Grange notes and thank yous!

Grange Notes
Dec. 4, 2011

Thanks to the many who put together Polly's memorial
Replacing the floor—we're underway
Basement lighting--rebate received

Thanks to the many who put together Polly's memorial: Yesterday evening, we had a large and moving gathering to remember Polly Howlett. While the memories are fresh in my mind, I want to thank the many Grange members who worked on setting up and running this event, along with the Howlett family members. We had a crew of folks doing cleaning and set-up, both upstairs and down, setting out the potluck dinner, and doing cleanup afterward. I have a list which is certainly incomplete, that includes (in no particular order): Merry Shernock, Alison Forrest, Rob Nichols, Ann Pearce, Patty and Kurt Giavara, Kathy Gruber, Gail England, Brian Appleberry, Gabrielle Mikula, Tim O'Dell, Shelly Fracalossi and Richard Decosta. Many people brought delicious potluck food, more than enough to help feed our guests from out of town; flowers decorated the tables downstairs (as well as the floral offerings for the service upstairs), and many people pitched in to wash and dry dishes and silverware during and after the dinner.
Ann Pearce was a big part of planning this event, coordinating with Polly's family and making sure that we had all the bases covered.
I also want to say a special thank-you to Bill Spear, our Grange Musician who played for our Grange meeting songs, and also accompanied the whole gathering in singing I'll Fly Away at the end of the service. Bill's long experience accompanying the Norwich University Choir as well as playing for Northfield churches helped the large group to join their voices in song, just as he does at our regular Grange meetings.
As usual, Grange events succeed because of all of the efforts of our active, caring members. I was proud of how our Grange hosted a large gathering of about 175 people. I believe everyone felt welcome and comfortable as we shared our memories and feelings about Polly. Several of us who know Polly through the Grange and contra dance communities spoke about her commitment and energy as we knew her, and we heard from many others who knew her in other parts of her life, sharing stories and memories. Socializing and remembering continued at the potluck dinner after the service. Before the contra dance started, the band for the dance pitched in, playing a couple of tangos for Polly's friends from the tango community, who showed us a sample of that form of dancing; then some of them tried out contra-dancing afterward.
All in all, this event was a good example of how our Grange works as part of a social network, serving as a connection between people both by providing a venue for events that bring people together, and by actively facilitating those events. We can all be proud of what we do in this organization.

Replacing the floor—we're underway: As planned, the business portion of our Grange meeting (which took place in the intimate, yet public confines of the stage at the Hall) included a brief discussion of the proposal by the Floor Committee. The members unanimously approved putting down a $500 deposit, about 10% of the materials cost for the flooring we will need to replace the wearing-out maple floor in our main Hall. We will continue discussion of schedule, installation, sanding and finishing, but needed to get the logging, sawing, drying and milling process started.
I was able to report as well that I have received anonymous pledges totaling $1,500 in the last week, to help pay for the floor project. These checks will be written once we get our “Friends of the Capital City Grange Hall” organized as a 501c3 corporation—look for more meetings soon about this important step.

Basement lighting--rebate received: Treasurer Les Skinner reported at our meeting on the receipt of the rebate check for our light-replacement project, completed in August of this year. Efficiency VT sent us a check for $1,280, which offset about 42% of the total cost of the project. The volunteer effort put in to this project also helped keep costs down, of course!
As several people commented, having the new lights certainly improved the ambiance at last night's potluck dinner, by the way!

Our next Grange meeting will be in 2012, on Jan. 7th, at 4:30!

Tim Swartz, Master (with everyone's help)
Capital City Grange #469

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