Virginville Grange community night full of donations, awards and presentations

Photo by Virginville Grange Virginville Grange members welcome the audience with a grange-themed derby song to their community night program entitled, The Derby at Virginville Grange: The Most Exciting Sixty Minutes of Grange Family Fun held on Wednesday, May 7.
Photo by Virginville Grange L to R: Norman O. Merkel, Henry L. Seidel, Diane Feinour of SNIGNEB, Madeline M. Seidel, Jennifer Weil of Thrivent, Leroy Strunk family members, Community Service Committee Chair Lee W. Gougler, and President Richard M. Schaeffer.

Virginville Grange held its annual community night with 277 people in attendance on Wednesday, May 7. Members of Virginville Grange and granges throughout the region filled the audience with more than forty non-grangers from the local communities. The evening was dedicated to promoting the benefits of being a granger, as well as highlighting Virginville Grange members accomplishments and community organizations. The theme for the evenings program was The Derby at Virginville Grange: The Most Exciting Sixty Minutes of Grange Family Fun! Grangers performed horse related skits, told jokes, and sang songs to entertain the audience.

Giving back to the community was an important part of the event. The following organizations were presented with financial donations on behalf of Virginville Grange: Community Fire Company of Virginville ($500.00) and Special Needs Interest Group of North East Berks ($500.00). Henry and Madeline Seidel, Spring Township, were the recipients of the member-voted 2013 Virginville Granger of the Year Award. Henry and Madeline volunteer their time to support many causes of Virginville Grange. Currently, Henry is treasurer and Madeline is program coordinator for Virginville Grange. Norman O. Merkel, Windsor Township, was honored as the organizations longest membership holder, commemorating his 80th consecutive year as a member of Virginville Grange.

Membership awards were presented to the following: 80 years: Norman O. Merkel; 70 years: Paul J. Miller, Feryl J. Treichler, Jane L. Treichler and Jean A. Wetzel; 65 years: Janet C. Christman, Ernest O. Miller and Marilyn M. Miller; 60 years: Robert H. Dietrich, Betty J. Dreibelbis, Kenneth G. Fryer, Jean A. Luckenbill and Doris L. Schlenker; 55 year: Arlene R. Adam, Anna K. Bachman, Coralie J. Leiby, J. Bruce Leiby, Neil P. Merkel and Dorothy M. Miller; 40 years: James P. Adam, Elizabeth A. Atkinson, Dawn M. Dietrich, Kirk D. Dreibelbis, Rodney A. Dreibelbis, Shirley M. Dreibelbis, Willard S. Dreibelbis, David H. Kauffman, Dorothy L. Kerschner, LeRoy J. Kerschner, Kim L. Koller, Richard C. Mengel, Steven C. Mohn, Shirley M. Tallman and Cynthia L. Wetzel; 25 years: Leon C. Blatt, Brian L. Gougler, Timothy E. Hartline, Bradley W. Rahn and Jeanette C. Rahn.

The Community Service Committee of Virginville Grange, in conjunction with Thrivent Financial, made a monetary presentation of $4,500 to the Leroy Strunk Family, Tilden Township, to aid with medical expenses. These funds were the result of a benefit bingo held in March at Virginville Grange and include a $625 donation by Thrivent. An additional $100 was donated to the Special Needs Interest Group of North East Berks.

A memorial service was held for grange members who have passed away during the past year and a flower was presented in memory of each of the following: David S. Moll (67 year member), George M. Dietrich (42 year member), Harry R. Kauffman (52 year member), and Dorothy W. (Giver) Reinert (65 year member).

Door prizes, donated by local businesses and grange members, followed the program and refreshments and fellowship concluding the evening.

Virginville Granges bi-monthly meetings are held on the first and third Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginville Grange Hall, Route 143. Upcoming programs include Dairy Night (June 4, covered dish 6:30 p.m.) and Fathers Day program including a performance by the Miller Brothers (June 18). All are welcomed to attend. For more information about Virginville Grange events and membership, please call 610-562-8357.