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Southard Grange Holds 'Raisin' the Roof’ Music Festival

Event assisted in raising funds to get the organization a new roof.

The Southard Grange held a 'Raisin' the Roof' fundraising music festival on Sunday to raise money for the organization's leaking roof. 

"We are trying to get a new roof," said JoAnn Walker, fundraising chair of the Southard Grange. The Grange is recognizable as the red house on Route 9 South across the street from the .

The music festival featured entertainment including live music, games for children including sack races, egg races and more. There was also a wide variety of food available including hot dogs and funnel cakes.

Many of the people attendance were members and friends and family members of the Grange. Walker said she plans to hold these music festivals and family fun days more frequently, hoping to heighten and expand attendance. 

The people working the event were all volunteers including the musical entertainment for the day Walker said. “Most of the musicians came from the Tuesday night jam session that the Grange holds,” Walker said of the country style musical entertainment.

Dawn Antonis of Ocean Gate was one of the musicians who performed. Before heading on stage, she did some shopping at the festival where a vendor was selling clothing and accessories. “I didn’t expect there to be shopping here. That’s always a perk,” Antonis said. “It’s a nice family event with good food and good music. I’m glad I came and can be a part of it.”

Sheliah Biles, 57, a library technician from West Point, New York also commented on the music. “The music is great and it’s a nice day,” Biles said. “It’s a great gathering for people to get together and show support.”

Walker said the building has been badly impacted by the weather that has hit the township this year making the new roof something the group badly needs. “We got desperately hit with the bad weather and Irene. A lightning bolt hit the back and took down a back side of it,” Walker said. “We plan on holding these festivals frequently to continue to raise money for a new roof.”

A new roof will cost the Grange approximately $15,000 to $20,000 and the organization still has some way to go to be able to pay for it. “We were hoping to have a wonderful fundraiser and still be able to give to some of the groups that we bring in for free,” Walker said.

With many people who drive past the Grange building on Route 9 south not knowing what it may be, Walker was happy to explain. “It’s a fraternal organization that offers community programs to its members and the public,” Walker said. Since 1936, a time when everything was depleted, including farmlands and animals, it has worked to educate the community on sustainable living.

Today the Grange provides community programs such as yoga, jam nights and theater productions. Additionally it offers farm preservation advocacy, game nights, how to workshops where attendees learn life skills including: quilting, canning, composting and more, as well as yard sales, Easter egg hunts and much more. The Grange is an alcohol free premise. It promotes family fun, alcohol free, and the location which has had weddings before, is available for hall rental, Walker said.

Those who are interested in donating or learning more about the Southard Grange can email Walker at southardgrange218@gmail.com or visit www.southardgrange.org. Additionally, if they are interested in helping to donate money to get the Grange’s roof fixed, they can send a check to Southard Grange / Roof at 4860 Rt. 9 South, Howell NJ, 07731.

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