Step up and support: Square dance fundraiser helps maintain Grange floor

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Don your dancing shoes, grab a partner – or just bring your lively self – and head on over to the Quimper Grange this Saturday to skip, step on and support its dance floor at the annual square dance fundraiser.

“Come on out and dance all night or drop in and just say hello,” said David Thielk, who organizes the monthly square dances at the Grange.

The event on Saturday, Jan. 21 features the Airstream Travelers (Gary Pascoe, Carol Hardy, Rodger Pick and Tracy Grisman) with caller Eric Curl. There’s a workshop from 7:30 to 8 p.m., followed by dancing until 11 p.m. Entrance is by a donation of $10-$20 to help “make sure our floors stay in good shape,” Thielk said. The Grange is located at 1219 Corona St.

Food and drink are provided by local businesses, Thielk said, and the community is welcome to bring their own treats to complement those offered.

The Grange regularly offers two dances. “Tinker [Cavallaro] is the main organizer for the contras, and I organize the squares,” Thielk said.

For a while, these two dances were called community dances, but the two styles have become distinct, and invite different communities, although there’s a fair amount of overlap. Thielk said that the square dances tend to bring in younger people, while the older generation shows up at more of the contra dances.

“It’s been a really good year – we’ve been really busy,” Thielk said.

The Grange also sponsors musicians, jam sessions and films highlighting the cooperative/solidarity economy, and maintains the Quimper Grange food bank garden, which last year supplied nearly 2,500 pounds of organic produce to hungry people in Jefferson County.

“They just work really hard in the garden and produce a lot of stuff,” Thielk said of the volunteers who work in the garden.

Thielk encourages the community to share its ideas for other programs to help the Grange further its mission of building community connection and resilience in the coming year.

The Grange is also looking for more people to join and become members.

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