Public service Committee

This committee becomes aware of the public services available in the community that are provided by government, corporate, and volunteer agencies and work toward establishing additional services through volunteering.

Public Service Community Involvement: 2022

Lunch at Beaverdam Fishing Event

The Abingdon Ruritan Club provided lunch for all the young fisherman and their families at the Beaverdam Fishing Event.

The Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) hosted a youth fishing event on June 4, 2022 at Beaverdam Park in Gloucester. DWR provided loaner fishing rods and bait for the kids to use during the event – volunteers helped the kids fish. Also, each kid that attends the event received a new fishing rod, purchased via a grant from WalMart.

ARC Volunteers: Left to right Jhie Hale, Ann Dugas, Ann Yoder, Julianna Woolley, Dianne Woolley
Back ground: DWR officer,
ARC President Frank Gillerlain,
Front: John Snyder cooking
ARC volunteers with the DWR officers and K9 partner. Left to right;

Reality Store at Page Middle School

ARC Volunteers: L to R Betsy Tuttle, Dianne Woolley, Roger Dick

Abingdon Ruritan Volunteers participated at the Reality Store at Page Middle School through the Extension Agent, Family and Consumer Sciences Virginia Cooperative Extension of Gloucester County. During this hands-on experience students randomly have a hypothetical family situation.
Based on that information they make spending decisions for their household.
Reality Store is designed to:
• Give youth a glimpse of their future
• Help youth become aware of the need for basic skills of financial
planning, decision making, and goal setting
• Motivate youth to examine attitudes about their futures and careers
• Motivate youth to stay in school


3rd Grade Dictionary Project

3rd Grade assembly April 22, 2022

The entire third grade class at Achilles Elementary School gathered for an assembly on Friday, with each student receiving a dictionary from the Abingdon Ruritan Club as part of The Dictionary Project, an ongoing activity of many Ruritan clubs. The dictionaries are a gift for students to use at school and at home. “Educators see third grade as the dividing line between learning to read and reading to learn,” according to The Dictionary Project website. Students joined the Ruritans to receive their dictionaries, play dictionary games and discuss dictionary phrases. In addition to their dictionaries, the students have a chance to win a thesaurus and synonym and antonym book by writing a short essay explaining why they love their dictionary. The club’s Public Service Committee was instrumental in presenting the program.


Monthly Bingo Sanders Assisted Living

The Abingdon Ruritan plays Bingo monthly with the sharp bingo players at Sanders Assisted Living.  Bingo Ladies; standing June, Dottie, Colleen, Anna, Carolyn, and  Ann Yoder ARC volunteer. Sitting: Judy, and Marilyn.  April 2022


Abingdon Ruritan donates new bench to Woodville Park

The Abingdon Ruritan Club members collected more than 500 pounds of plastic refuse to earn a high-performance composite Trex bench. The bench found its home at Woodville Park in Hayes. Gregg Tonge, Parks Superintendent of Gloucester County Parks, Recreation & Tourism accepted the bench from the Ruritan Abingdon Club.

Abingdon Ruritan members who helped make it happen!
From left: Co-Chair Julianna Woolley, Chair Betsy Tuttle and Gloucester Parks Superintendent, Gregg Tonge
From left: Ann Dugas, Sid Dugas, Julianna Woolley


The Abingdon Ruritan Club again assisted the Gloucester County Schools PTA/PTO to support and improve their school communities.

The Gloucester Community Engagement Department had their workshop this last Thursday 2/17/22 at Botetourt Elementary with 21 participants. The Abingdon Ruritan Club provided a short dinner of subs for the occasion. Valerie Lewis, Senior Coordinator of Gloucester Community Engagement and Public Information said,” Thank you again for making the dinner happen. The subs were delicious…there wasn’t one left!”

We Work Together!

Volunteering at the Avalon Center

The Ruritan Social Development Committee responded to a request from The Avalon Center, to help prepare a new kitchen area at the emergency shelter. The Public Service Committee members worked together to help paint the area.

Kristen Lockridge, on the ladder along with Dianne Woolley were actively applying a fresh coat of paint to the walls.

Ruritan volunteers join Leslie Jingluski, the Community Engagement Coordinator of the Gloucester Avalon Center.

Pictured left to right: Roger Dick, Leslie Jingluski, Dianne Woolley, Kristen Lockridge and Mike Ekdhal. Photos by Dean Marzocca


ARC sells HOT DOGS at the Car and Truck Show for Shop With A Cop

The Middle Peninsula Classic Cruisers Car Club is sponsoring the Shop With a Cop Car and Truck Show being held in the Gloucester Walmart parking lot from 10 AM to 3 PM on 11/6/21. The ARC’s Public Service Committee will have a Hot Dog stand at the show. We will be selling hot dogs, a drink (Pepsi, Diet Pepsi or water) and chips. All proceeds will go to the Gloucester Sheriff’s Department Shop With a Cop Program.

Above: Kristen Lochridge and Mike Ekdahl working the hot dog stand.
Left: Kristen Lochridge, Betsy Tuttle, Mike Ekdahl and Bunny Ekdahl



All the letters and cards ( above), Regina Scott (left) delivered to Jaime McCartin, (right) at the Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic.

The ARC Public Service Committee participated in the Gloucester/Mathews 2021 Day of Caring on September 17th by giving card/notes of get well wishes to the Gloucester-Mathews Care Clinic. This was in conjunction with the United Way Day of Caring for the Gloucester area. The ARC members wrote cards with kind and encouraging thoughts and notes of inspiration for the patients. Jaime McCartin, Gloucester Mathews Care Clinic Administrative Assistant said, “Several patients have mentioned how wonderful they are to receive.”



Left to right Marilyn Olsen, Shirley Goodwin, Dottie Timken, Louise Cosby.
Standing ARC Betsy Tuttle and Ann Yoder.

The Abingdon Ruritan members play bingo once a month with the residents at Sanders assistant living. It’s a fun social experience! The residents are eager to play, they help each other, they share their prizes, they laugh, and they tell funny stories. The ladies call our bingo sessions “Super Bingo.” The players are well versed in the game. They always play with two cards and both cards must be winners. They love us being there and we love visiting. The Abingdon Ruritan supplies gifts for winning games. The prizes are useful, or needed, or just for fun.

Left to right: ARC Betsy Tuttle, Betty Guinn, Lorna Brink, and Ann Yoder



The Blue Jean Go Green projects is a current project collecting blue jeans from May 10th to July 31st. All denim collected through Cotton’s Blue Jeans Go Green™ program is recycled into insulation, and will be distributed to help communities in need.

Please donate your old blue jeans to be recycled into denim insulation by dropping them off (upstairs) at the Ruritan Club.

Mike Ekdahl mails two more boxes off that totals the demin collection to 115 lbs 3.1 oz July 27, 2021



The Trex®Company is proud to sponsor local recycling programs in communities throughout the country. The Public Service Committee and the Environmental Committee together has taken on a goal, for the club, to collect more than 500 pounds of plastic refuse in a six-month span (about 40,500 plastic bags). The goal will earn a high-performance composite bench to be donated to the Woodville Park of Gloucester County.


Ann Dugas has reported that members of the Ruritan Club have diligently collected and delivered 516.70 pounds. We did it!

Ann Dugas with the final delivery of plastic collected. Good job Ann!



Bethel Elementary School’s PE Teacher, Christina Deyoung, set things moving on creating a fun black top area for Bethel Elementary students. She’s planned painted areas for walking and counting, a designated basket ball area plus fun spots with hop scotch, math and shapes area. All she needed was volunteers to help, that’s where the ARC volunteers came to shine.

Volunteers back row: Roger Dick, Allen Scales, Regina Scott

Front row: Yvonne Scales, Betsy Tuttle, Ann Dugas

Allen Scales creating a curved line with Yvonne Scales supervising the process.

Roger Dick running a painted line with
Yvonne Scales and Ann Dugas


ARC Volunteers walk dogs at Gloucester County Animal Control and at The Gloucester Mathews Humane Society.

Regina Scott and David Simmons at Gloucester County Animal Control.
David Simmons is a weekly dog walker at The Gloucester Mathews Humane Society as well as Gloucester County Animal Control.

The ARC purchased outdoor chairs for the volunteer walkers to set and spend time with the dogs

Donation of chairs to Gloucester Animal Control
Gloucester County Animal Control Officers; Jackie Wilson, Stephen Baranek, & Jeff Stillman with volunteer dog walker, ARC Betsy Tuttle.
Gloucester Animal Control 6 chairs
Jeff Stillman, Jackie Wilson, & Stephen Baranek Gloucester Animal Control Officers receiving chairs for dog walkers.

paint project


Thanks to Barry Foskit, who is on the Public Service Committee, for coordinating the ARC members to paint an upstairs hallway at the Bena #2 Fire Station. Painters were Mike Ekdahl, Ann Dugas, Roger Dick and Lynn Onesty. Bunny Ekdahl was the lunch runner.

Bena Fire Station paint job 3-22-21
Mike, Ann, Lynn & Roger
Bena Fire Station paint job 3-22-21
Bena Fire Station paint job 3-22-21

1st responders


Thank you sweets were delivered to the Gloucester Sheriff’s office, 911 call center, Abingdon Fire and Rescue Department.

Regina Scott, Committee Chair said, “Our first responders were extremely appreciative of the overwhelming support of our Abingdon Ruritan Club members on our latest moral boosting event delivering home baked goodies for Valentine’s Day.”

Right: Regina Scott and Gloucester County Deputies.

Bottom: Regina Scott and Virginia Glass


Community Involvement

See the source image

FREE LITTLE LIBRARIES was a project Abingdon Ruritan Club built for Sulva Dow with Gloucester Community Engagement and Public Information. Little Free Library is a free book-sharing box where anyone may take a book or share a book. They function on the honor system. The Ruritan volunteers built and painted three for local elementary schools.

Ruritans back row: Dave Onesty, Bill Jordan, Allen Scales, David Kyle, Mike Ekhald. Front Sulva Dow and Betsy Tuttle


Helping the Boys and Girls Club

The Abingdon Ruritan Club painted the outside north wall of the Boys & Girls Club. This community project was organized and coordinated by Bunny Ekdahl, the club’s Public Services Committee Chair. The project involved scrapping off old paint, pressure washing and the actual painting. Club members participating in this project by determining what needed to be done, obtaining the paint and community support, preparing the wall by pressure washing, scraping and painting were, Bunny and Mike Ekdahl, Sid and Ann Dugas, Frank and Selena Colins, Glen Aycock, Mike Davis, Rick Taylor, Allen Scales, Doug Johnson, Tony Dziadul, Roy Snowden, Jimmy Leiffer and Roger Dick.

thank you

Thank You 1st Responders

30 dozen donuts to walter reed
Nurses, doctors, and other employees helped distribute the goodies.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the Abingdon Ruritan delivered 30 dozen donuts to Walter Reed Hospital at 5AM so that both shifts of all employees could enjoy the sweet Thank You for Your Service from ARC.


Community Engagement Parenting Classes

Community Engagement and Gloucester County Public Schools sponsored Parenting Workshops at Boutetot Elementary School. Babysetting was supplied by high school seniors. The ARC Public Service Committee delivered pizzas and bottled water. Our committee worked with Valerie Lewis the Community Engagement Coordinator of Bethel Elementary. Showing: Ann Yoder, Betsy Tuttle, Valerie Lewis and instructors; Elizabeth Gentry and Amy Hoerger

Public service 2019 Community Ed, Parent class

It was a huge success. There were four different classes throughout the school year on planned subjects.


New Dedicated Bench for Woodville Park

Pictured: Darwin, Scott, Sherry and Tracy Lanciano family. (Parents of the Lanciano Family donated the 100 acres of land that is now the Woodville park.) Also pictured are Carol Steele, Rick & Rose Taylor, Don Sandridge, Sarah Fary, Becky Slattery, Adam Taylor, David & Dottie Dea, Ann & Sid Dugas, Bunny & Mike Ekdahl, and Jesse Seeley.

The Abingdon Ruritan Club presented a bench to Woodville Park. The bench was a project of the Public Service Committee by chair, Bunny Ekdahl. Funds were raised by the sale of Clam Chowder by the Abingdon Ruritan Club and funds from the club’s Charitable Account.


Rudy Bear

Ruritan clubs have been donating stuffed “Rudy Bears” to first responders for over 30 years, to help them comfort traumatized children. These cuddly teddy bears are used as a tremendous comfort aide for small children that may be present or involved in an accident or emergency situation. The Public Service Committee donates Rudy Bears to our Gloucester Rescue and Fire Departments regularly.

trunk or treat 2

Our very own Rudy Bear. Mr Jimmy Hogge. He is not only the ARC’s mascot, but Rudy Bear is in the hearts of all the Gloucester Parks & Recreation STAR children.

The Abingdon Ruritan Club  received a plaque from the Gloucester County Parks and Recreation’s STAR program. (STAR stands for Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Attitude and Respect.)  The plaque was presented in recognition of the monetary support and the many volunteer hours provided over the years. It was the first ever such award given by the STAR program.  STAR is a recreationally based program for children with special needs.