Stewarts Creek Ruritan forming

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

LAMBSBURG — Southern Carroll County residents will celebrate the creation of the new Stewarts Creek Ruritan Club Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Lambsburg Rescue Squad Building.

About 15 Ruritan members from Lambsburg, along with about as many new recruits, split off from an existing club to form their own, said Vice President Martin Shatley. The new club wanted to focus on more community projects.

Stewarts Creek’s charter will remain open until March 5, meaning that other residents can join as charter members.

The Ruritan will meet at the rescue building at first, but the members hope to establish a permanent location in the future, Shatley said. A place, they hope, that will become a thriving center of activity for Lambsburg.

“When we get a clubhouse, it won’t be open once a month,” he said. “We’re planning to keep busy.”

In fact, Stewarts Creek club members got moving quickly after they learned in December 2007 that Ruritan National would grant a charter.

In the spirit of the season, members soon took up a collection to give fruit baskets to the elderly and shut-ins in Lambsburg, Shatley said. They gave out between 150 and 175 fruit baskets — and did a lot of visiting.

The club members probably couldn’t have picked a better way to get the new Ruritan’s name out into the community, he noted. Every single person did not get a fruit basket, but it seems like everybody at least has a relative who got one.

“The people seem to like the new club,” Shatley aid. “They like the fact that we hit the ground running.”

Stewarts Creek has had its organizational meeting. The club selected Martin Terry as president, Pepper Gaylean as secretary, Dale Williams as treasurer and Jim Gaylean, Johnny Edwards and Doug Hubbard as directors.

Club members already have ideas about what the Ruritan can do. Shatley said he’s already been in contact with the Carroll Sheriff’s Office about the possibility of starting community watches, Triad programs (a crime prevention effort focused on the elderly) and having houses for children to go to if they are in trouble.

The fruit baskets could well become food boxes in 2008.

Drawing its name from the creek that runs through the community, the new Ruritan will likely cut, stack and deliver firewood and help with emergency heating oil needs.

Shatley plans to donate about 20 silver dollars for the club to raffle off to build up operating funds.

“We don’t intend to sit still,” he said.

Walter Scott, growth and development coordinator with Ruritan National, said that Stewarts Creek will join the 32 other clubs with 800 members in the New River District and its more than 1,100 clubs with 32,000 members nationally.

“In the past years we have not seen a lot of club building activity,” Scott said. “But within the last year it has been robust.”

Stewarts Creek is one of 16 clubs that has started up in the last year.

• More information about the organization is available at www.ruritan.org.