Fern Ridge Review
Sweet Lorane Community News
January 25, 2018
By Pat Edwards
Community news is a bit sparse this week, but there are a couple of things I’d like to comment on.
I am exceptionally pleased with the direction the Lorane community is taking in recent years. There is a kind of “rebirth” in community involvement happening that I haven’t seen for some time.
When our kids were in school at the Lorane Elementary, there was a strong parental and community involvement. Most of us—young and old—took part in and/or supported the Lorane P.T.C., the annual school carnival, the holiday music programs, the Lorane Tigers baseball and basketball games, the end-of-the school year picnic, to name only a few. In 1987, we held our huge 3-day Lorane Centennial which drew people from all over the country to help us celebrate. All of the clubs and organizations in the area were alive and well. There was a strong Grange, I.O.O.F./Rebekahs, and church presence with their smelt and community dinners, Lane County Fair displays, haunted houses, bible clubs, vacation bible schools, old-timers’ picnic and 4-H, Scouts and community clubs.
Then, things quieted down a lot—especially when we were told that the school would be closed. We seemed to lose much of our identity. Oh, we still had our yearly celebrations and the organizations kept a membership, but much of the vitality seemed to leave when the school, which had been our community’s hub, closed.
Now, I am seeing a new vitality. New groups are forming. The Grange, Rebekahs and, to an extent, the Lorane Deli are supplying much of the space needed for meetings and events. Once again, there is fresh new leadership that has taken on the job of creating interest, excitement and is promoting multi-generational involvement in our community.
The newest group, called “Birth to Beyond,” is only one example of the direction we are taking. It’s credo reads:
“We are a not-for-profit meet up to mentor and bring resources to the children and their guardian(s), parents and families. We seek to bring together circles of multigenerational interaction for play, conversation, encouragement and nourishment. We saw a need in our community and this is our solution. We come together to see the needs and connect resources to those needs. We now open the Grange doors on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or later. We create play spaces for children and playmates of ALL ages! From trains to sewing machines! Clothing exchanges and food boxes… We have recognized the need for a weekly meet-up to share space, time and support. We offer a chance to connect, sit, eat, play and enjoy being together.”
Their first meetings have appeared to be a success and I hope they continue. Contact Misty Burris or the Birth to Beyond Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/gatherandalign/ for more information.
I’d also like to comment on the trend our schools, including our Crow-Applegate-Lorane district schools, are taking these days. Instead of making each child feel they are failures in life if they choose or aren’t able to attend four years of college, the tendency is to once again provide some career education classes. These can be in the form of mechanics, welding, computer science, carpentry, business management, early childhood development, robotics, engineering and cooking, among others. These classes are vital in maintaining interest in education among all students—not just the ones heading for a 4-year college and huge student loan debt. More students are going to stay in school and feel confident that they can improve their lot in life. By doing so, we all benefit.