By Pamela Smith
The Ararat Ruritan Club is beginning a new monthly column, and I would like to begin our monthly series by summarizing our year.
We came together in January with new, fresh ideas for fundraisers, only to be shut down, like most of the rest of the world, due to COVID-19. We have managed to stay strong, although we didn’t have any meetings nor fundraisers in the second quarter of the year.
While we were on ‘lock-down,’ we assisted our local students and their families by preparing bagged-breakfasts and lunches for pickup until the government and schools came up with a plan to provide for those at-risk while schools remained closed for in-classroom instruction. Our club made a monetary donation to the local back-pack program to help keep this assistance available, as well.
We placed flags on our veteran’s graves for Memorial Day.
When school was back in session, our club helped to make available supplies needed for in and out of classrooms, while students adjusted to dual learning locations.
As restrictions began to loosen a little, we met and decided to change up our annual fall BBQ. We sold our plates this year on a “To-Go” basis and did better than we have over the past few years.
We presented our annual scholarship to college bound 2020 PCHS graduate, Maranda Cox.
During our November meeting, we honored one of our long-time members with the highest award presented to a Ruritan. The family of Laz Smith was presented with the Tom Downing Award. Smith was a Ruritan for 36 years and served in many leadership roles for our club before his passing in 2015.
Moving along to the remainder of 2020, we have several events planned:
- Friday, November 27 @ 11am-2pm – FREE gift wrapping
- Thursday, December 3 @ 7:00 pm – Christmas Meeting w/covered dish meal
- Saturday, December 5 – $1,000 Cash Giveaway * Tickets still available
- Wednesday, December 9 @ 5pm-8pm – FREE gift wrapping
- Thursday, December 10 @ 6pm-9pm – Paint Class, The Grinch
- Saturday, December 12 @ 9am-1pm – Holiday Bazaar, featuring 12 local home-based businesses/crafters
- Saturday, December 19 @ 8am-11am – FREE gift wrapping
Our building is available for rental for your reunions, showers, birthday parties, or other get-togethers. To inquire on rental rates/availability, contact Kevin Smith @ 276-251-1790, email AraratRuritanClub@gmail.com, or find us on Facebook.
We are ready to hit the ground running in 2021 and are kicking around some exciting ideas for ‘outside the box’ fundraisers.
The Ararat Ruritan Club serves southwest Patrick County, Virginia with fellowship, goodwill and community service. Our purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make our community a better place in which to live and work.
Club membership represents a cross-section of our community and is not restrictive with regard to occupation, social position, or any other specific criteria. Our club surveys the needs of our community and then works to meet some of those needs: “Coming together is the beginning. Staying together is progress. Working together is success.”
Our club meets on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. You are invited to visit with us and help us help our community meet its needs.
(Smith serves as the club’s secretary)