Welcome to our Abingdon Ruritan Club web site, where we invite you to get to know us by browsing our pages. Our club is located in the Bena area of Gloucester County, in coastal Virginia,
Ruritan National President-Elect, Linward Hedgspeth (pictured far left), installed the newly elected 2020 Officers and Directors for the Abingdon Ruritan Club at its December meeting. Pictured next to Hedgspeth (l to r): Vice President David Onesty, Secretary Diane Woolley, Treasurer Ann Dugas, Director David Kyle, President Jimmy Leiffer and Director Mary Lou Shepherd.
Our club is vibrant, vigorous, and robust! Members, both men and women, work together to continue the vision of our founders by working to better our community.
Ruritan National does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, national origin, religion, color, political affiliation, handicap, or gender.
Membership in a Ruritan Club is by invitation. We welcome anyone who is interested in working and giving time to our community projects to let us know of your interest. We meet monthly for dinner and a program. Our programs showcase organizations that our local club supports as well as topics of interest in our community. Programs for monthly meetings are used to inform, train, and entertain our members.
At our February meeting, Carol Steele, Assistant County Administrator, spoke about the County’s need for broad band coverage in unserved portions of the County. Currently, Cox Communications is the only provider of broadband services, but it is only available to about 15% of the county’s population. The Board of Supervisors has committed to eventually having coverage available to 90-95% coverage and has established a fund and applied for several grants to aid in this endeavor.
The Club’s Clam Chowder sale on Saturday, Feb 2, was a huge success, thanks to many customers who bought our famous chowder. Club member Walter Priest led the event, whose proceeds of approximately $1200 will go to our local Cub Scout Pack 133. Several of the Club’s members and Pack leaders helped with making the event successful. Pictured below, Club member Walter Priest (left) assists James Wilson, Cubmaster, dipping chowder to sell.
Also on February 1, the Club’s Citizenship and Patriotism Committee participated in the 77th anniversary of the Four Chaplains Service held at American Legion Post 75 in Gloucester. Attending were Frank Collins, Mike Ekdahl, Mary Lou Shepherd, Allen Scales, Yvonne Scales, Janet Kyle, Julie Woolley, Rollin Woolley, Dianne Woolley, Lynn Onesty, ARC Vice President David Onesty, Citizenship and Patriotism Chair Don Sciria, and Selena Collins.
At our January meeting, the Club was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by the Gloucester Department of Social Services for the Club’s commitment to serve foster youth through the Apple Tree and Angel Tree projects. Pictured below from left to right are: Family Services Supervisor, Patricia Berg; Assistant Director, Jackie Morande; Club members, Lynn Onesty and Mitch Dunston.
News You Can Use:
* Tickets for the Spring Seafood Festival will go on sale March 7, 2020, and will be available they are all sold OR until May 2 at midnight.
* Our next Clam Chowder Sale will be held on March 7, 2020, beginning at 9 AM and continuing until it is all sold. Why not stop by and get your chowder and Seafood Festival Tickets at the same time?
* Our Second Food Truck Frenzy will be held at our Festival Grounds on April 25 from 11 AM to 4 PM.
* College Scholarship Application Forms for the 2019-2020 school year are posted on our Scholarship Opportunities Page. Rising Gloucester High School and Gloucester Home Schooled seniors are invited to apply.
Here’s just a sample of what we do:
Spring and Fall Seafood Festivals – We give back to the community over $60,000 each year.
Clam Chowder Sales – Offered in winter months with profits going back to the community.
College Scholarships – The Club awards thousands of dollars in renewable Scholarships each year.
Gloucester Schools – We support Ruriteens, Boys and Girls State, Junior Law Cadets, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, Little League Baseball, the STAR program, and the back-pack program.
Rudy Bears – Bears are given to the Sheriff’s Office, Fire & Rescue, and Nursing Homes for distribution to children in accidents or in vulnerable situations, or to adults who need comfort.
Support Veterans – We participate with Veterans groups and Gloucester County on Memorial and Veterans’ Days and deliver care packages to VA Hospitals.
Support for the Homeless – Our Club participates with Community Churches in the GUEST program by providing meals and hands-on assistance for homeless individuals.
Christmas for Kids – Every December we host a party for all children, ages 8 and under, followed by a special party for Foster Kids of all ages. Santa and Mrs. Claus preside over both parties with lots of food, entertainment, fun, and presents. We also sponsor an Angel Tree for needy children with their personal “wishes” including clothes and shoes by size.
Benevolence – A fund is set up to help Gloucester citizens with special financial needs.
Special Emphasis – We work closely with our local Sheriff’s Office; provide our facilities for Blood Drives and local, state, and national elections; promote and provide a team for Relay for Life; and participate annually with the Guinea Jubilee. We collect and deliver food to local churches to stock their food pantries, participate in Meals on Wheels, and donate pet food to the Humane Society.
Teamwork – We care for the environment by participating in Clean Gloucester Days and by picking up roadside and shoreline trash, and we have helped grass for erosion control. We send cards and visit members who are sick and honor those with birthdays and anniversaries. All members share in cooking meals for monthly meetings, as well as working the Seafood Festivals to set up, advertise, sell tickets, cook, serve, and clean up. Members also maintain and repair ARC buildings and grounds.
Visit our Community Services Committees page to learn more.