News from Flora Grange By Lindakay Ebel
August Meeting Members of Flora Grange held their August meeting on Tuesday, August 15, at the Flora Grange Hall with Master Albert Q. Ebel, III opening the meeting with Assistant Chaplain Sharon Miller opening the Bible and offering prayer, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and performing of the Grange Salutation. Community Service chairperson Laurel Ratcliffe thanked everyone for working in the food stand and at the gate during the fair this year, especially Emalee Culver, for helping in the fair office. Jack, Bob, Roger and Al gave reports on the fair. Jack Ratcliffe spoke of all the free entertainment and he is trying to get contracts for some of them to return next year. Bob Scherer spoke of the talent contest and read the winners of each contest. Roger Miller reported on the Rodeo and Mutton Busting contest stating there were 52 entries this year. He spoke of the Wild Cow milking contest and how the crowd enjoyed that. The auction went well with one hog being sold for $30 per pound. Al reported that he enjoyed working with the free acts this year. Our Flora Grange served breakfast on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday and the noon meal on Thursday. Lindakay thanked Pat and Loren Due for helping in the cashier’s booth during the breakfasts and ham dinner. The Boone County Fair celebrated the 60th year that the Granges of Boone County have operated the fair. For the first time, alpacas were at our fair, and fairgoers were delighted with them. This year was a record-breaking 211,473 people who attended the fair and seemed to be having an incredibly good time. The best livestock in Boone County was exhibited, evaluated and sold to the highest bidder. The number of non-livestock exhibits, pictures, arts and crafts, flowers, entries of food and canning were also up this year, and there were many blue ribbons on many items. There were nine Queen Contestants and 20 Little Miss Contestants and this year Flora Grange sponsored one of our young members, Serenity Angelica Grace Brockman, 16, daughter of Kristi Brockman of Belvidere. Serenity is home-schooled and will be a junior this year. Along with her studies she is pursuing courses in singing, guitar, and songwriting. She is currently working at “Serenity’s Barnyard Angel-Babies Traveling Petting Zoo”, a family owned business. Serenity presented her 4-H community project “Mountains of Sleeping Bags” on WIFR, Channel 23 news. Our Flora Grange members donated many of the sleeping bags, a project of the Boone County 4-H Federation which Serenity was a huge part of. She has won showmanship awards in Boer Goats, Horses, and Rabbits at the Boone County Fair. She has won State Fair and State Fair Alternate awards for her General Projects Day 4-H projects. She is an active member of Flora Grange, Vice President of the LeRoy commandoes 4-H Club, and a member of the Boone County 4-H Federation. She enjoys country music, singing, playing the guitar and keyboard, performing in musical theater groups; and painting and drawing. Camping, fishing and barrel racing also keeps Serenity busy. Most of all she enjoys making memories with her little brother Shance. She was Second Runner-Up and spent every day at the fair from early morning to late evening, presenting ribbons to members exhibiting their animals at the fair and will be attending many other community activities throughout the year. Congratulations to Serenity. We are all so proud of you. Serenity’s brother entered the talent contest during the fair and sang the song to members this evening.
Thirty-five members of Flora Grange met on Tuesday, September 12, at the Flora Grange Hall. Master Albert Q. Ebel, III opened the meeting at 7 pm, Pledge of Allegiance, prayer by Chaplain Donna West and performing of the Grange Salutation. Roll call was taken by Secretary Laurel Ratcliffe of officers and minutes of the August 15 were approved. Membership applications were read and accepted for five new members: Jim and Barbara Trevathan, Myrna Hodgson and Peter and Margaret Kasin. Master Ebel inducted new members Jim and Barb Trevathan and Myrna Hodgson. Everyone welcomed them into Flora Grange. Joan Fidder, Family Activities chairperson, reported they will be going to Illinois State Grange convention on Friday. If anyone has items for Family activities, they would be happy to take them along. JoAnn Wienrank reported they met on Labor Day weekend at the Grange Hall and worked on projects and will be working on items again the first weekend of October. Roger Miller, Agriculture reported we have not had any rain for weeks and the crops are turning, and said he heard farmers in the southern part of Illinois are starting to combine their crops. He stated it will be an average crop this year. Marion Thornberry, Legislative chairman, read the resolutions that the delegates will be looking over, and voting on at the ISGC this weekend. Flora Grange has written one resolution. Jack Ratcliffe reported on Farmland Protection and reported they will be holding a meeting later this week. If land is sold to sub-divide, a farmer receives around $8,000 an acre, however if another farmer purchases the land, he pays around $12,000. Laurel Ratcliffe reported on Community Service. She has the book ready and will take it to the convention. She asked members to keep track of their volunteer hours and turn them into her monthly. Jack Ratcliffe, building and grounds chairman, stated they painted the propane tank, and ordered propane for it, also mowed and trimmed the lawn and trees. Membership, Jack and Laurel, brought in five new members and reminded members this starts a new membership year. Fair board members, Jack Ratcliffe, Roger Miller and Albert Ebel gave reports on the Boone County Fair, and they are already starting to work on plans for next year’s fair. The fair appreciation dinner will be tomorrow night at the fairgrounds. Jack Ratcliffe, Deaf Activities chairman, reported he talked with a representative from the hearing aid company and is trying to get them to attend the Pomona Grange meeting in March 2018, and talk about hearing tests and aids. There was nothing new on the wheel chair lift for Flora Grange hall, waiting to hear from them. It was noted at the Pomona Grange meeting on September 6 that Pomona Grange dues must be paid between January 1 and June 30th, otherwise members will be dropped and they will not be able to vote at the election. They can be reinstated by paying their past dues as well as the current dues. Roger Miller received a letter from the Salvation Army for the bell ringing. It was noted we would do it the same time as last year, the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Treasurer Lindakay Ebel had a written report for members with expenses and income for the month of August, along with the balances.
Jack and Laurel Ratcliffe and Emalee Colver served a meal to 17 Habit for Humanity workers on August 26th. Laurel Ratcliffe will again order dictionaries for the Genoa-Kingston school. At our next meeting we will be discussing community projects for 2018. Members were asked to be thinking about some new projects, also, do we want to continue to do Little Hershey Antique Car and Safety Town. The fall roast beef dinner will be on Sunday, November 12th with making of the salads, etc. on Saturday, November 11th at the Flora Grange Hall. Chaplain Donna West gave her report as did Kathee Frazer. Kathee reported she will be taking the Junior’s projects to the Illinois Grange Convention this weekend. Laurel suggested anyone that would like to make a donation of money for the people in the hurricane area can do so this evening and she will send it. Emalee Colver collected the “G” bills again this evening. Sharon and Roger Miller turned in over 300 bills this evening, and others were collected from various members. Theo Hildebrand collected 50 and turned them in also. The delegates, Albert and Lindakay Ebel, will be taking them to the Illinois Grange Convention this weekend, and on Friday during roll call will present them to the Illinois State Grange treasurer with a final total of 788 to turn in. Next month we will begin collecting again with the first $100 to go to the National Grange for the Grange trademark. Wayne Lyford had a birthday this month and Theo Hildebrand celebrated her 99th birthday on September 1st. Chaplain closed with a prayer and the meeting was closed in full form. Members enjoyed the fellowship and refreshments that were served tonight by the Fidders and Deb Silvers