Woman stays busy in Grange

Lorena Baughman grew up in the Grange.

“I am a member of the fourth generation of my family, my daughters are the fifth generation,” the Duncansville area woman said. “I helped serve at the banquets from the time I could walk. They would hand me a bowl to put on the table.”

Today Baughman, 47, a 1984 graduate of Hollidaysburg Area High School, holds the title of lecturer/program coordinator for the Pennsylvania Grange.

The lecturer works hand in hand at all levels of the Grange with the membership director – she helps set up programs for Grange meetings.

“The goal is to set up programs to interest the general public and encourage them to come to Grange meetings. That helps us recruit new members. It is a very important position. It is more than just setting up programs, she tries to help bring people into the Grange,” said Carl Meiss, state president.

The lecturer is a volunteer position but is elected by the nearly 8,000 Pennsylvania Grange members.

Baughman was elected to her first two-year term in 2010 and plans to seek a third term in October at the annual State Session.

“I have the program built up very well, and I don’t want to walk away from it,” Baughman said.

The list of duties for the lecturer/program coordinator is lengthy.

For example, the lecturer is responsible to bring educational and entertaining programs to the Grange and share them with all subordinate and Blair County Pomona Grange lecturers/program coordinators; encourage participation in state and national contests; assist in planning the annual Family Festival and plan and coordinate annual contests.

“I give the local program director ideas, and they put them together depending on what their community may need. They contact me to help them with their ideas. I work with people across the state,” Baughman said.

The lecturer also serves as a representative for the state Grange and acts as an ambassador, said Bryan Marchefsky, public relations/membership director.

Baughman admits it is a busy job and she balances her Grange duties with her job as a legal secretary for Attorney Edward S. Newlinof Tyrone, for whom she has worked for 18 years.

Baughman said one of her busiest times is when she coordinates the annual Grange Family Festival held in July at the Centre Hall Fairgrounds.

“There is a lot of behind the scenes work. We usually get about 190 people from all over the state and out of state,” Baughman said.

Baughman has done a good job with the Family Festival, said Betsy Huber of the Goshen Grange in West Chester, who served as state president from 2002-10.

“Our attendance keeps going up. It is full of fun activities and educational workshops. If it wasn’t a fun event, the people wouldn’t come,” said Huber, who is now chairman of the board of the National Grange.

Baughman also is in charge of planning and organizing contests for the annual State Session.

“Last year she had some new contests which got a great response from the membership. Through her leadership and her new ideas and enthusiasm, the state lecturer position of the Grange has blossomed,” Huber said.

Baughman enjoys working with people.

“I enjoy getting out among the people and seeing what is in different communities and where we can help,” Baughman said.

A long-time member of the Scotch Valley Grange, Baughman recently added another title – in May she was elected president of the Pomona Grange for a two-year term.

“I am excited. I am anxious to work with the members and have some new ideas on how we can become even more involved with the community,” Baughman said.

She also is excited about the future of the Grange.

“We are hoping to maintain it (membership) and add to it. We are trying to get more people involved and to share their talents with us,” Baughman said.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.