After having a successful fish fry season in summer of 2023, the Mount Tabor Ruritan Club continued with an active fall calendar.
In mid-September, the club held its first Open House to show community members the projects that the club is working on and answer questions about Ruritan membership. Seven new members have joined since this event.
At the October club meeting, a time capsule was buried next to the fish fry picnic shelter. It contains club and member memorabilia, photos, and other documents for a future generation of Ruritan members to uncover.
For three Fridays in October, club members and friends worked hard at the cannery in Wytheville to create 320 gallons of apple butter from 90 bushels of apples. By the end of the year, all the pints and quarts had been sold!
The next project on the list was decorating an apple-butter-themed Christmas tree in Kent Square. The tree has been taken down now, but Downtown Blacksburg, Inc. recently announced that the Ruritan tree had garnered the most community votes and was the 2023 winner.
December also saw an Eagle Scout project begin at the Slusser’s Chapel picnic shelter. On a chilly and wet Saturday morning, over 20 scouts and leaders from Scouts BSA Troop 44 (Blacksburg Presbyterian Church) stained all the picnic tables, making them easier to keep clean and less likely to produce splinters. Eagle candidate Liam Means will also lead construction of some permanent benches near where the musicians play during fish fries.
The Club held its Christmas dinner at the Village Gourmet in Warm Hearth. After a tasty meal, the executive director of Ruritan National, Sarah Kelly, installed the 2024 club officers. The president is Julie Miller, vice-president is Robin Cooley, secretary is Nola Elliott, treasurer is David Price (who was also recognized for holding this position for over 33 years), and the directors are Curtis Cox, Peter DeWeese and Ben Crawford. Nola Elliott was recognized as the club’s Ruritan of the Year, and Jeananne Bame received a Lifetime Achievement plaque recognizing her innovative fundraising efforts for the scholarship program.
As 2024 begins, the Ruritan Club is excited to announce a new initiative for Montgomery County. The club is in the process of setting up the infrastructure needed to form an affiliation with the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, so that all children in the county can receive a free book each month, from birth until they reach age five. It is hoped that everything will be in place to raise funds and begin to enroll children this year.
The club is running its sausage gravy and biscuit breakfasts on the second Saturday of the month through April. Check their Facebook page, MtTaborRuritan, for more information on the breakfasts and other projects.