HANOVER RURITAN CLUB

 


History

History of Hanover Ruritan Club

After an organizational meeting in March, 1936, the Ruritan club of Henry District was organized on the third Tuesday of May, 1936, and the third Tuesday remains our meeting date.  The club was sponsored by the Varina Club.  Mr T.V. Downing, Supervisor of Vocational Agriculture for Eastern Virginia was instrumental in getting the club organized.

Those active in securing members, the initial charter, and the preparation of by-laws were J. Walton Hall, W.R. Shelton, E.P. Reece, J.M. Ruffin, Jr., P.E. Rawls, Mercer O. Clarke, I.K. Redd, John E. Mann, R.A. Craig, F.B. Bradley, and E.P. Simpkins, Jr.

 

The initial dues were $8.00 per year.  Meetings alternated at Atlee High School and Battlefield High School.  The PTAs would serve the meals.  Members were drawn from Hanover and King William counties.

The charter was presented  by Grayson F. Holt, President of Ruritan National, to P.E. Rawls, the first President.  The original charter is on display with the identities of the original charter members.  On May 16, 1939, the club changed its name to the Hanover Ruritan Club.

The presidents and significant events of record during the years 1936-1969 were:

1936   P.E. Rawls

1937   W.O. Clarke

1938   J.S. Cogle – King William sponsored

1939   W.B. Newton – Bus service to Richmond started

1940   E.C. Thomas

1941   Dr. V.E. Jernigan

1942   Dr. C.E. Myers – Old Church to Richmond bus service started

1943   The Rev. R.K. McDonald

1944   T.E. West, Jr.

1945   H.C. Bently

1946   E. Ray Winters

1947   J.N. Wright

1948   L.O. Spiers – Club began auction sales, Dr. C.E. Myers served as National President

1949   E.P. Simpkins, Jr.

1950   Paul Swasey

1951   Ed Lowery

1952   C.D. Mayer

1953   B.W. Sadler – Started student loan fund and sponsored carnival

1954   G.H. Burrough

1955   S.E. Thompson – Sponsored Court House Club

1956   P.S. Holt – C.D. Myer elected District Governor

1957   E.V. Coville

1958   J.S. Burnette

1959   J.A. Winters (Son of J.A. Winters) – Began Easter flower sale

1960   Ed Garrison

1961   T. Ellis Kirby

1962   J.B. McGhee, Jr. – Won District Community Service Award

1963   T. Graham Copeland, Jr.

1964   R.R. Jeter, Jr

1965   R.F Jett

1966   W. Grant Thomas – Sponsored Cold Harbor Club

1967   Fred Doggett

1968   Curtis Pilson

1969   Sam B. Blankenship


 

We entered 1970 under the leadership of Gordon Johnson, followed by Roger Mitchell (1971), Gilbert Faison (1972), and Gene Armstrong (1973).  We are changing are projects to meet the needs of the community that we serve.  The Easter flower sale was discontinued; the April Auction was changed to a sponsored Flea Market in April and September and solicitations for other charities were discontinued as results did not justify the manpower used.

In 1974, under President Bernard Chudoba, the club purchased a boat for the rescue squad.  Hugh Lipscomb (1975) led us as we purchased a public address system for the Lee Davis High School cafeteria, financially and materially assisted a burned out family, and financially assisted in the chartering of a Boy Scout troop at Hanover Learning Center.

In the nation’s bicentennial year, C.E. Jones, Jr. was President.  We erected a flag pole at the west end of Mechanicsville.  Our Congressman secured a flag for this pole which was flown over the capital on April 15, 1976.  Ruritan National recognized this effort.  We purchased and donated five rebuilt washers to the Barrett Learning Center and contributed $500 to the acquisition of the Mechanicsville Little League permanent site. 

In 1977, under James N. Wright, Jr. son of J. Neal Wright (1947), we again moved to better serve the community.  We established a $500 emergency fund which could be used by the Board of Directors for disaster type emergencies.  Under the regular procedures, we found that the need was past by the next regular club meeting.

1978 was a year of growth under Albert D. “Jack” Cale.  We gave $300 as a matching contribution for tennis courts and $100 to the Choral Group (both at Lee Davis).  The Mechanicsville Volunteer Fire Department lost a pumper in an accident and we gave $1000 towards the replacement.  The Transportation committee conducted a survey to determine the need for a fringe area parking lot and express bus service.  The project continued into the next year with an 108 space parking lot being dedicated by Vice-President Buddy Evans on September 24, 1979.  Unfortunately, the express bus service was abandoned after a trial period but the lot has substantial use.

We honored Patrick Henry with the erection of a sculptured aluminum plaque at Hanover Court House in 1979.  T. Lynch Hubbard was our President.

We enhanced the visibility of the members in 1980 when each member purchased a distinctive Ruritan hat.  Robert G. Evans, DDS, was President.  During the seventies, the club and individual members and families were active in sponsoring the AFS International Exchange program at Lee Davis.  With support, the program was self-supporting by the end of the seventies.  We had a very profitable Christmas tree sale in 1980.

In 1981, under John A. Rawls, MD (son of P.E. Rawls, 1936), we continued our public projects and celebrated our 45th anniversary.  At our dinner meeting on May 19, 1981, Grayson Holt, a past President of Ruritan National, who presented the charter in 1936, was present as was Tom Downing, Secretary Emeritus of Ruritan National (who was instrumental in chartering our club).  Both gave short talks.  The wives of members were invited.  Frank Ellsworth died this year.

President Pete Minter had a slow start in 1982.  Snow caused the cancellation of both the board and club meetings in January.  We came back in February to hear Ms. Fran Freimark, director of Pamunkey Regional Library present a program which included models of the proposed and authorized Mechanicsville Library.  A spontaneous passing of the hat raised $102.50 for equipment for the building, which was later supplemented with $500 from the club.  The Public Service Committee proposed a project to construct the circulation desk for the library.  The estimate cost of this project was $5000 to the county.  The club adopted the project and the county accepted our offer to build it.  Plans were studied and material priced for ordering. 

In 1983, the circulation desk materials were ordered and three members of the Public Service Committee erected the 31 foot long semi-circular desk with the expenditure of $760 and 200 hours of work.  While this project was completed under Tommy Johnson’s term as President, the club received no awards at any level.  It was featured in the Ruritan National magazine and the Library Journal.  After much study, on July 19, 1983, the club authorized the purchase of ten to fifteen acres of land for a club house.

President Sonny Crump led us through 1984 with the Board of Directors commitment to contribute $500 per year to our Student Loan Fund.  We received a use permit for our proposed land purchase which became a reality in December, 1984.  This year marked the passing of O.O. Alexander and Garnett Brooks.

In 1985, land was cleared for a club house and a building fund was started.  Lloyd Bromley was President.  Mindful of our objectives of public servic, we gave $5925 for these purposes, including $2000 to our Student Loan Fund.  For many year, our contributions in this area have averaged more than $5000 per year.  This year marked the deaths of Douglas L. “Sonny” Crump, W. Grant Thomas, and Willie Tyree.

Having previously authorized incorporation of the Club, the members approved a charter on April 15, 1986 and the State Corporation Commission granted articles of incorporation on April 17, 1986.    Thus we entered our second fifty years in corporate form.  President Bill Collins led us through 1986 and we celebrated our 50th anniversary.  At our dinner meeting on May 19, 1986, Grayson Holt, Charter Patron,  and David Freshly (National Ruritan President) were presented as honored guests.  Mills Godwin, former Governor of Virginia, gave the keynote address.  Wives of the club members were in attendance.  William Crowe died this year.

Our President in 1987 was Robert L. Wood, who continued to work very hard to promote Committee Service through Ruritan activities.  Our fund raising activities still consisted of our annual Christmas tree sale and the Spring and Fall flea markets.  Sheriff John B. Vaughan, C.W. Liggan, Bill Tinsley and Phils S. Holt died this year.

During President Grayson Balderson’s term, Hanover and Cold Harbor agreed to jointly build a structure on Ruritan land.  Robert Porter died this year, 1988

In 1989, under President Charles Faris and through members efforts, we increased our membership by seven.  Christmas tree sale project netted $7631.   Continued use of “Why I Love America” essay contest was beneficial to the schools involved.  Lester Belter died this year.

The year 1990 under George A. Williams, several of our members participated in the Hugo Rescue Mission.  Our community service committees were extremely active during the year, resulting in three awards at the Chesapeake District Convention in Williamsburg, December 1, 1990.  We continued to focus on Drug Abuse with the DARE program.  This year marked the passing of Sam Cowen, Charles Faris, Stanley Gaulding, W. Granville Stewart and John L. Zelinsky.

In 1991, Bill Beck served as President.  The club celebrated its 55th anniversary with an open house on the date of our charter, May 19th.  Distinquished guests were National Ruritan President, District Governor, Lt Governor, Zone I Governor, and the Presidents of Zone I Ruritan Clubs.  John Mann was honored at our regular meeting night as our living charter member still active in the Club.

The presidency of George T. Williams saw the presentation of “Rudy Bears” to the East Hanover Rescue Squad, the service of Cleveland Bosher as interim Secretary replacing Robert Bunting, and a St Patrick’s Day/Ladies Night with 74 members and 64 guests in attendance.  The Spring Flea Market had 124 spaces sold and netted over $3000.  Ruritan Park and building plans for the park were subjects of discussion, but no action.  Members Tom Bourne and Claude Brooks died this year.

Cleveland Bosher was our leader in 1993.  Excessive rain forced cancellation of the spring Flea Market and Highway Cleanup but the sun was shining on the  Chesapeake District Picnic at our Ruritan Park in May.  Meals were $5.50 and yearly dues were $72.00.  A Fall “Dove Shoot” was proposed to replace revenue by the Flea Market washout.  The idea was dropped since our liability insurance would not cover it.  Club was awarded 2nd place plaque for our Human Development program.

M. Gordon Johnson served as President for the second time in 1994.  During that year the Ruritan Park property was paid off, membership went to 101, Christmas Tree sales collected $6800 and Bob Jeter was honored as Ruritan of the Year.  It was also the year that we first sponsored the Hospitality Room at the District Convention.  The Club received the Governor’s Achievement Gold Award, received 1st place at the district level for our Environment Committee, and received awards at the zone level (1st place, Business and Professions; 2nd place, Human Development).

The quarterly roll call was adopted in 1995 under President Bob Jewell.  During this year, the committee for Preservation of Club Records was formed and plans were presented for a 6000 square foot building at the Ruritan Park (with estimated costs at the time of $230,000).   We could not reached consensus with the Cold Harbor club on the building as they indicated it would be 10 years before they could afford to pay their share of the cost.  Grayson Balderson was recognized for the job that his group had done with the park pavilion.  The Club received a $1000 bequest from the estate of Claude Brooks, which was put in the Building Fund.  This year marked the passing of B.J. Holt and John Mann (Charter Member and the Club’s 1st  Treasurer).

Bill Beck returned for second term as our President in 1996.  The Club year started on a cool note as snow forced the cancellation of the 1st Board Meeting.   The Spring Flea Market had 125 spaces sold and cleared $2300.  George and Phylis Williams were presented the Community Service Award at the Ladies Night.  Senator Bill Bolling was guest speaker at one of our meetings, and Christmas Tree sale profits hit $7000.  The Mechanicsville Ruritan Club was given permission to erect a storage building at Hanover/Cold Harbor Ruritan Park. This year marked the death of Alonzo Jones on January 6th

Bob Wildbore filled the Presidents seat in 1997.  During his term, extensive negotiations took place with the Cold Harbor Club regarding development of the Ruritan Park.   No agreement could be reached or solution found.  Our club voted to join with Colonial Farm Credit in a Scholarship Award Program.  In this year (by secret ballot), the club voted to study feasibility of moving the Flea Market location from Battlefield School to Ruritan Park.  Annual dues were $84.00 per year.

 Mike Chenault was President in 1998.  This year marked a significant change to the club.  Members voted in favor of a “declaration of intent” to admit women members “if they applied”.  Earlier in the year, the Club helped sponsor Agriculture Day for 1200 3rd Grade students and commended Bernard Armentrout and crew for improvements to the parking and drainage at Ruritan Park and commended Gene Armstrong for improvements to the lights.

 In 1999, Grayson Balderson came back for another term as President.  We had 111 members on the roster at the start of the year and 9 new members were initiated at the February meeting.  The Golden Key Membership recruitment program was instituted by Ruritan National and a new Membership Directory (with pictures) was introduced by Scott Gardner.  Hanover Ruritan Club went “cyber” with a new Web Page set up by Pat Balderson.  A $1000 donation to the Red Cross was earmarked for Hurricane Floyd Disaster Relief.    Thirty-six members received Perfect Attendance pins (6 members had over 25 years of consecutive perfect attendance).  Concern was raised with the declining vendor participation in our Flea Markets.  “Smokey” West, a 40 year member, passed away and a donation was made to Ruritan National Foundation in his memory.

David Edmondson led us through 2000 as the century and Hanover Ruritan Club’s 64th year ended.  Our new Secretary was Pat Balderson.  Member concerns were raised on such things as “what to do with the Building Fund?” and “how to breath new life into some declining fund raisers?”  In the meantime, $2500 was allocated to paint the pavilion at the park.  Charles Moorehead offered to donate monies to erect a flag pole at the Ruritan Park.  Forty-three members got Perfect Attendance Pins (representing 438 total years).  Clarence Hughes and Wellford Tate each sold over 200 Steak Feast Tickets (225 and 221 respectively).  There are now 14 Ruritan Clubs in Hanover.   Grayson Balderson served as Zone Governor, and Gordon Johnson served as Lt. Zone Governor.  Annual dues were $100.00

Hanover Ruritan Club entered the 21st Century under the leadership of Stephen Lambert.   The first financial report of the year disclosed a profit of $8,600 from our year 2000 Christmas Tree Sales.   This amount was later augmented by $9,500 from our Steak Feast and $2,400 from our Flea Markets.   A 6ft x 3ft banner bearing “Ruritan National” and “Hanover Ruritan Club” for display at major events.   Member Charles Moorehead upped his donation for Ruritan Park flagpoles to $3,000.  His offer was made in memory of Al Randall.   Fifty members, representing 488 years total,  received perfect attendance pins.   On May 15th, Hanover Ruritan Club celebrated its 65th Anniversary with a party at Walnut Grove Baptist Church.  Members and guests totaled 215.   Among attendees were National President Betty Chaney, National Director Laura Northstein, District Governor Elliott Hogge, and District Lt Governor Charlie Bell.  Also in attendance was Julia May Mann, sole remaining widow of a charter member.   Both Pres. Chaney and Gov Hogge spoke, congratulating our club and Mrs Chaney presented a certificate honoring our 65 years of service.  John Rawls, son of our first president, gave a brief synopsis of Hanover Ruritan history.   Membership having outgrown our meeting space, it was decided that effective January 2002 all of our meetings would be held at Walnut Grove Baptist Church with 6:30  as year-round starting time.

The first meeting of 2002 found Sid Borkey at the helm..but not for long.   At February’s meeting, he announced that he was moving from the area and could no longer server.  Cleveland Bosher, Chmn. Nominating Committee, presented their recommendation that Kirby Porter move up to President and that Cole Tucker become new VP.    Seventy one members (of 112) worked 556 hours to give us a profit of $8,138 on Christmas Tree Sales in 2001.   Our Club also netted $1,012 from Ad sales in the District Convention Program, $2,739 from the Flea Markets, and $10,415 from the Steak Feast.   The long-awaited flag poles were installed at the Ruritan Park in February, following which Hanover and Cold Harbor Ruritan Clubs each pledged $500 for construction of a landscaped area surrounding them.   Also, at the County Health Department’s behest, the outdoor cooking area at the Ruritan Park was covered.  Another upgrade at the Park was the purchase of a new shed to replace the old truck body storage space.   And to the delight of all concerned, the monthly meeting “sign-in” attendance register at the door replaced the time consuming roll call.

The Hanover Ruritan Club entered the year 2003 with 113 members on the roll under the leadership of President Cole Tucker.   Also serving were Rick Doggett, VP, Pat Balderson, Sec, and Pete Rawls, Treasurer with Nelson Pruden, Fred Doggett, and Bob Carter as Directors.   Our 2002 Christmas Tree Sale project netted $7,001, Spring Flea Market added $753, and Fall Flea Market kicked in $622.   Much time was spent by Officers and Board Members discussing rejuvenation or replacement of fund-raising projects to increase revenue.   To this end, Dr. John Rawls was named to head a committee to investigate and recommend new projects.   As part of a National program, our Club voted to contribute $1 per member to the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia.   Our club was diminished by the deaths of two outstanding members during the year.  In June, Fred E. Doggett, a 42 year member with 42 years perfect attendance, passed away.   Fred had served on almost every committee, was President in 1967, received the Community Service Award in 1968 and was a member of the current Board of Directors.  In September, Scott Gardner, active in the publication of our Newsletter and Editor of the Yearbook passed following a long illness.  Roger Mitchell was named to complete Fred’s unexpired term on the Board.   Perfect Attendance was awarded to 56 members, representing 476 years perfect attendance.

The destiny of the Club in 2004 lay in the capable hands for Rick Doggett, with an opening membership of 115 members.   Christmas Tree Sales for the 2003 funded our endeavors by $5,600 and involved 696 hours of service.   The Spring Flea Market saw 77 vendor spots sold and an income of $1,100 in spot sales.  Our traditional fund-raiser Steak Feast was expanded to a Steak N Race with the addition of lawn-mower races and children’s attractions.  This proved to be extremely popular, attracting corporate sponsors and attendees, with an addition to our coffers of $19,741.  A new fund-raisers was initiated to replace the Fall Flea Market, the Sports Raffle.   Numbered tickets, good for a 50 week period were sold ($25 each) with the weekly winner determined by the Virginia Lottery Tuesday Pick-3 drawing.  Sales totaled over 900 tickets with projects totaling over $11,500.    Ray Davis received the annual Community Service Award.  Board discretionary spending allowance was increased to $250.  Members Mike Smith and Merle Smith passed away.    Two events involving the Ruritan Park occurred during the year:   First, Paul Sawyer, owner of several abutting properties and businesses, requested permission to run water and sewer lines across the property.  The deal included connecting our building to these services.   Approval was granted, but Mr Sawyers demise put this on hold.    Second, the Club was approached with an offer to buy the Ruritan Park.   After membership discussion and consultation with Cold Harbor Club, both clubs voted against any sale.

Hanover Ruritan Club, with President Marty Martin at the helm, sailed into 2005 with a crew of 118 able-bodied members aboard, and the announcement that our 2004 Christmas Tree Project netted $5464 for our coffers.   The Steak Feast Committee, which has expanded the scope (and value) of this project was given approval to purchase a food warmer and exhibitor tents.   A new budget process was presented and adopted that more closely tied expenditures to activity income.   The Board of Directors meeting night was changed to the 2nd Thursday of each month and, after a disappointing profit of $700 from the Spring Flea Market, the Fund-Raising committee was asked to find a replacement for this project.   An official agreement regarding the improvement, use and disposition of the Ruritan Park was entered into and recorded between Hanover Ruritan Club and Cold Harbor Ruritan Club, co-owners.   Our Board suggested that the Ruritan Park pavilion be enclosed, but the Cold Harbor club quickly voted against it.  Motion was then made, seconded and passed to explore the construction of an all-new, enlarged, multi-purpose building.  The first year of the Sports Raffle officially netted $12,400.  The 2006 version was kicked off at the Steak Feast.  Long-time member, Judge Robert Beaver, passed away on Sept 16th and the year ended sadly with the sudden death of Dr.  John Rawls.

The 2006 year was led by Walter Drew.  The club started the year with 123 members and was the second largest in the nation.   Having completed 2005 with a $6,000 profit from Christmas Tree sales, our first donation for 2006 was $1,000 to the Hanover Veterans Memorial at Hanover Wayside Park.   A gala 70th Anniversary Celebration was held May 17th and highlight by the presentation by District Governor Carson Stanley of a Recognition Certificate and Roster of Charter from Ruritan National.   During the year, we continued to upgrade the Ruritan Park with a new gate and commitment to install a septic system.   Our Steak N Race event and Sports Raffle raised over $12,000.   To support Walnut Grove's kitchen facilities, the club donated $500.00 toward the purchase of a new cooking range.   Once again, our Club's efforts were recognized at the District Convention with 1 Silver and 4 Bronze Awards.   During the Community Service Banquet, Grayson and Pat Balderson were presented the Community Service Award.

Under the capable leadership of Greg Koegler, Hanover Ruritan Club, entered 2007 with 120 active members. After 52 years as Chairman of the Sick committee, Pat Oatman stepped down. His position was taken over by David Edmundson and the name was changed to the Fellowship Committee. We lost a super active and effective long-time member in May, when Grayson Balderson passed away. Grayson had been twice our President and was District Governor and Lt Governor. During the year, the roads at the Ruritan Park were regarded and graveled, the new drain field was installed, the three wooden storage sheds were replaced by one large metal building (to be shared with the Cold Harbor Club) and picnic tables were refurbished or replaced.

David Balderson was our President for 2008. The year saw considerable changes and plans for change to the structures at the Ruritan Park. Two of the three small sheds (used to house records, miscellaneous equipment and gear) were replaced by two large, attractive sheds with interior lighting and fittings to systematically handle these duties. Two of the three sheds were giving to area high schools, while the third was retained to store the old tires used during Steak N Race. Additionally, the Land and Building committees were directed to explore all facets of converting our present Ruritan Park main into an enclosed/enclosable structure with all the accouterments to make it suitable for all-weather use. The year saw the passing of long-time member Marty April. The club received three awards at the District Convention and the Perfect Attendance pins representing 506 years of service, being given to 45 members. Christmas Tree sales (2007) added $6819 to our coffers, while the Fall Festival was good for $3819. Our club was not immune to unfavorable economic climate, seeing a drop in membership from 120 to 95 during the year.

For 2009, Ralph Cantrell took over as President with membership at 99 members and annual dues increasing to $125. Ruritan Park, and the process to upgrade it to a year-round, viable community service center, occupied much time and effort of the club members. A building plan was agreed upon with the Cold Harbor Ruritan Club and site permits obtained. Floor plans which included multiple overhead garage-type enclosure doors plus kitchen and lavatory facilities were agreed upon. Building permits were obtained and septic system installation approved. Year-end saw all details and plans going back to Hanover County for final approval. Other activities included participation in the Christmas Mother involving 281 families, collection of 105lbs of food for the Food Bank and naming of Ray Stanley as Ruritan of the Year. Our Steak N Race yielded a $7500 profit and Christmas Trees added $6000.

Harrison Moncure was President for 2010. During the year, a call tree was setup to quickly notify members of significant events. The annual picnic was moved from August to May to take advantage of more agreeable weather. As the original agreement to use the hall expired, our club agreed to pay $950 per year for use of the Fellowship Hall for our meetings. Steak N Race raised over $8300 and Christmas Trees added $6000. Planning for Ruritan Park enhancements took up a great deal of member time and efforts. Hanover County denied our submission for a CUP amendment. The plans were revised to add space, kitchen quality, meeting rooms, site preparation, parking spaces, etc. A new CUP amendment was submitted and approved in November.

For 2011, the club was led by President Paul Hirsh. The club celebrated its 75th Anniversary and was pleased to have the National President, District Governor and Lt Governor in attendance. Worked continued on planning for improvements to the Ruritan Park pavilion and bids were out to various contractors. Dues increased to $135. A rousing Veterans day program was given. Members described their service and Jimmy Winters read “A Just a Common Soldier….A Solder Died Today”. 2012 marked shift in Christmas Trees. The committee moved to “Virginia Grown” from Floyd County, VA. The club created a “Strategic Planning Committee” to look at all the activities of the club and make recommendations on improvements.

For 2012, the club was led by President Taylor Ware. Planning continued for improvements at the Ruritan Park with quotes in the $300,000 to $500,000 range. The Building Committee recommended tabling the improvements due to the costs. The Strategic Planning committee recommended that our club center its activities around three major areas: ServiceFIRST, FamilyFIRST, HanoverFIRST. Objective Committee Chairs were asked to focus their objectives around these items with a “hands on” focus. Ray Heat hand Marcia Kirby took on a personal project to improve the memorial garden around the flag pole at the park that was suffering from several years of neglect. Profits from Christmas Tree sales was $7150.

For 2013, the club was led by President Ralph Cantrell, leading for a second term. Based on recommendations from the Strategic Planning Committee and focusing on putting HanoverFIRST, the club held its first annual HanoverFIRST festival at Battlefield Elementary School. The event drew a good crowd and vendors and the decision was made to attempt it a second year. The club also agreed to conduct it first annual Bluegrass Festival. Due to the efforts of Gordon Johnson, the club was given a formal “right of way” into our property (across the existing driveway). The club hosted the Chesapeake District Picnic at the Ruritan Park. The Club Donated $1000 to the Chesapeake District to help offset District legal expenses. The club agreed to partner with Lee Davis FFA to complete a site beautification project.

For 2014, the club was led by President Carol Ware our first female President. The club started the year with an entertaining evening at “Jersey Boys”. The club held both the HanoverFIRST (which included live music) and the Bluegrass Festival. A decision was made later to discontinue the HanoverFIRST festival due to lack of community/vendor engagement. Christmas Trees profit to the club was $10,000. We had a person portray Patrick Henry join us at a meeting and talk about Parson’s Cause as well as a Bluegrass Band played at the Christmas Party.

For 2015, the club was led by President Harrison Moncure, for a second term. With the darkness of the Ruritan Park break-in came the light of several needed upgrades. The Cold Harbor and Hanover Clubs worked together to replace broken equipment, the electrical circuits were upgraded, Marcia Kirby and Ray Heath continued to establish a beautiful landscape around the flag pole, Greg Koegler donated two refrigerators to the kitchen, a new bandstand was built, and we now have a permanent park entrance sign. Fun was had watching the Flying Squirrels play baseball in May during a club outing. The club teamed up with the Lee-Davis FFA and Mechanicsville Ruritan Club to landscape the Welcome to Mechanicsville Sign and the embankment adjacent to the EVB “Windmill” Bank. Young Ruritan Membership was established at a more affordable rate to entice young people to serve. A giant check was purchased by the club to showcase during big donations to the community. It was first used to donate $3,000 to the named beneficiary, East Hanover Rescue Squad, from the Bluegrass Festival. Even though Hurricane Joaquin cancelled this year’s Bluegrass Festival we still raised $3,600 from donations and sponsors. The Ag Day Program for 3rd Grade Students in Hanover moved to the Meadow Event Park to utilize a more “weather proof” venue. The club continued to support the Hanover Christmas Mother and helped distribute items to recipients. The club raised a record breaking $12,044 from the Christmas Tree Lot.

For 2016, David Balderson returned as President for a second term. To date the club had inducted three new members, and will be inducting three more soon. We honored members with perfect attendance, and had several informative programs, from “Why I Love America” speeches by area 5th graders to Information Technology Security. The club conducted a roadside clean-up, a park clean-up, planted a tree for Arbor Day at the Black Creek Fire Department, and completed final landscape installation for the Windmill Bank Landscape project with Lee-Davis FFA members.

 

   

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