Seipstown Grangers continue their good works
The Seipstown Grange has been helping people in the community in addition to being an educational organization for farmers for 102 years.
Seipstown Grange 1657 was formed in April 29, 1915. Early meetings were held in the little red schoolhouse in Seipstown, then Literary Hall, now the Weisenberg Township Municipal Building, and the K.G.E. Hall in Claussville.
A building committee was formed in 1947 and the lower level of the Grange Hall on Claussville Road was dedicated in 1951. The second floor was completed in 1961.
While many fundraisers were held, in recent years the grange was unable to continue their community service after the costs of maintaining the building and property were paid.
The once proud membership of more than 200 members was hit with an aging and declining membership, now about 50 members strong.
After their 100th anniversary celebration in 2015, the membership voted to sell their beloved Grange Hall and pavilion.
Money from the sale of any grange property is held in trust by the Pennsylvania State Grange. As long as the grange remains active, the Grange may withdraw 10 percent of their trust for expenses and community service each year. On Oct. 6, Grange members met with the representatives of 18 local organizations at the Weisenberg Fire Company to distribute a check for $1,000 each to their selected organizations through their “Second Annual Sharing with the Community.” There were fire companies and ambulance corps, people who helped feed needy people and historical societies, among others.
The call to order and welcome were given by Master Brian Wetzel. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Ronald Derr offered a prayer.
Ann Wertman, program director for the Grange, presented the checks. They went to Rayann Vasko, executive director of Dream Come True; Douglas Yingling, executive director of Center for Vision Loss; Gloria Zimmerman, co-president of the Weisenberg-Lowhill Historical Society; Neil Oswald, president, and Gary Dotterer, treasurer, of Lynn-Heidelberg Historical Society; Peg Laxon, treasurer of Christ’s Church at Lowhill Food Pantry; Chief Jacque Creamer Jr., Fogelsville Fire Co.; Chief Brian Carl, Weisenberg Volunteer Fire Department; Presidents Paul McAdams, Goodwill Fire Company, Germansville; Larry Wiersch, CEO, and Bob Mateff, COO, of the Cetronia Ambulance Corps; Kristie Wilk, director of administration for NOVA; Gloria Zimmerman, Rotary Club of Allentown West for Northwestern Lehigh Snack Pack program; Michele Grasso, director of development and communication, Meals on Wheels of Lehigh County; Dan Macaulay, vice president of Northwestern Lehigh Educational Foundation; and Grace Hoppes, volunteer Keystone Military Family of Shoemakersville to help with military mailings. Allentown Rescue Mission, Salvation Army, Community Fire Company of New Tripoli, and Lynnport Fire Company were unable to attend but will also receive checks.
Grasso said the check would provide more than 400 meals to clients.
Keystone Military Families, in addition to operating a food pantry for local military families, mails thousands of care packages to troops each year.
Each year, Dream Come True helps 30 to 35 local children who are seriously, chronically or terminally ill to realize their dreams.
Two scholarships are awarded to Northwestern Lehigh High School seniors who will continue their education in agriculture and environmental science. An additional scholarship will be presented in 2018 to a local Lehigh Career and Technical Institute student who is moving on to advanced training in his or her vocational field.
Wertman also noted Seipstown Grange has participated in the Adopt-A-Highway litter cleanup program for 27 years cleaning eight miles of Route 100 and 3 miles of Claussville Road removing approximately 85 bags of litter each year. Members of local 4-H Clubs assist with spring cleaning.
Joseph Zeller, a Grange member, said he worked for Hahn Motors and sold a lot of fire trucks.
“This company has a beautiful truck, a beautiful building, thank you very much. Fire companies work really hard.”
Zeller added he will be 100 in a couple months, wants to live to be 105 and then be shot by a jealous husband.
Grasso told Zeller she loves his spirit.