Klucking ImagesIt’s been a busy and productive first quarter here at Swauk-Teanaway Grange.   What a beautiful building and location we have in our care! The photo at left is one Phil Klucking took last year, a photo that he has given us permission to use in our promotional material. Phil is truly an artist and a very generous fellow – thank you Phil!

Patti and Jim Gylling did a fabulous job on the Scholarship Fundraiser Dinner on     Feb 21. Working with Jack and Marcy Matthews and a great group of volunteers, over $2,400 was raised, enough to fully fund two $1,000 scholarships this year.   It was so good to have Gene Sharratt as our keynote speaker. Gene has been a member of our Grange since 2005 and continues as a member even though he and Carol now live in Olympia where he is Executive Director of the Washington Student Achievement Council. Everyone enjoyed the young musicians of the group “Cascade Sounds,” all Ellensburg High School students. What great young people we have here in Kittitas County!

I want to thank Lecturer Dale Rusho for inviting Steven Wetzel, WA Dept of Fish and Wildlife Conflict Specialist for our area to speak at our Feb 13 meeting. Steve reported on the impact of large predators on agriculture and wildlife in our area. A number of folks joined us at 3:00 pm for that very interesting presentation.

We were thrilled to have 30 volunteers come out to the Grange on March 28 to spiff up our building and grounds. This work party was a terrific opportunity to bring together an energetic group of people to clean and organize the hall, kitchen, pantry and closets, finish some drywall in the basement, improve our lawn area and remove weeds and brush that detract from our beautiful building. Thank you to all who came out to help, those who brought tools and tractors, brush mowers and chain saws; those who spent hours sorting through all the stuff that has accumulated in our kitchen and re-organizing it in a way that makes sense; the folks who brought food for everyone to share at noon; to everyone who feels they have ownership in this wonderful community organization! Kurt Lucke did a great job organizing this project. We’re already talking about what we’ll do next year!   See page 4 for photos from the Work Party.

The 2015 Washington State Grange Convention will be held at the Kittitas Valley Event Center in Ellensburg on the dates of June 24-27.   How many of you have ever been to a State Grange Convention? Did you know that the Grange supported the Initiative that allowed the formation of public utility districts? The Grange also supported the Family Farm Water Act, which greatly enhanced the survival of family farms in Washington. More recently, the Grange sponsored Initiative 872 to replace the blanket primary with a constitutional “top two” qualifying primary.

This is a perfect opportunity for our members to gain information on the Grange, so come out to the Fairgrounds and learn about the grass-roots organization you are part of. Information on the convention can be found in the April issue of the Washington State Grange News or on the state website: www.wa-grange.org.