News Feature

North Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, September 6, 2012
Halcyon Grange kicks off capital campaign
Hopes to raise $150,000 for year-round community kitchen

by Anne Berleant

The Halcyon Grange held a campaign kick-off on Wednesday, August 29, to raise the $150,000 it estimates it will cost to renovate the grange’s current kitchen into one that will support commercial-grade cooking and to upgrade the grange building for year-round use for, among other plans, a winter-time farmers’ market.

The kitchen will be open to community members and groups for processing local foods, educational outreach for school children and family or community meals, according to a press release.

“Imagine a family reunion where relatives can prepare an entire meal on site, and all generations can access the upper floor to watch a slide show or a family skit,” the press release reads.

Grange member John Tyler, who heads up the capital campaign, said the grange hopes to break ground in spring.

“We already have contributions,” he said. Grants from the Community Health Alliance, Maine Community Foundation and from a private contributor funded a project feasibility study, energy evaluation and a grant-writing project.

The major work needed is to expand, renovate and equip the existing kitchen to commercial standards, replace windows with energy efficient ones and insulate both stories of the building. The campaign case statement is posted on a new website,, and is based on responses to a months-long survey run by Phil Retberg, chairman of the kitchen committee. The website allows online contributions through PayPal.

The next event is a harvest supper, followed by a fundraiser auction called by Tom Perkins.

“We’ll roast a pig and have vegetable contributions from local farms,” said Tyler. The event will be held on Saturday, October 20, at 5 p.m. at the grange hall located on Route 15 in North Blue Hill.