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Ruritans install officers, celebrate successes

ARARAT, Va. — Even in this pandemic era, some organizations are managing to continue good work benefiting their communities, which is true of the Ararat Ruritan Club.

Members recently gathered for a holiday meeting that featured a covered-dish supper and an opportunity to celebrate the club’s successes during 2021, considered one of its best years.

This included acknowledging accolades garnered during the earlier Dan River District Convention of area Ruritans, at which five gold awards were presented to the Ararat group for various community service projects.

In addition, Pamela Smith was named Ruritan of the Year for the Dan River District (a first for Ararat), with fellow member Merlin Scales voted Zone 1 President of the Year.

Scales also was chosen Zone 1 governor for 2022, replacing Charlie Bowman, and Roger Gammons as the Ararat Ruritans’ Dan River District governor for the year, replacing Bowman.

During the holiday meeting at the club’s headquarters at 4711 Ararat Highway, Scales installed officers for 2022, including President Kathy Loveland, Vice President Mike Noonkester, Secretary Pamela Smith and Kevin Smith, treasurer.

New governing board members for 2022 are Mary Dellenback Hill, Bradley Slate, Mary Slate and the club’s immediate past president, Scales.

Hill also is the newest Ruritan For Life.

The club leadership said “a big thank you” is owed to all the individuals and businesses helping with, contributing to and attending events of the Ararat Ruritan Club which made 2021 so successful.

Among their activities, the Ararat Ruritans held fundraisers that allowed them to support community causes. These included the Patrick County Food Bank, a county Rotary Club backpack program and a Home Alone effort that serves residents in the Willis Gap and Ararat communities.

In October, Ruritans were honored with Golden Key Awards for bolstering the club’s ranks, including Bradley Slate, sergeant of arms, who recruited two new members; Kevin Smith, three members; and Pamela Smith, three.

Scales also then received the Tom Downing Award, the highest honor given by the National Ruritans. All the awards were presented by Bowman, at that time the Ruritan governor of the Dan River District.

The Ararat club normally meets on the first Thursday of each month, but due to the scheduling of a national convention will gather on Thursday of this week instead for a 7 p.m. session including a covered-dish supper.

It will resume the normal schedule afterward.

The December meeting welcomed Judy Jackson, Timothy Pruitt, Steve Fariss and Margaret Noonkester as guests.



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