Citizenship and Patriotism

The primary purpose of this committee is to foster love of our
country and pride in being a citizen by promoting activities and
philosophies which enable each of us to become more aware
of our unique rights and responsibilities which are ours because
we are Americans. The areas for consideration should include:
Community Pride, Holiday Observation, Voter Registration, Armed Forces, Veterans Day, Flag Display.

Helping Others

Dr. David C. Workman, Commander, American Legion Post 75 was presented three donation checks, $1150.00 by the Abingdon Ruritan Club Citizens and Patriotism Committee, Chairman John Atherton on April 19, 2024. American Legion Post 75 sponsors three youth groups comprised of 39 Juniors in Gloucester High School. They participate in Girls State, Boys State and Youth Cadet Law Enforcement Program. The Abingdon Ruritan is proud to help sponsor the youth of Gloucester.

Supporting Our Youths

At the August Abingdon Ruritan Club Membership meeting Logan Garwood made a presentation to the members regarding his Eagle Scout badge project. Logan belongs to Boy Scout troop 111 and is interested in constructing a firepit on our grounds to be used as a place to retire American flags. The membership present unanimously approved the proposal. Photo above of his work and his assistant, Jimmy Leifer.

Part of the Eagle badge program is to organize the work crew, procure materials and finally get the project completed as proposed. Pictured above is the work crew admiring the completed project. From left to right Chuck Garwood, Jimmy Leiffer Logan Garwood, David Collawn, Brody Sanford, Karl Dean, and Jeremy Sanford. Not pictured is Joe Hutchins.


Understanding Our Founding Documents

The speaker for the Abingdon Ruritan Club July 10th Membership Meeting was Gary Porter, Founder & Executive Director of the Constitution Leadership Initiative, Inc. (CLI) shown in the picture. 

His topic was “Five Words or Phrases in Our Founding Documents You Should Understand.”  It was both informative and easy to understand.  He was introduced by Mary Lou Privott, the Club Programs Chair.


13 Folds Flag Ceremony

During our June membership meeting, a flag folding ceremony demonstrated and explained the significance of the 13 folds of the flag



On May 25, 2023 the Abingdon Ruritan Club teamed up with Boy Scout Troop 133 to  retire US Flags from our Community that have passed their useful and dignified age. Many flags were ripped, torn, faded and partially destroyed. Collection efforts have been underway for the past 6 months. Jeannie Pendergraft Chair of the Citizenship and Patriotism spearheaded the collection efforts. A ceremony was conducted by the Scouts and ended with the flags consumed in flames.

Pictured in the photo from left to right: SandraHogge, Dianne Woolley, Julianna Woolley, Sandra Leiffer, Donna Marzocca, Sid Dugas, Don Sciria, Roger Dick, Jeannie Pendergraft, Jimmy Leiffer, John Pendergraft, Tony Dziadul, Mark Bradford, Jhie Hale, John Snyder. Many of the pictured members are current and retired Military.



On May, 15, 2023 The Abingdon Ruritan Club completed a project initiated by the Citizenship and Patriotism Committee to place a copy of the United States Constitution into the hands of the Gloucester High School Students, 8th grade middle school United States History students and the NJROTC.  This document fits in a pocket and includes the Constitution, the Amendments and the Declaration of Independence. 

Pictured left to right: Katie Litton, Dianne Carter-deMayo, Danny Speight, Jeannie Pendergraft, Alexis Cruz and John Pendergraft.

Our club would like to thank Katie Litton, K-12 Science & Social Studies Academic Support and Remote Learning Program Administrator for Gloucester County Public Schools.  With Katie’s help we were able to deliver almost 800 copies of this sacred document to Gloucester High School, NJROTC and Paige and Peasley Middle Schools.


Pocket United States Constitution for

Boy Scout Troop 133

The Abingdon Ruritan Club paid a visit to Boy Scout Troop 133 on Monday, April 17, 2023.  Jeannie Pendergraft Chair of Citizenship and Patriotism, presented Pocket United States Constitutions, donated by the Abingdon Ruritan Club, to each scout.

Pictured: Front- Jackson Didlake, Levi, Codekas, Parker Joyce, Oliver Farmer, Brayden Hogge. Middle- Odin Talbot, Lucas McMillan, Carson Curtis, Austin Prater, Carter McMillan. Back- Jeannie Pendergraft, Cliff Pinder, Mathew McMillan, Drake Hall, Kevin Farmer.

Giving back to our Community:

At the April 2023 monthly meeting the Abingdon Ruritan Club presented a donation to our local American Legion post. Adjutant Rick Ward, American Legion Auxiliary Unit 75, Gloucester, Virginia, accepted donations for Girls State, Boys State, and Youth Law Enforcement programs.

Presenting the checks to Rick Ward is ARC President Tony Dziadul.


Remembering Four Chaplains:

On Saturday, February 4, 2023, Abingdon Ruritan members joined the Four Chaplains Service that was hosted by the Local American Legion Post 75 and held at the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 6470 Main St. Gloucester VA, 23061.

Pictured from left to right, Abingdon Ruritan Club – “ARC” member Mike Ekdahl, ARC V.P. Wanda Sprouse, Chaplain Robert Berry, Ruritan National Past President Danny Privott, ARC Secretary Dianne Woolley, Chaplain Eric Scott, ARC Past President Mary Lou Shepherd, ARC members Julianna Woolley and Don Sciria, Chaplain Jon Sawyer, ARC member John Pendergraft, Chaplain John Seltzer and ARC member Sandra Hogge.

This Service marked the 80th Anniversary of the heroic actions of the 4 Chaplains aboard the USAT Dorchester sunk in the North Atlantic by German U-Boat U-223 on Feb. 3rd, 1943. Of the 902 men aboard, 672 died. Four Chaplains sacrificed their lives so others could live. The four Chaplains were Alexander D. Goode, George L. Fox, Clark V. Poling and John P. Washington. Representing these four Chaplains at the 80th Anniversary service were, Chaplain Robert Berry, Chaplain Eric Scott, Chaplain Jon Sawyer and Chaplain John Seltzer.