. Our block will remain open until September 26 but please do not wait until the last minute to call! As I mentioned, this hotel sells out on a regular basis. If we fill our block prior to the deadline and there are no additional rooms to be added. you may be out of luck.

I have included the telephone number to call at the bottom of the registration form printed on the following page. This is the number of the hotel in Norwich. This is the preferred number to call. However, you can also call the corporate reservation line, if necessary. Make sure you mention the Connecticut State Grange room block when you make your reservations and make sure you are quoted the room rates mentioned earlier in this article.

The registration fee has been increased to $25 per day. Lunch is included with this fee. The cost of the two lunches will take up the majority of the fee with a very small amount left to offset other session expenses. Again, the balance not covered by fees paid by members, is covered by the State Grange.

We work very hard to negotiate contracts with the hotel and the various vendors needed to put on this convention. Making the annual session as affordable as possible has always been the priority of the State Grange Executive Committee and hope you will understand these absolutely necessary changes.

As 2023 is an “off” election year, the Saturday schedule will be slightly shorter without a full installation required on Saturday afternoon.

The schedule is also a bit lighter with election of officers limited to members of the Executive Committee and any vacancies that may have occurred. This means there will be more time to consider resolutions.

I’m sure our Legislative Director joins me in encouraging all Granges to work on resolutions for consideration at State Session. Brother Miller is always happy to give you a helping hand in writing your resolutions. Just keep in mind all resolutions must be into the State Grange by September 15 to be properly assigned to committees and to allow them to meet in their pre-session committee meetings.

The Sixth Degree is scheduled for Saturday beginning at 3:00 P.M. and hope every Grange is encouraging members to receive their Sixth Degree. This year is extra special with National Grange meeting the following month in Niagara Falls, NY. It will be a number of years before National will again return to the Northeast Region.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about State Session. We look forward to seeing all of you in Norwich!



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