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Ruritans bring back club from brink of closure

One local Ruritan Club has managed to rise from the ashes, reorganize itself and continue to be an operating club with 13 new members added in one evening.

According to Ruritan National Director John C. Berdine, Aarons Creek Ruritan Club members had received a letter stating a vote would be taken on March 5 to close the club.

But several members started making phone calls to prevent closure of the club including its vice president and one of the directors.

Zone Governor Ray Bowen also called the national director and the district governor in an effort to save the club.  

“Ray and Bonnie Bowen began calling members of the club and current officers to see who was willing to stay and serve,” Berdine said. “The question of why was asked many times.”  

After several phone calls and many hours of discussion, the Bowens called to ask National Ruritan officials to set in on the March 5 meeting in an effort to help reorganize the club.  

“I was proud to be of service to the club.  We regrettably lost eight members that night.  We did install all new officers, and upon my departure from the club house, things were looking brighter,” Berdine said.

The national director was invited back to the club on May 2, as club members were recognizing veterans.  

“My wife, Beverly, and 11-year-old daughter had a great time visiting with all the members and area veterans,” Berdine said.

After a meal and fellowship, the guests were told they could stay for the business or leave.  

“Ray and B. A. Bowen already had told me they wanted me to stay, and I already planned to, as they had some ‘work’ for me to take care of,” Berdine said.

The club had received 13 applications for new members and voted to accept all of these applicants.  

“The great news was there were youth and young adults as well as reinstatements for previous members.  This is the kind of ‘work’ that I enjoy,” Berdine added.  

The national director said he had the honor of initiating the new members into the Aarons Creek Ruritan Club.  

“This proves that it only takes a few strong-willed people who have a great idea to become a successful story.  The core members of this club decided they were going to persevere and continue to serve their community no matter the amount of effort.  Rather than try and do it all by themselves, they went out and are actively recruiting new members every day,” he added.

Revitalization is Ruritan’s national motto.  

Aarons Creek Ruritan Club is revitalizing now and for their future.  

“We all can do this; it just takes a little effort and perseverance,” added Berdine who congratulated Aarons Creek Ruritan Club members.  “It is truly an honor to be your club’s national representative.  Good luck.”