Awards roll in for Ekonk Grange

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Sterling - posted Mon., Nov. 11, 2013
Link Cooper presented TALVHI Director Bill Czmyr with a check for $879.00. Courtesy photo. - Contributed Photo

The Ekonk Community Grange in Sterling garnered eight awards at the 129th annual session of the Connecticut State Grange on Oct. 19. The EKG won first place for Membership Drive, Highest Net Gain, and Largest Gain in Attendance, New Member and Membership Banner contests. It also won first place in the 2013 Community Service Program for Connecticut.

The Ekonk Junior Grange won first place for Community Service Award. Susan Gray won the Elevator Speech Contest.

The EKG was named the best grange in the state and received the only gold award presented. Clifford Gervais, 14, program director for the grange, received top honors for the programs he presented throughout the year. 

Members Katie Molodich and Katie Hermonot were each awarded $2,000 scholarships.

President Link Cooper said that the EKG’s focus on youth is the reason for its success. Vice President Katie Molodich agreed. Molodich is a UConn sophomore studying horticulture. “We aren’t afraid to try new things,” she said. She credited members with being willing to work.

Five grange members have access to the EKG Facebook page and update it as events allow.

Molodich has been involved with the grange since she was 4 years old. Cooper is a recent convert. Impressed with the group's generosity after his daughter passed away, he decided to join. Both Molodich and Cooper are on the same page about adapting to the times.

“What keeps the youth involved is that they are taking leadership positions,” Molodich said. “We’re building leaders and getting more and more active.”

Their latest fundraiser effort resulted in an $879 donation to the American Legion Veterans Housing, Inc., in Jewett City.

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