Mansford Grange #710, Rediscovering A Sense Of Purpose

posted Jun 25, 2013, 12:59 PM by Martha Rasmussen   [ updated Jun 25, 2013, 1:06 PM ]

The Little Grange
That Could!

Mansford Grange held their first meeting back in 1919 when 12 new members paid their dues of sixty cents and completed their application of charter. For decades the Mansford Grange members brought many changes to the Darrington area, such as installing streetlights and helping to install phone lines. It gave the community of Darrington a city park and was very instrumental in developing the first campground. 4-H clubs were started and fairs were held at the grange hall. The woman's Auxiliary was always busy teaching home skills, such as canning, and they were always ready with disaster relief.

Through the many busy years the Grange began to feel the social-economic changes that were happening all around the world. It became our age of two income families with tired moms and dads that found the relaxing diversion of television taking up their evening hours, and memberships of most organizations and clubs steadily declined. The Mansford Grange's primary focus became that of survival and even that became dubious. 

Then in the 2006 the remaining members planned a community 4th of July Fair! Our goal was to keep it simple with old fashion fun.  Games were created for the kids, prizes were purchased and we reached out to other community organizations to participate. We developed a mission statement, “To Build a stronger sense of community in the Darrington area!” and we created tee-shirts that said “Mansford Grange #710” with our new slogan “Community Is Job One!”. The fair started in the center of town at the Old School Park right after the annual 4th Of July Parade. Slowly people began to arrive, then all at once the park was packed with people just visiting or engaging in tug-o-war or the water-balloon toss, and children ran around to try the various games, especially the popular, “Turtle Races.”

Now in large letters at the grange hall we proudly display our slogan as a reminder of why we have a grange, “COMMUNITY IS JOB ONE!” The Woman's Auxiliary is again teaching canning to community members and holiday baskets are put together for families in need. The Mansford Grange has brought BINGO to the community for over 40 years!  This is a very popular and affordable Friday night outing.  The annual Spring Plant & Bake Sale has become a good fundraiser so we can better serve such as raising the money for the new basketball hoops & standards at Old School Park.  Comedy Night At The Grange is a barrel of laughs for everyone.  The Harvest Festival has pumpkin carving for the kids and more.  Much of the proceeds from our fundraising goes to maintaining the Grange Hall which for decades has served its community as an affordable hall rental.  We recently remodeled the kitchen and have a new paint job outside. Rediscovering purpose has brought about a clarity for our small grange and we start out our meetings with all saying the mission statement that helped give us focus, and we end our meetings with a rousing, “Why do we belong to the grange? BECAUSE COMMUNITY IS JOB ONE!” just so we always remember it.