Sallal Grange celebrates 70 years

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NORTH BEND _ This month, the Sallal Grange will celebrate its

70th anniversary as a Valley gathering place and charitable organization.

Grange members are holding an anniversary party at 2 p.m., Oct.

14, at the Grange Hall, 12912 432nd Ave. S.E., in North Bend. The

community is invited to attend the festivities,

along with current and former Grange members.

The Grange is a family-oriented community service organization

with agricultural roots. Nationally, the organization has existed for 132

years, and in Washington State for 102 years.

"The Grange has supported community activities and

community-based needs and has probably helped with every major fund-raising

event they've ever had in this town," said Donna Greathouse, treasurer for

the organization.

On Sept. 4, 1930, the Grange was organized by Ira Shea, deputy

master for Washington State. With the assistance of North Bend resident

Gladys Berosek, members were gathered at the old Moose Hall on the North

Fork Road, which lead to the issuance of the organization's charter the

next month.

Over the years, members met at the American Legion Hall in

Snoqualmie, the Masonic Hall, the Campfire cabin and North Bend school's

auditorium. A fair was held in 1932 to raise funds for a permanent building, and this

became an annual event until 1988.

What was then known as the "Peterson " property was

purchased in April 1936, and construction materials were stored there until the

building was completed in 1953.

During the Hall's dedication, Oscar Miller, who later became

the mayor of North Bend, was the Grange master.

Several members have been Grangers for decades, including

Dorothy Miller, who currently serves as Chaplain. Miller joined with her

husband, Oscar, in 1932.

Miller has held most Grange positions, is known for helping those

in need and saying, "Grange is my life."

Elanor Namie, and her now deceased husband, Tony, were known

for their community service and dedication to the Grange — both held

officer positions.

Although times have changed, the Grange's mission has not.

Members strive to live by the organization's motto: "In Essentials - Unity; In

Non-essentials - Liberty; In All Things - Charity."

Greathouse explained that the Grange's current goal is to be a

community resource where people can come as a family, and find friends

with similar interests.

"For me it's an opportunity to be supportive of the community on a

level that fits into my lifestyle today," she said. "More of us need a place we

feel we can do good for the community without it taking over our lives."

Greathouse said that only 20 people are really active in the

Grange, so more members are welcome to join.

"There are so many sweet people that are involved with the grange,"

she said.

Anyone age 15 and up can join the organization, and there is a

Junior Grange program for children, ages 5 to 14.

The Junior Grange group sponsors their own summer camp that

focuses on working as a group, running or attending meetings, learning about

agriculture and having fun. In the spring, the juniors hold a rummage sale

that is locally popular.

The Grange is the chartered organization that supports Boy

Scout Troop 491, and contributes to the community by collecting used

greeting cards and food labels for St. Jude's Ranch for Children, collecting

old eyeglasses for the VOSH program, donating to the North Bend

Food Bank, Friends of the Library, the March of Dimes, Snoqualmie

Valley Historical Society and by providing scholarships and camping funds

to children.

The Grange also supports the local Christmas Club, which helps

local families in the holiday season. The organization provides the club with

a place to do their packaging, and individual members make and

donate stuffed animals, dolls and toys.

On the first Friday of every month, a "White Elephant Bingo" is held

at the Grange Hall. No money is awarded, but the "white

elephant" items — unwanted things around

the house that members bring in — are prizes.

"One man's white elephant is another man's treasure,"

Greathouse said, adding that anyone is welcome to come and enjoy

family-oriented bingo fun.

Community members are welcome to join the Oct. 14 party, and

can RSVP at (425) 888-4373, or just stop by. Sandwiches and cake will

be served.

Anyone interested in becoming a Granger can call the above

phone number. Adult membership fees are $27 per year and Junior Grange

annual membership fee is $1.

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