Happy New Year! 2014 was a terrific year for the Swauk-Teanaway Grange. We started the year with lots of energy and enthusiasm. All of the new members gained in 2013 meant new faces at meetings, new names to call to help at events, and fresh ideas on how to get things done – signs of a healthy and vital organization!
Some of the highlights this year include:
The Grange Dinner & Fundraiser Auction held on March 8 exceeded the expectations of co-chairs Donna Carollo and Julie Hermanson. Over $18,000 was raised through the dinner and auction and donations from members and friends of our Grange! The net $15,000 after expenses will allow us to properly maintain our building and property into the future.
We awarded $1,000 scholarships to two Kittitas County high school seniors. This was the third year in a row we were able to award two scholarships; all because of the generosity of our members and community at our Scholarship Fundraiser Dinner. Organizers Joyce & Dave Dunbar did an excellent job, as did Scholarship Chair Sally Gililand in soliciting worthy applicants.
Our Grange was the location for the Teanaway Community Forest Advisory Board meetings this year. The twenty-member advisory committee includes representatives from the Yakama Nation, local community, conservation organizations, and several recreation groups. As a matter of fact, five of the twenty members are also members of our Grange! It’s nice to know our Grange is regarded as the heart of the Teanaway and that these organizations look to us as a place to meet. For more on the Teanaway Community Forest, go to this link at the DNR: dnr.wa.gov/teanaway.
We’ve got a great team working on improvements at the hall. Projects this year included finishing and painting the basement drywall and furnace installation, touchups to our interior paint, refinishing the ramp and stairs, construction of a shed to store our new riding lawnmower and installing railing alongside our basement stairs. Our volunteers are the best! Thank you for your creativity and hard work to keep our building and grounds in great shape.
At our October business meeting, we voted to use money from the Hunters Breakfast raffle sales to provide Christmas gifts for upper county children through the Giving Tree program. Additional donations more than doubled those funds! Thank you to Donna Carollo and Carole Engstrom for spearheading this outreach project and to all the members who shopped and donated additional dollars to make so many children’s dreams come true!