479 Tuscany Drive
Portage, MI 49024

Tel: 269-365-0401
Cell: 518-222-6622


Congratulations to all the Grangers who entered the contests, and especially to the winners. I was very pleased with the number of entries in a year that continued to bring challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The judges commented that the quality of the entries was high, and that judging was no easy task. There were over 40 entries in the photography classes this year. This year also had a significant increase in creative writing entries in the story and poem contests. The Family Heritage contest debuted this year, and so entrants in that contest were the trendsetters for others. Several attendees indicated that they plan to enter this contest another year, now that they saw the kind of item that qualified for an entry. There were five entrants in the public speaking contest - two in extemporaneous and three in readings. This was also a new high for this contest.

The new program booklet will be distributed with the January/February issues of Michigan Grange News. If you have an idea for a contest that you would like to see in the Lecturer's Department, please let me know. I am open to suggestions. There seems to be diminished interest in the Art contest. I need feedback as to if Grangers would like that contest continued or ways it could be changed. I also would like feedback as to if some or all of the Lecturer's contests should be opened to non-Grangers. Some National Grange contests are open to non-Grangers. As no entries were submitted for Junior contests this year, I expect to greatly reduce the number of contests in the Lecturer's Department. 

And now, we enter the Holiday season. Happy Thanksgiving to all, and may you celebrate with all your favorite foods. In addition, I wish everyone Happy Holidays, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, ... Looking forward to a great 2022! 

Creative Writing:
Division III — Subordinate
Class A: Poem—topic: My Grange Experience
1st: Eleanor Moore, Community #1675
2nd: Joan Hellmann, Pittsfield Union #882
3rd: Tom Smith, West Oshtemo #1630
Class B: Story—Topic 1: Holiday Traditions
1st: Tom Smith, West Oshtemo #1630

​Class B: Story—Topic II Recalling My School Days
2nd: Peggy Johnston, Burns #160
3rd: Dale Moore, Studley #1174

​Art Contest:
Class A: Subordinate
1st: Karen Wolletz, Barnard #689

​Family Heritage: Subordinate
Class A: Chart
1st: Dale Moore, Studley #1174
2nd: Tricia Eidsmoe, Studley #1174
3rd: Peggy Johnston, Burns #160

​Family Heritage: Subordinate
Class B: Family Photo Story
1st: Kathryn Hsu-Bishop, Home #129

​Photography: Subordinate
Class A — Animals
1st: Dale Young, Commuity #1675
2nd: Kathryn Hsu-Bishop, Home #129
3rd: Sharon Popler, Burns #160

​Class B: “Selfie”
1st: Michael Sheffer, Burns #160
2nd: Connie Johnston, Gratiot #1898
3rd: Christopher Johnston, Burns #160

​Class C: Barns
1st: Dale Moore, Studley #1174
2nd: Dale Young, Community #1675
3rd: Peggy Johnston, Burns #160

​Class D: County Fair
1st: Dale Young, Community #1675
2nd: Dale Moore, Studley #1174
3rd: Connie Johnston, Gratiot #1898

​Class E: Close Up
1st: Kathryn Hsu-Bishop, Home #129
Terri Sheffer, Burns #160
Christopher Johnston, Burns #160

​Public Speaking Contest
Topic I: My Favorite Toys as a Child
1st: Kevin Young, Community #1675
Topic II: Foods I Like/Don’t Like
2nd: Phil Swainston, Carlisle #812

1st: Richard Hazen, Fredonia #1713
2nd: Sharon Popler, Burns #160
3rd: Ladonna Kurburski, Harbor Springs #730

​Grange Program
Tom Smith, St. Joseph/Cass/Kalamazoo Pomona #4

​Best of Show:
Photography— Kathryn Hsu-Bishop, Home #129

​Family Heritage, Creative Writing, Art—
Tom Smith, West Oshtemo #1630​

​Certificates for Reporting:
Mid Michigan Pomona #61
St. Joseph/Cass/Kalamazoo Pomona #4

Burns #160
Colon #215
Community #1675
Gratiot #1898
Harbor Springs #730
Mosherville #1351
Oceana Center #1047
Pittsfield Union #882
Plymouth/Westland #389
Studley #1174
Summit City #672​


State Grange Session is soon! Are your contest entries underway?

I hope that everyone has been taking photographs all year for the “Selfies, “Animals” and “Barns” classes, as well as at your “County fair” to enter into the photography contest. A question arose as to what is “a firm backing”. The photos are displayed via a peg board with photos placed on clips. The backing should at a minimum of card stock weight (minimum 67 lb), but heavier mat board is recommended. I am looking forward to all your entries in the photography contest at State Grange. 

For those not photography-minded, consider entering the art contest in one of the following classes: two-dimensional drawing/painting, or three-dimensional objects. Three-dimensional art objects could be almost anything, however woodworking articles should be entered in the Family Activities contest. Examples would include ceramics, paper 3-dimensional objects, or perhaps jewelry. 

For those who enjoy writing, classes this year include poems, stories and book reports. I hope to see lots of entries in the creative writing contests as well. Stories and book reports only need to be 400-600 words, which is only about 1 – 2 pages. This article is just over 500 words as a guide. Poems should be 3-26 lines in stanza form.

 See the Program Booklet for details for all contests. All entries must be delivered to the state session by 9 am on Friday morning for display and judging. All entries must be labelled. Your Lecturer should have these labels, but I will have extras at session.

For those planning on attending the State Grange session, there will be a public speaking contest on Thursday evening. Start planning your entries now. There are two classes this year – readings and extemporaneous speaking. Reading entrants shall bring their reading with them. Each entrant for the extemporaneous class will draw their topic from a hat. Topics are: 1) my favorite toys as a child; 2) foods I like/don’t like. All speeches and readings shall be 3-5 minutes in length. 

Special reminder to Lecturer’s: Your annual report forms are due to me by September 10, or as soon thereafter as possible. Certificates will be awarded at State Grange for completed annual reports. Special recognition will be awarded Lecturers that submit a Grange program as outlined in the Program Booklet.

National Grange contest opportunities also are available. Details have been included in the quarterly Lecturer’s bulletins or may be found at the National Grange website (nationalgrange.org). Entries into National Grange contests must be received by October 31. Two main opportunities exist: Virtual Photo Contest and Quilt Block Contest. These contests are open to both members and non-members. The photo contest categories are selfie, close-up/macro, and barns. You may enter the same photo in the State and National contests, with a maximum of three entries. The quilt block is a pinwheel. Since the quilt blocks must be received by October 31, we will not be able to display Michigan entries at our State session. Mail your entries to Christine Hamp, National Lecturer, 16418 N. Birdie Road, Nine Mile Falls, WA, 99026. If you have difficulty finding details for these contests, contact me by phone or e-mail above.