When Donny Dean, President and Bingo Manager of Max Meadows Ruritan, is asked what the Ruritan is about, he says, “It’s simply about helping the community.”
In fact, since the first Ruritan Club was chartered in Holland, Va. in 1928, growing to 1,200 clubs and 30,000 members, that is exactly what the Ruritan is coined as, “America’s Leading Community Service Organization.”
Ruritan National explains their work as “finding needs in the community and helping to meet those needs, mainly through fundraising.”
Dean and the members of Max Meadows Ruritan are working hard to continue helping their community after facing a setback due to COVID 19 restrictions.
From the second week of March 2020 until the first week of July, the club was unable to have their regular community Bingo night.
“Having to stop Bingo, which is our main fundraiser, hurt our money flow and the ability to help those we regularly support such as food banks, the women’s shelter, the rescue squad, and supporting local schools with scholarships. Now that Bingo is back up and running, the donations have been able to go out again. This is an example of why Ruritan Clubs are so important to the community,” Dean shared.
When describing Max Meadow’s Ruritan Club, Dean stated, “We are a very small club, yet we’re one of the most productive in our area.”
Last year, Max Meadows’ Ruritan Club was one of the major sponsors for the Chautauqua Festival in Wytheville, and recently they made a large donation to the Brock Hughes Free Health Clinic.
Dean stressed, “This is not a one-person show. Our members as a group make all of this possible.”
Dean invites everyone to participate in Bingo every Saturday night at 1151 Fort Chiswell Rd., Fort Chiswell. Doors open at 4 p.m., paper sales start at 4:30 p.m., and the first number is called at 6 p.m.
Currently, due to complying with COVID 19 restrictions, Bingo is set up according to social distancing recommendations and masks are also recommended.
Because the Ruritan Club takes participation by the community to help the community, Dean encourages people to consider becoming a member.
Reflecting on his journey from volunteer to now President, he shared how he was a member of the local rescue squad and was impressed when he saw how the Ruritan Club made such a positive impact in the community. He and his wife enjoy being members, and invite potential members to come by for a visit.
By KRYSTAL WHITT
The Patriot / www.pcpatriot.com