Social development committee

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Many helping hands!

The Social Development Committee knows that human resources are its most valuable assets, it is important that the community have facilities and service which will provide for the well being and development of all people, with special concern for those with unique needs.


Donations to the Gloucester Mathews Humane Society

Members of the Abingdon Ruritan Club collected dog and cat food / treats for the Gloucester Mathews Humane Society in October 2021. David Simmons, a Ruritan member delivered the needed food.


Donation to the Salvation

Chair Lynn Onesty, delivered donations from ARC members to the Salvation Army for families in need.


Helping the Community

The Social Development Committee has taken on a special project this summer doing yard work. Ruritan volunteers tidied up flower beds, did a little weeding and trimming, and ran a weed eater.

Picture on left is the before and the picture on the right is after the yard work was completed.

Thanks to all our volunteers: Jimmy Leiffer, David Onesty, Steve Brown, Andrea Crawford, Lynn Onesty
and new member Kristen Lochridge and her daughter.

Shown left to right: Front- Andrea Crawford & Lynn Onesty. Back- Steve Brown & Jimmy Leiffer



The Apple Tree Project assists in providing book bags and school supplies to foster children not only in Gloucester County, but also for the surrounding counties of Middlesex, Mathews, King and Queen, and King William.

Abingdon Ruritan members; Rick Helton (Gloucester Walmart Mgr.) and
Mitch Dunston with 19 book bags to donate.

This project supports children in foster care, as well as their foster parents in preparing children for the upcoming school year. It provides excitement for children who may be experiencing anxiety regarding the upcoming school year due to their placement in foster care or the possibility of children starting in a new and unfamiliar school. Receiving these school supplies helps children feel more confident and prepared to take on the school year, especially this school year, as children are transitioning back into the school environment after a year of completing virtual school due to COVID-19.


Gloucester Walmart hosted the CHKD Car Show that the Middle Peninsula Classic Cruisers Car Club coordinated. Great turn out; there was two food trucks and 27 vendors. The show raised over $5000.00 for the CHKD.

Raffle Booth for all donations from the community.

ARC Dick Beasley pulled his own ticket for the 65″ TV. He donated it back to be raffled a second time.

The following members and friends supported or helped out at the CHKD Car Show: Mitch Dunstan, Liz Onesty, Lynn Onesty, Wade Bunn, Josie Lankford, Bunny Ekdahl, Mike Ekdahl, Bob Stifel, Eva Tillage, Don Sciria, Barbara Priest, Walter Priest, Gary Bergtholdt, Janet Kyle, Dave Kyle, William Jordan, David Onesty, Andrea Crawford, Ron Bruce, Rose Taylor, Dick Beasley, Betsy Tuttle, Gene Medkiff, Rick Helton, and Debra Jolly.

The 1970 Ford F600 Dump Truck belongs to Mitch Dunstan.
1966 Mustang belongs to Mike Ekdahl.
1970 Chevy Chevelle SS belongs to Lynn Jolly.


Corvette Show

Three Corvette Clubs (Colonial Corvette, Gloucester-Mathews Corvette and Northern Neck Corvette Clubs) showed Corvettes of all ages at the Abingdon Ruritan Corvette Show – June 13th.

Collected during the show was monetary donations and non-perishable food or toiletry item to benefit county residents.

Corvettes for the Hungry food drive estimates 300-400 lbs and over $1200 raised.


Just because you have to stay indoors, doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun! That’s the motto of the Social Development Committee for the seniors who are stuck inside. ARC members and volunteers collected books, puzzles, games, and goodies for Jane Wenner, of the Gloucester County Emergency Management team, to distribute to local seniors.

Wade Bunn & Josie Langford delivered the items ARC donated for the seniors to Jane Wenner with Gloucester County Emergency Management. 


Community Involvement

As a community effort, the Ruritans worked with Helping the Homeless Ministry with Pastor Wendy to feed the needy. Ruritans picked blue berries, broccoli, kale, lettuce and beets from local farms. Local farmers donated all the goods, “They let us pick all we wanted so that we could donate them to Pastor Wendy’s organization to feed the homeless,” said Social Development Committee Chair, Lynn Onesty. Volunteers are Lynn Onesty, John Snyder, Rose Taylor and Diane Keller not shown.

Volunteers are (left to right) Rose Taylor, Sandra Hogge, Roger Dick,Josey Langford, and Lynn Onesty kneeling.

2020 Social Development Highlights

• Children’s Christmas Party 2019
• Assist with Meals on Wheels Delivery
• Volunteers to WHRO for Telethon Fundraisers
• Clam Chowder Sale to benefit local Boy Scout Troops
• Project with Habitat to Rebuild a roof & porch
• Collecting and distributing food to local churches
•Volunteered to assist cooking meals for the homeless at local churches
• Collecting food, books, puzzles for shut-ins
• Collecting masks and various supplies for students
• Volunteers picked garden vegetables and blueberry pickin’ to help feed the homeless
• Corvettes for the Hungry event collected food for distribution to a local food pantry

Volunteers Make WHRO Possible

Ruritans answering telephone calls from viewers pledging support to TV station WHRO during the station’s fund raising program.

Seated front row, left to right: Bill Jordan, Mike Ekdahl, Bunny Ekdahl,
Josie Lankford, Wade Bunn,. Back row: Don Sciria, and wife Poksun,
Dave Onesty and Lynn Onesty.


Food Donations from the Corvette’s for the Hungry Event

Abingdon Ruritans gathered a wealth of groceries for Gloucester County Emergency Management and raised $1,300 for their own charitable efforts with a Corvettes for the Hungry car show, food drive, and fundraiser, held at the clubhouse on Guinea Road in Bena. Thirty-four Corvettes showed up, belonging to members of the Colonial Corvette Club and the Gloucester-Mathews Corvette Club.

Food Donations from the Corvette’s for the Hungry Event. Shown is Pete Shepherd and Lynn Onesty

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Gloucester Point Beach Gazebo Clean Up

Gloucester Point Beach Clean -up:

Bunny and Mike Ekdahl, Don Sandridge and Charlie Lewis.  participated in this project.

The team power washed the Gazebo and the long ramp and railings that lead from the parking lot to the Gazebo.


Christmas is Still On!

Each year we put on a Christmas Party for the local children featuring Santa and Rudy Bear with a cake walk and gifts along with crafts and games, serving cookies, ice cream and punch for the guests. With COVID this year we could not hold this party, so we found local organizations that would be able to distribute the toys we had collected to the community. Pictured here is Mike Ekdahl and Lynn Onesty delivering toys, with Gary Ripple from the Boys and Girls Club of Gloucester. Bunny Ekdahl taking the picture.


Share the Warmth

The Abingdon Ruritan Club’s Social Development Committee, chaired by Mike Ekdahl, partnered with the Gloucester Salvation Army to collect and donate gently used coats to the Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg.  Bill Parks coordinated the Salvation Army’s effort. A total of 92 coats were donated with 43 coming from the Ruritan Club and 49 from the Salvation Army.

Pictured from left are Foster, Sirmans, Evans and Ekdahl.