February 2013 Newsletter

February 12, 2014 – Plumsteadville Grange

  • Monthly Meeting – 7:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall
  • Program – Lydia Adams from Grandview Rabbitry, she raises Polish rabbits. For more info visit http://www.grandviewrabbitry.com

March 12, 2014 – Plumsteadville Grange

  • Monthly Meeting – 7:30 p.m. at the Grange Hall
  • Program – Julie Fagan, from Bucks County PA Strong, a community exchange network. For more info visit their website http://buckspastrong.timebanks.org

Help Wanted for Dinners

Friday Febuary 7 – Beef lunch for Local farmers organized by Esmond Crooke, 10am to 2 pm Saturday February 22 – 6pm Pineville Horse Company Volunteers needed to help prepare, cook and serve. Contact Annette Crooke 215-345-1276.

Grange Display at Doylestown Library

Plumsteadville Grange has been allocated the display case at the Doylestown Library for the month of March. We want to promote the Grange and its’ work and the Farm Market. This is a GREAT opportunity to create awareness of what we do. Anyone who has photos , thoughts on what should be displayed, or wishing to help put up the display please contact Meg Lomax [email protected] or Betsy Wertz [email protected]

New Website

We have an updated website – The URL remains the same at www.plumsteadvillegrange.org/. This site links us with National Grange and granges across the USA and includes a “contact us” form. If you have any suggestions for content or updates, please contact Jane Birk at [email protected].

Ellen Elaine Crooke Scholarships 2014

Sponsored by Plumsteadville Grange Deadline May 1st 2014

  • Scholarships for 4H members, alumni, and children of Plumsteadville Grange Members
  • Two scholarships of $500 each will be offered. One will be Agriculture related and one will be for a study of the student’s choice.
  • Students can reapply for study year 2 if they have maintained a grade point average of 2.5 or above, but they will compete with new students applying for year 1.
  • Agriculture students may apply in year 2 for a subject of their choice.
  • Students to apply to Plumsteadville Grange on the 4H/Plumsteadville Grange application form available from Nancy Stephenson at the county Extension office.


Will They See Their Shadows?

Watch for the news to see if either Punxsutawney Phil or his cousin Ralph the Groundhog see their shadows on February 2nd. Given the weather lately, most of us are looking for an early Spring!

Did You Know?

PA’s original tourist attractions, the state’s fairs comprise a nearly $50 million industry that attracts 5.5 million visitors annually and provides an estimated $126 million in economic impact.

Thank you! Thank you!

Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), our national bird, is the only eagle unique to North America. Photo by James E. Diamond at Ketchikan, Alaska on 15 July 2009

Where eagles soar with the saints, Free to fly without restraints. A territory that sustains variable indigenous fauna galore, where some are harvested for food with a weapon or fishing pole with a lure (Stanza lifted from a poem titled “Dream Alaska” by James E. Diamond). Thank you! Thank you! It is true that God answers prayers! During my recent illness with pneumonia, I truly appreciated your concerns and prayers, which were a resounding success. I am feeling great again! If I continue to get stronger, we hopefully will be able to carry out our plans to travel on a cruise ship to South America in late February 2014. I am very grateful to all the doctors, nurses, therapy specialists and especially your prayers who together virtually saved my life. Again, thank you! Do not underestimate the power of prayer and positive thinking. God certainly answered your prayers! With my warmest personal regards and love, Betty Diamond

 National Grange Employee Retirement

The National Grange Marketing Coordinator, Beverly Mitchell ended her time at the National Grange on January 2, 2014. Beverly has been with the National Grange for 16 years and she will be greatly missed by her colleagues but we wish her well in retirement. The National Grange staff hopes to make this transition as quickly as possible so membership recognition awards and reports go out on time. Samantha Johnson our Sales, Benefits, and Programs Director will now be handling these duties so please feel free to call or e-mail her with any questions.

 From the Desk of Marguerite Quinn

State Representative, 143rd Legislative District

Senior Tax Tips For even the most experienced among us, the stress of tax time can push us to our limits. How much do I owe Uncle Sam this year? Did I remember all my deductions? Can I be audited for that? For seniors the questions can be even more daunting, and the tax process more confusing. After all, it’s an “income tax return” and many of our friends of a certain age receive non-taxable income in the form of Social Security, or tax-exempt bonds. Plus, with so many companies out there offering tax help, it’s difficult to know who you can trust. Fortunately, one organization has been solving senior’s tax problems for decades, and at no cost. AARP, the same group striving to help retirees make the most of the golden years has offered tax help to seniors, and other low-income taxpayers, for more than 40 years. In that time the group has helped more than 50 million people file their taxes, so you can trust your important, personal tax documents will be well taken care of. Volunteers are available in our area, offering one-on-one service free of charge. Tax laws, credits, and refunds change year to year, so even if you usually file on your own, taking advantage of this free offer may be worth your while. The deadline to file your tax return is Tuesday, April 15. Here are some tips to help you get ready.

  • Do not assume you don’t have to file. Even if your Social Security is non-taxable, you should plan on filing a return.
  • Gather your documents as early as possible. Have your documents all in one place so you are not searching at the deadline. You can file your tax return starting Jan. 31.
  • If you, or your spouse, are older than 65, you are eligible for a higher than standard deduction.
  • Taking care of grandchildren or other dependents may qualify you for additional tax credits. If you are financially supporting family members, or anyone else, you are earning tax credits.
  • Don’t forget about local taxes. Pennsylvania offers tax credits, tax breaks, property tax and rental rebates, and tax freezes for seniors. In some cases, these tax breaks are refundable, which means you may be entitled to money back even if you don’t owe any tax.

Each of these tips is a good reminder of why working with a trained tax professional is in your best interest. It is your money; make sure you are getting all that you are entitled to by taking advantage of the assistance available from AARP. One-on-one sessions begin Feb. 2, and run until April 14. We will handle all of the scheduling for AARP and we will do so, on a first come, first served basis. To schedule an appointment, contact my district office at 215-489-2126.

Plumsteadville Grange Praises Kelly Quiring

Kelly Quiring, 23, daughter of Darlene Quiring, Plumsteadville Grange Lecturer recently volunteered to join the United States Air Force. Thank you Kelly for volunteering to serve our country. Kelly Quiring was a former member of the Danboro and Hilltown 4-H Clubs and graduated from Pennridge High School. By joining the U.S. Air Force, Kelly is fulfilling a personal desire to serve her country for a four-year commitment. In addition Kelly is confident that the U.S. Air Force will prepare her for a career following her being discharged because the US Air force has a vision of Global vigilance, Reach and Power. This vision orbits around three core competencies: developing Air men and women, technology to war fighting and integrating operations will prepare Kelly for a unique and satisfying career. The Air Force bases these core competencies and distinctive capabilities on a shared commitment to three values: Integrity first, Serving before self, and Excellence in all we do. All members of Plumsteadville Grange wish Kelly Quiring much success as she commences a new adventure in her life.

Vilsack urges understanding of agriculture

With a new farm bill still in limbo, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urged farmers and ranchers to work to increase the understanding of agriculture, during his remarks at the general session at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s 95th Annual Convention. “Passage of a farm bill is long overdue,” Vilsack said, adding, “producers understand this.” He characterized passage of a new farm bill as the number one issue affecting American agriculture today. “Every American should be concerned” with the lack of congressional action on the farm bill, Vilsack said. “We need this farm bill and we need it now,” he added, encouraging Farm Bureau and Grange members to contact their members of Congress and let them know passage of the bill is important.

Plumsteadville Grange Meeting Minutes

The minutes for the January 2014 meeting of the Plumsteadville Grange as recorded by Karen Moss, secretary, are included in their entirety. Plumsteadville Grange #1738 met Wednesday , January 8th at 7:30 pm. Present Men – 8 Women – 10 Total – 18 OPENING: The Grange opening ceremony was led by Master Jim Diamond, followed by the roll call of officers and committee members. Minutes of the previous meeting of November 2013 were mailed/emailed with the monthly newsletter. One correction was noted and made: It was Harold Steeley (rather than Don) who visited the Richland Historical Society to look at Grange records stored there. ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS: Present, Master Jim Diamond, Overseer Donald Steeley, Lecturer Darlene Quiring, Assistant Steward Don Moss, Treasurer Jim Lomax, Secretary Karen Moss, Greeter Katie Graham, Pomona Toni Kellers, Flora Jane Birk, Musician Betty Diamond . PROGRAM: The Charter was draped this month in memory of Ray Gross and Anna Mary Keeler both who passed on Christmas day. Wonderful happy memories were shared about their friendship and activities in the Grange and community. OFFICER & COMMITTEE REPORTS: Building and Maintenance & Grounds: One of the two furnaces in the apartment house had to be replaced at the cost of $4500+. The roof over the ladies restroom in the Grange building has been replaced but we do not yet have the bill. The downspout on the Grange building is in need of a check as there seems to be some kind of blockage. And the new stair lift is not working properly; Jim Lomax is trying to contact Acorn to see what is causing the malfunction. It was noted that our new manager for the apartment house, Jen Hurley, has more than earned her fee this month dealing with the problem of the furnace and seeing that the tenants with a small child stayed warm during the repairs. Agriculture Committee: It is Farm Show week but none present had been able to attend. Treasurer’s Report: Jim Lomax reported that for December we have income of $4,125 and expenses of $10,039 and that this has been a trend for several months. We have had the funds to cover the bills and are expecting the yearly rental fee for Tyro Grange Hall this coming month. In December our biggest expenses were the new furnace and Grange Hall maintenance. NEW BUSINESS: Penny Hallowell proposed the idea of a memorial for Ray Gross. It was discussed that Ray had in the past brought up the idea of a display case for historical Grange items we now have in storage. A motion was made and seconded that we appoint a committee to plan for such a case in Ray’s honor. The committee will be chaired by Don Steeley, with Penny Hallowell and Don Moss serving on it. Doug Riley brought it to our attention that there has been a large number of cars parking in the lot we share with the building next door whose owners are neither Grange members or customers of that building. The building owner has put up signs regarding this and wants Grange members to know that the signs are not directed at them. Also Doug will discuss with the building owner the need to reseal the asphalt in the parking lots this spring, an expense we share. We received a request for a donation to the Midway Fire Department. A motion was made and seconded that we make a $100 donation. MEMBERS SICK OR IN DISTRESS:

  • Ruth Steeley will have a hip replacement in January.
  • Harold Steeley was in Doylestown Hospital for a few days but doing just fine now.
  • Margaret Moyer was also in Doylestown Hospital.
  • Harold Keeler is very lonely and would love visitors.
  • Betty Diamond missed the Christmas party because she was in Doylestown Hospital followed by a stay at Pine Run. She is now at home and being pampered by Jim, and was even at the meeting, playing the piano as usual!

Respectfully submitted, Karen Moss, Secretary.

PA House of Representatives Scholarship

I encourage any high school seniors who plan on attending a Pennsylvania college or university to apply for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Scholarship. The program provides four-year scholarships to two high school seniors per year. Each award consists of the value of one semester of tuition at the State System of Higher Education for each of four years. Eligible educational institutions include nearly all colleges, universities and career schools in Pennsylvania. Half of each annual award will be paid in the fall semester, and half in the spring semester. Students must maintain eligibility criteria in all four years in order to receive ongoing awards. This is a great opportunity for the best and brightest in our Commonwealth. For more info: http://www.tfec.org/images/House%20of%20Reps%201%20Page%20Summary.pdf?utm_source=Listrak&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=http%3a%2f%2fwww.tfec.org%2fimages%2fHouse%2520of%2520Reps%25201%2520Page%2520Summary.pdf&utm_campaign=News+You+Can+Use /

Article Online about Native Plants

Scott Guiser, Penn State Educator, has posted an interesting article online about the use of plants native to the eastern United States that thrive in the Delaware Valley region and would be beautiful in residential and commercial landscapes throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. Read the full article at: http://buckshort.blogspot.com/2014/01/native-green-medal-plants-and-jenkins.html

Wanted to Rent

Tony Warsavage is asking if anyone has a place for rent to his son which would include some acreage or a very large garden. The son and his roommate are horticulture graduates, employed, and also want to have their own garden. Phone number is 215-766-0769.

Like” us on Facebook

– We welcome members, friends and market vendors to post your comments. Search for “Plumsteadville Grange” or “Plumsteadville Grange Farm Market”

Grange Dues for 2013-14

Letters have gone out requesting payment of dues for this year. If you have not already done so, please send your check for your annual dues ($35 individual, $70 family). If dues remain unpaid, you will be dropped from the membership roll and be ineligible for any Grange benefits. Not a member? We’d love to have you join us – Ask a member for an application, or pick one up at the Grange hall.

Musician Wanted

If any member is able to play the piano (or another suitable instrument) for our meetings, please let us know.

Use of the Grange Hall

Many groups that use our hall, making it truly a community center. If you know of a group needing a meeting place, or to inquire about hall rental for an event, contact Meg Lomax at Meg Lomax at 215-766-9801 or [email protected]

Members Sick or in Distress

Do not under estimate the power of prayer. Please keep the following Plumsteadville Grange members and Grange friends in your prayers:

  • Betty Diamond
  • Ruth Steeley
  • Lillian Shull
  • Margaret Moyer
  • Harold Keeler & family
  • Family of Raymond Gross

Harold Keeler would appreciate cards and/or visits. He is currently residing at Independence Court, 1660 Park Ave., Room 255, Quakertown, PA 18951


If you have something to share in the newsletter, or to get it via email, please contact Jane Birk at 610-657-7668 or [email protected].

An open invitation from Delaware Valley College

Grange members and friends welcome to attend.

Delaware Valley College Life Sciences Building Dedication and Open House

Please join us on Thursday, February 13, 2014, from 4:30-6:30 p.m.*

The dedication will take place in the building’s Umosella Atrium and will be followed by self-guided tours and light refreshments.

RSVP’s are not required; all are welcome to attend.

Please park in the Admission parking lot off New Britain Road or the main lot behind the Welcome Center. If you have any questions, please call Kathie Cohan in Institutional Advancement at 215-489-2397.

*Alternative weather date is Thursday, February 20, 2014 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. Please check the college website for any weather-related event updates.

Plumsteadville Grange # 1738

Box 335, 5901 Easton Rd. Plumsteadville, PA 18949 www.plumsteadvillegrange.org