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Around The Grange
Pennsylvania State Grange grows to 246 active chapters

By Austin Miller, National Grange Program Assistant (National Grange Website 9/27/12)

  OCTOBER 3, 2012 --

On Sept. 17, the Pennsylvania State Grange submitted a charter application for the New Freedom Grange. This makes the third new Grange opened in Pennsylvania in the last three years. The state currently has 246 active Granges.

The new President of this Grange is Lonnie Brewster. Brewster, a retired college professor, lives on a 115-acre farm in western Greene County.

In starting this new Grange, Brewster had a goal. He wanted to be part of an organization that actually does something and he wanted to have fun while engaging in Grange activities. Thus, the idea of the New Freedom Grange was born.

“My goal is to have a highly visible organization that works to meet as many community needs as possible,” New Freedom Grange President Lonnie Brewster said. “No one should ever have to ask, ‘What does the Grange do?’’

And what does his Grange plan to do?

“Our group hopes to sponsor activities such as ‘Clean up, Paint up, Fix up’ for the community and to help citizens who need assistance with their homes,” Brewster said. “We hope to sponsor contests for attractive yards and gardens. We hope to sponsor community dinners, free of charge. We plan to have floats in parades in the area and information booths at fairs.”

The Grange currently has 17 charter members, but already plans to obligate four new members at its next meeting.

Stacy Bruker, Public Relations and Membership Director for the Pennsylvania State Grange, is proud of what they are doing.

“It means a lot [adding another Grange to the state],” Bruker said. ”But it’s really the members that are making it happen. I promised to be with them through this process, and even more important than chartering a new Grange is making sure it succeeds and has a strong base to ensure that it’s still around in 10, 15 or 20 years.”

Pennsylvania State Grange President Carl Meiss shares Bruker’s sentiment.

“I am thrilled to see new Granges open throughout the Commonwealth,” Meiss said “By chartering new Granges and recruiting new members, it proves that the Grange is very alive and well in Pennsylvania.”

The Pennsylvania State Grange Session will be held Oct. 19 to 22, and New Freedom hopes to have delegates at that convention.

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