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Ruritan Club Center Renting Out Space To Public

Wilson Memorial Ruritan Club wrapped up 50 years of service to the community last year, and now the non-profit service oriented organization is ready to begin renting out space in its new home and community center, the former Wilson Memorial Elementary School building.

Wilson Memorial Ruritan Club members became the new owners of the former Wilson Memorial Elementary School last April when county supervisors voted to donate the building and approximately 15 acres of land to the non-profit organization.

Jean Goodman, 2009 president of the Wilson Memorial Ruritan Club, told supervisors as that time, “We hope that we will be able to do a lot with that building and property for our young people. That’s going to be our number one priority,” she said of the club’s plans for the school.

In addition, the building is now being used as a meeting place for the Ruritan Club that has grown to include about 50 members.

“We do have plans to include all of our community members in various projects that we hope to be able to accomplish,” she added.

Supervisors supported deeding over the property to the Ruritan Club since the Ruritans expressed an interest in applying for grants to help renovate the building.

“That’s the primary reason we want to deed it over to them, so they can benefit from some of the grants since they are non-profit,” Chairman William Fitzgerald said the night the motion was approved.

Since that time, Ruritans have donated their time and energy working to improve the building and grounds.

On Sunday, Aug. 16, the Ruritan Club hosted a celebration welcoming the community and neighboring Ruritan Clubs to tour their new facility.
Referring to the new club building, Goodman said, “It’s a work in progress, but we have already gotten a lot done.”

Newly elected Wilson Memorial Ruritan Club officers for 2010 include Carolyn Young, president; Susan Simonson, vice-president; Frances Satterfield, secretary; and Al Lebsack, treasurer. Serving as directors are Mary Breeden and Joe Simonson.

As the Wilson Memorial Ruritans prepare to begin a new year of community service, fellowship and goodwill, Susan Simonson said the group is hoping rooms in the club building can be used for  disaster relief, room rentals, office space, day care, library, computer classes, blood drives, road clean-ups, dog shows, car shows, stews and an outside flea market.

Future plans include searching for and securing a company to extend and rent out space on the outside tower to improve cell service to the area near Wilson Memorial and in the Oak Level community.

Other plans include holding a monthly bingo game, providing outside storage rentals, senior exercise classes, homework help, basic first aid, gun safety, copy and fax services and gardening classes.

The Ruritan Club now has a daily rental contract used when renting out rooms at the former school building that includes an $85 fee for a large meeting room; $125 for the large meeting room with kitchen use offering a capacity for serving 250 people.

The daily fee for renting a small classroom is $35.

Simonson said the club also offers tables and chairs to seat 80 people at this time.

A $25 non-refundable reservation deposit is required.

Anyone interested in renting the facility is asked to contact Bob Mason at 476-1171.

Ruritan is a national organization dedicated to improving communities and building a better America through fellowship, goodwill and community service, Simonson said.

The Wilson Memorial Ruritans’ most recent goodwill and service oriented project has involved assisting the Hubbard family furnish their new home after fire destroyed their former house on Mountain Road, she added.

“We are always looking for energetic new members,” Simonson concluded.