What is Ruritan?

Ruritan is a civic service organization that began in 1928. It is made up of local clubs in urban areas, small towns and rural communities. Ruritan‘s purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make America’s communities better places in which to live and work. The slogan of Ruritan is “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.” Club membership represents a cross-section of the community in which the club serves, and is not restrictive with regard to occupation, social position, or any other specific criteria. Unlike most civic service organizations, Ruritan rarely has national programs. Rather, each club surveys its own community as to its needs and then uses its resources to meet as many of those needs as possible.

Here in Hampshire County, the Ruritan Clubs help by providing scholarships to college bound high school seniors, visits to the sick and elderly, perform services such as cutting grass, chopping wood, shopping for groceries, and shoveling snow for those unable to do these tasks. We take elderly citizens to doctor’s appointments; out for a day of shopping, organize benefit dinners for those in need, pay bills, and make monetary contributions when situations warrant.

The Hampshire County Fair began as an agricultural fair and to this day provides support to FFA and 4H as well as an exhibition place for home grown produce. The fair has also grown to provide a weeklong meeting place for community members to enjoy good food, good entertainment, rides for the kids, and special events. All of this is available in a safe, drug and alcohol-free environment.

When Hampshire County Fair kicks-off this year, it will be through the efforts of lots of unpaid volunteers from the Hampshire County Ruritan Clubs (Augusta, Capon Bridge, Jersey Mountain, Kirby, Mill Creek, Slanesville, Springfield, and Rio/Delray) who work hard to put the Fair together and then put in long unpaid hours working at the Fair. When it’s all done, and all of the bills have been paid the 8 participating clubs split the “profits”.

What do the clubs do with their share of the “profits”? Every dollar goes back into the community. So when you attend the fair, please remember that your dollars will wind-up going back to the community. Your contributions my some day help a friend or neighbor or maybe even yourself.