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.
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.
Club members and volunteers have had a busy summer in our local community and beyond. Pictured below on the first row are Mike and Bunny Ekdahl, Lloyd and Brenda Nelson, and Janet and Bruce Parmeter; and on the second row: Rena McLaughlin, Betsy Tuttle, Ann Yoder, and Dave Simmons, who manned the phones for WHRO’s fund drive on August 24.
At our August Meeting, we honored one of our scholarship winners, Vivian Eccleston, who will receive a $4,000 scholarship to attend James Madison University to study Speech and Language Pathology. She is pictured with Don Sandridge, Chairman of the Club Scholarship Committee.
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. It’s never too early to plan for next year!
Gloucester County Sheriff Darryl Warren talked to the club at the August membership meeting about current and past scams. He offered helpful suggestions on how to avoid them, and he urged parents to be diligent in overseeing their childrens’ social media activity.
The club made two recent donations to help meet community needs.
* $350 to the Helping Hands Mission Camp, which was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Isabel. This week long mission camp for 6th to 12th graders is held each summer. With the assistance of adult mentors, the young people help less fortunate Gloucester residents with much needed home repairs at no cost to the homeowner. Pictured below are Linda Loase of Helping Hands, Club President Mary Lou Shepherd, Joan Shelton with Helping Hands, and Ann Yoder, club Public Services Committee co-chair.
- $500 to the Virginia Rules Camp, a week long camp led by the Gloucester Sheriff’s Department’s School Resource Officers, where 20-25 children get interactive instruction on Virginia laws, and an opportunity to build positive relationships with officers within the community.
News You Can Use:
Tickets for the Spring Seafood Festival will go on sale around the first of March 2020.
Our first Food Truck Frenzy is coming October 5th at 11 am to our Festival Grounds! Admission and parking are free! Bring the family for outdoor Fall Fun and food.
The next Red Cross Blood Drive will be held in our club house on November 26, 2019.
Note to Members: Remember to print off some Photo Release Forms to have on hand when photographing events(Scholarship Night, Christmas Party, etc.) that include minors. Without parental permission, we cannot share photos of minors in any media. The forms are posted in the Members Only section of this website.
Visit our Community Services Committees page to see photos and details about some of our most recent activities, or scroll down for a quick overview of some of our ongoing efforts.
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 $6000 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 for distribution to children in accidents or in vulnerable situations.
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.
Protecting the Environment – We participate in Gloucester County Clean Up and help plant Sea Grass to save shorelines from erosion.
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 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. Programs for monthly meetings are used to inform, train, and entertain our members.
Visit our Community Services Committees page to learn more.