Local Ruritan club disbands, goes out giving

STRASBURG – The Powhatan Ruritan Club has served the public since 2002 by providing fellowship, goodwill and community service. Its 26 members voted at the end of 2017 to disband the club with one final act of generosity.

Lorraine Shelton, club treasurer, and Eleanor Camarata, secretary, said they are both feeling the loss and disappointment of ending their Ruritan chapter. But it was necessary to disband, they said.

“Our membership age averages in the 80s.” Shelton said. “And interest was declining. So we decided it was time.”

During the club’s 15 years, members have donated thousands of volunteer hours, made financial donations approximating $90,000 and contributed food and other materials in order to provide support for local groups and organizations.

“We’re incredibly proud of our efforts over the years,” Camarata said. “We’ve enjoyed serving our community and providing the necessary help in any way we could. But of course it’s sad. Many of us are going to miss giving back to our community.”

Because of the successful fundraising over the past several years, the club was able to donate their remaining club funds in the amount of $20,600 to 32 local community service groups that include the Enrich Program, Strasburg Local Relief, Luke’s Back Packs, A Small Hand and the Strasburg High School for band instruments.

The funds were disbursed in December.

“We hate to stop giving to some of these organizations,” Shelton said. “This was our way to give one last time.”

Shelton and Camarata said they both plan to keep donating their time to the community.

“Once you start, it’s hard to stop,” Shelton said.