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.
Gloucester Sheriff’s Department’s 911 Supervisor, Liz Simmons and 911 Assistant Supervisor, Cindy Callis, were the guest speakers at a recent membership meeting. They discussed requirements to become a 911 Operator, what happens when a 911 call is placed, and the department’s capability of receiving emergency texts when calls are not possible. The department received over 22,000 911 calls last year. Not only do the Operators serve as a lifeline for callers, but also for police, EMS and Firefighters.
To help our Community’s youth, at our May membership meeting, we made a donation to Baystars Soccer, and the Jamestown4-H Camp. At right, Club President Mary Lou presents a check to Field Shepherd for Baystars, and below she presents to Krista Guftason for 4-H.
Also in May, we donated to the Summer Vacation Bible School to be held at Union Baptist Church. Laura Turlington and Katrina Ramaglino (center) are shown with Social Development Chairman Mike Ekdahl and President Mary Lou.
News You Can Use: Our Fall Seafood Festival will take place on the 3rd Wednesday in October. Tickets will go on sale later this summer, around the first of August, and the exact date will be posted here. Thanks to everyone who has already asked to get tickets.
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.
As soon as they become available, College Scholarship Application Forms for the 2019-2020 school year will be posted on our Scholarship Opportunities Page. Rising Gloucester High School and Gloucester Home Schooled seniors are invited to review this year’s forms which are still posted, although the application deadline for 2019 scholarships has passed. It’s never too early to plan for next year!
The next Red Cross Blood Drive will be held in our club house on November 26, 2019.
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.