479 Tuscany Drive
Portage, MI 49024

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


Summer is Here! Have Fun and Be Safe!
For many, this is the time of year to have fun! Some may travel to explore new destinations; some may attend a family reunion; some may grow a garden; some may participate in the county fair; some may play summer sports; some may be busy working in their fields; and the list goes on. In all cases, this is a time to remember safety with regard to all the activities. That article for all of these different activities would be lengthy, but summer safety would make a great Grange program, developed by the Lecturer, or by a member.
There are several of the Lecturer’s contests this year that revolve around summer activities, so I will highlight those here, as well as a couple new rules. As in the past, all entries will be judged at the Michigan State Grange convention in October. All entries should have been completed between October 1, 2021 and by September 30.

​New this year - all Lecturer’s contests are open to Grange members and Grange friends, with the exception 
of the Public Speaking Contest held at State Grange. You might use a contest to recruit a new member. For example, asking a friend that you know really enjoys photography to enter the photography contest might just be the nudge to have them consider joining your Grange.

Last year, a couple people mailed to me their creative writing entries, and that is an option that can work for me. It is hoped that if you mail an entry to me that someone at the State Grange session will be able to pick up your entry and return it to you.

​Another new “rule” this year allows kids younger than 5 to enter. Entries for kids will be judged in two age 
groups: 1) those 8 years old and younger, and 2) those 9-14 years old. These kids need not be Junior Grange members. We are hoping to see entries from children this year, as this has been minimal in the past few years.
Ask your grandkids and great-grandkids if they have some art projects from school that they were especially proud of this past year.
Photography contest. All except one of the photography classes are for photos that may be taken in summer months. These classes are: Winter Scenes, Animals, People, Farm Crops Scene, and County Fair.
Remember that judges tend to like un-posed photos that show some kind of action. Since many of us have cell phones that take good photos, this provides a great opportunity to catch those special moments. I am looking forward to seeing your photos for Farm Crops Scenes – will it include baling hay, combining wheat, a field of tall corn, or a family garden, or ….?
Family Heritage Contest. Since summer is the usual season for family reunions, you might have an opportunity to create a Family Photo Story of photos from the reunion. At least three photos are required. Portrayal of more than one generation is required, but that is not difficult at reunions.

​Good Luck to all on their entries!!

May and June have an abundance of holidays that are celebrated by many in the United States – 
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Graduation Days, Grandparents Day, Summer Solstice, and many more. With a little bit of research, I found a couple things that seemed like it would be of interest to Michigan Grangers. Enjoy all your May and June celebrations!
Memorial Day - Did you know?
Memorial Day's origins are rooted in the post-Civil War era when a group of Union army veterans known as the Grand Army of the Republic sought a way to honor fallen service members. Originally called Decoration Day, it was first celebrated on May 5, 1868, and involved decorating the graves of those who died in the Civil War with flowers.
Memorial Day honors those in the military who’ve died while serving the country while Veterans Day honors all U.S. military veterans.

​On Memorial Day, the U.S. Flag should be flown at half-mast from dawn until noon only. From noon to 
dusk it should be flown at full.

​Wearing red poppies, a popular Memorial Day tradition, originated from a poem called “In Flanders Field” 
written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae in 1915.

​US Memorial Day represents over 20 million casualties of War.

​One of the earliest Memorial Day commemorations was organized by a group of formerly enslaved people in Charleston, South Carolina less than a month after the Confederacy surrendered in 1865. Nevertheless, in 1966 the federal government declared Waterloo, New York, 
the official birthplace of Memorial Day.

​It didn’t become a federal holiday until 1971.

​A Few Michigan May/June Festivals and Events
There are so many events and festivals in Michigan that I got overwhelmed searching through them. I list some below that seemed like they might be of interest. I am just listing the events here, and leave it to you to find the details.
May 7-15 – Holland Tulip Festival
May 12-15 – Durand Railroad Days
May 12-15—Boyne City National Morel Mushroom Festival
May 20-22—Lake Orion Flower and Art Fair
May 28—St. Ignace Native American Festival
June 4-5 – Midland Antiques Fest
June 9-12 –Frankenmuth Bavarian Fest
June 17-18–Byron Center W. Mich. Chalk Art Festival
June 25 – Marshall Blues Fest