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Around The Grange
From the State Secretary: Updates From the State Office
 

By Todd Gelineau, CT State Grange Secretary

  June 2, 2020 --

It’s been a while since I’ve written a column as most of my

communications lately have been in the form of letters sent to the individual Granges. Hopefully this issue finds all of you well and enjoying the warmer weather. My family and I were able to finally enjoy a meal at a restaurant (on the restaurant’s patio). While not exactly what we’re used to, it’s a far cry from where we’ve been for the last few months.

The State Grange Executive Committee has been meeting regularly and our Grange work continues on. Here’s some updates and reminders:

QUARTERLY REPORTS

At the beginning of the pandemic crisis (at least in our neck of the woods), we extended the deadline for filing quarterly reports for the fi quarter of 2020 without penalty from April 30 to May 31. As of this writing, there were still many Granges outstanding. Please file your quarterly reports as soon as possible. The State Grange is still required to file its report with National Grange on time and your reports are critical.

STIMULUS PAYMENTS

The State Grange Board of Directors approved stimulus payments to be sent out to all Granges to help them through this period when most fundraising activities have been halted for an undetermined period of time. Only one check was returned to us (and forwarded back to the Grange) so we assume all of our Granges have received them. Granges with halls received $1,000 and Granges that do not own halls received $500. These payments should help with ongoing bills, including payment of quarterly reports (hint, hint!).

COVID-19

The State Master and Executive Committee have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation and evaluating the State Grange’s response. There are a few articles in this issue that address Grange Fairs, festivals and activities. Please read these articles and discuss with your Grange.

VIRTUAL MEETINGS

In reviewing the number of Granges that have met virtually, I was disappointed to see how few have taken advantage of this opportunity. We have made every effort to make resources available to Granges. Fear of the technology is understandable but our Membership Director will make every effort to make sure you are able to hold a successful meeting. Even if you don’t have a member who is able to host, we are more than happy to have one of the State Grange officers or the Membership Director host the meeting for you. All you have to do is contact her to learn more. Please call Faith at 518-698-2785.

The Governor and the State of Connecticut have indicated that it could be several months before in-person meetings the size of an average Grange meeting could be held safely (with social distancing practices still in place). Even if it’s not a “business meeting”, get your feet wet with an informal online get-together to catch up with one another and see how easy it is!

STATE SESSION

I wish I could tell you everything will be back to normal by October and State Session will be held in the same format as always. Unfortunately, we can’t say that with any certainty. We truly hope the worst of this virus is behind us and the impact on State Session will be minimal.

Just like everything else we’ll have to “wait it out” and see where we stand as Session comes closer. In the meantime, the State Grange is working on contingency plans that will help us to hold a form of State Session no matter what restrictions are in place come October (hopefully none at all!). There should be more information on our plans in the coming weeks. We’ll keep you posted.

LAPSED MEMBERSHIPS

More on this subject is included in a separate Connecticut Granger article but it’s important to include some of it in this column. Postcards were sent out to members on the Connecticut Granger mailing list who have continued to be listed as members of Granges that have closed. There have been quite a few cases where Granges have closed and the Golden Sheaf members have had no contact with their “new” Granges and wonder if they are, in fact, still members. I am making every effort to reconnect these members to the various Granges.

It is my hope that Granges will occasionally contact members who are no longer able to attend Grange meetings. Some may be Golden Sheaf members who live in convalescent homes or others who are not able to leave the house at night. Each of the members I’ve spoken with dearly loves the Grange and misses their connection to it.

Until next time… try to get outside and enjoy the spring weather (6 feet apart, of course!).

 

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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