Guilford Lake Area Ruritan Celebrates 50 Years

Submitted photo John Biery, Lt. Governor of the Ruritan National Ohio District #28, is presenting a 50th anniversary certificate to president Jim Means. Also in the photo are (left to right) row 2:Aisha Palmer, Taylor Headley, Brent Webber, Ruth Palmer, Teena Richards, Janet Everhart, Martha Means; row 3: Bill Young, Brian Dustman, Mike Gruszecki, Jacob Ingledue, Tom Stermer, Samantha Benner & Samantha Woolf (United Local Ruriteen officers) and Betty Whiteleather (United Local Ruriteen advisor).

HANOVERTON — This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Guilford Lake Area Ruritan Club #525. With a birthday of May 10, 1971, the organization has been serving the local region including Hanoverton, Lisbon, and Salem, with a mission to build a better community through fellowship, goodwill, and community service. “We do reap what we sow,” said current president Jim Means. “What better time to celebrate this milestone of our club than now, during the season of harvest.” The club gathered for its monthly meeting on October 11, honoring the work that has been done over the past 50 years while looking to the future and the next 50 years.

Guilford Lake Ruritans are locally famous for their primary fundraiser, a fish fry that takes place on the second Friday of each month. They have provided over 100 scholarships in support of the United Local student Ruriteen club, which itself was chartered in 1998 as an associate school-based club. Over the past 50 years, the Guilford Lake Ruritan has also supported Camp Fire Girls, Boy Scouts, Little League baseball, the Special Olympics, March of Dimes, Make A Difference, and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Annual traditions also include a Trunk-or-Treat in the fall and an Easter Egg Hunt in the spring.

The Guilford Lake Ruritan has received numerous awards recognized by the Ruritan National in the areas of Public Service, Social Development, Environment, Citizenship, and Human Development.

The original charter of the Guilford Lake Area Ruritan Club dated back to 1963, but that group disbanded in 1969. The newly formed club rechartered in 1972, with the following members serving as founding officers: James Baxter, President (Hanoverton), Charles Gause, Vice President (Hanoverton), Robert Greenawalt, Secretary (Lisbon), Rudy Falk, Treasurer (Hanoverton), Dawson Trey, Director (Lisbon), Allen Blackburn, Director (Lisbon), and Art Edling, Director (Lisbon). Other charter members included James McGoolan (Hanoverton), Roger Stermir (Hanoverton),Thomas Stein (Hanoverton), Paul Flugan (Hanoverton), Fred Miller (Hanoverton), Frank Marino (Salem), Sam Edling (Lisbon), and Clude Wilson (Lisbon).

Continuing in their footsteps fifty years later, current offers officers are Jim Means, President (Salem), Taylor Headley, Vice President (Salem), Teena Richards, Secretary (Hanoverton), Brian Dustman, Treasurer (Lisbon), Janet Everhart, Director (Lisbon), Thomas Stermer, Director (Hanoverton), and Brent Webber, Director (E. Rochester). Other current members include Robert Gause (Lisbon), Michael Gruszecki (Hanoverton), Jacob Ingledue (Hanoverton), Chris Marquis (Hanoverton), Martha Means (Salem), Aisha Palmer (Hanoverton), Ruth Palmer (Hanoverton), Stefani Thompson (Salem), Betty Whiteleather (Alliance), and Bill Young (Hanoverton).

The Guilford Lake Area Ruritan club holds regular meetings on the second Monday of each month. Anyone interested in joining can contact a current member.


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