Grange Notes by Tim Swartz, Grange President (with everyone’s help) December 8, 2022
As the signs say…we’re back to presenting two big events for families
Sorry for the slightly blurry picture, but evening comes early these days. We’ve been impressed at how Erin Barry has kept Kids Trade & Play going and growing through the pandemic years, and we’re excited to also be able to host Dance Sing and Jump Around once again!
KT&P, the clothing exchange for kids and families, has been happening on 2nd Saturdays of virtually every month for almost 7 years! Erin and her crew of volunteers put out an amazing spread of clothes for kids from infant sizes to Junior 12, plus some maternity clothes and some games and toys, from 9:30 to 11:30. We are getting around 100 kids, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles picking up clothes and other items, and more donations keep coming in, for the volunteers to inspect, sort by size, and put out!
This weekend, Dec. 10, Erin has a special treat planned:
This month we are hoping to provide families with new or like new toys, games, and items that they can regift and share the joy of light and love. We will have a table hosted by a local elf with new items to give away. If you have more we could add to this table, please bring the items by on Friday, 3-5pm (Or make special arrangements for earlier…), or Saturday during the event 9:30-11:30.
This is a family dance for all ages, featuring circle and line dances and singing games, all taught and called by Liz, Stan Carlson and Fran Mallery. There will be live traditional music, and fun will be had!
DS&JA is free for children, with a suggested donation of $5 per adult requested, NO ONE turned away. Like KT&P, DS&JA has been sponsored by the Grange for years!
For more information, check out the DS&JA website. Better yet, stop by and join the fun on Sunday!
Can you give us a lift?
Help needed! Friday afternoon, 3-5 PM
The picture to the left shows the storage shelves for Kids Trade & Play being re-assembled after our last big project, the basement renovation in early 2020. We’re starting to prep for our next improvement: a lift for wheelchairs! After the bins of clothes are removed from the storage shelves, and set out on the cafeteria tables for Saturday’s KT&P clothing exchange, we need help to dis-assemble the shelves, and move them out of the way, to make room for the bottom of the “hoistway” for the lift. Stan Carlson will start building the special shaft right after New Year’s day!
If you can help on Friday afternoon, please contact me, Tim: email@example.com, or 802-225-8921. We’ll also be looking for help to re-set the shelves after construction is done, perhaps in February, stay tuned!
Brief Grange meeting report:
We had our brief Grange meeting last Saturday, Dec. 3rd, where we went over finances, discussed progress on the petition drive (see below), and talked about the planned installation of the wheelchair/platform lift starting in January–as mentioned above.
The Grange meeting was followed by a spirited program on VT union organizing, presented by VT Labor Council head Liz Medina. At least 15 Vermont union members joined us. Liz talked briefly about the legacy of union history, and then told us more about current trends and Vermont initiatives to help workers organize. I haven’t had time to write up my notes yet, but will include them in a future Grange Notes. Carl Etnier recorded most of the presentation by Liz and the subsequent discussion, and the recording will be posted on the Grange website Calendar event listing for the Dec. 3rd Program soon as well.
We were also pleased that quite a few of the union members (including Liz) stayed for the potluck dinner after the program, and many also took part in the (separate admission) Montpelier Contra Dance afterward, and were observed having a great time!
Still seeking Berlin signatures
We are getting close to getting enough signatures from Berlin voters to get our request for a 5 year extension of our property tax exemption onto the ballot for Berlin’s March Town Meeting. I and other Grange members (we particularly want to thank Patty Giavara and Fran Mallery) have been going door-to-door in a variety of parts of the wide-spread Town of Berlin to get people to sign the petition. Almost everyone I have spoken with has been happy to sign. It has also been a good opportunity to spread the word that we offer free use of the Hall by Berlin residents (for times not already committed to other renters, of course). We are happy to increase the visibility of our Grange and its Hall, and to increase its use by the local community.
There’s still time to help us by getting more signatures, and speaking with more Berlin folks about what goes on at the Grange. We’d like to get them before the weather gets really frigid. You can see the petition wording on the Grange website at this link: Grange Petition for 2023. You can download a copy by clicking on the link, and print your own. If that doesn’t work, get in touch and I’ll be happy to print some for you, and to get them to you: firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-225-8921. Contact me also to arrange pickup after you get however many signatures you can! Even a few from a number of people will add up, don’t feel you have to get all 20 lines on the form filled up!
End of the year donations: don’t forget the Grange!
Many of us send out charitable donations to organizations we support as the end of the calendar year grows close. Please remember that you can really help the Grange by donating to the Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall, as we make the final push in our end-of-year campaign for contributions.
Most of you already know about the “Friends”, which works closely with the Grange to plan, fund-raise for and project-manage improvements to the Grange Hall. A list of the big projects the FCCGH has already done is posted on the Donate page on the Grange website! There, you will also see a convenient “Donate” button to give a donation using Paypal.
If you can help the FCCGH to help the Grange Hall, we’ll use the money wisely! To see the Fall Appeal letter sent out by the Friends, click here. It also describes our project to install a wheelchair/platform lift in the Hall, as I mentioned above. We appreciate any gift, of whatever size fits your budget! And donations to the FCCGH, which is a 501(c)(3) charitable non-profit, are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law; you’ll receive a thank-you and a record for your contribution.