Ruritan is a service club located in small towns and rural areas in the United States. It aims to achieve "Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service". The local clubs are autonomous from the national organization. Many Ruritan clubs sponsor local clubs or chapters of 4-H, Future Farmers of America, or Boy or Girl Scouts of America troops.
Many clubs provide and supervise community recreational centers, sponsor little league and other athletic programs, sponsor anti-litter campaigns, help the sick and needy, and provide a wide range of other activities to help improve their communities.
The first Ruritan Club was chartered in May of 1928 in Holland, Virginia by Tom Downing and Jack Gwaltney. They recognized the need for an organization where community leaders could meet and discuss ways to make their community a better place in which to live. Charter members selected "Ruritan" as the club's name - a combination of two Latin words, "ruri" for open country and "tan" for small town. The National Ruritan office is currently located in Dublin, Virginia.
Ruritan Club leadership positions consist of a President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and a Board of Directors made up of the immediate past president and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year directors elected from the membership. Membership is open to all individuals who wish to improve community life regardless of race, religion, gender or creed. Clubs are organized into zones which are oveerseen by a zone governor, and consist of 3 to 10 clubs at the discretion of the district cabinet. Zones are then organized into districts.
Kauffman Ruritan Club is a member of Zone 4 in the Potomac District.
The Kauffman Ruritan Club, sponsored by the State Line Ruritan Club, began on February 14, 1957, with its chartering at the Dixie Restaurant (now Mrs. Gibbles’ Restaurant) on Route 11 between Greencastle and Marion, Pennsylvania. During the first ten years, the club held meetings at the Dixie Restaurant, Milton Wright Memorial Home, and the Brown’s Mill School. The Club purchased a 22-acre tract of land from Mr. George Kipe in February 1966, and officially founded the Kauffman Community Center.Proving that they could make the new land work for them, club members and volunteers harvested 900 bales of hay, 400 bales of straw and 100 bushels of wheat that summer, dedicating the proceeds from their sale to help offset the land debt. By December 1973, after much hard work and many, many fund-raisers, the club burned its land mortgage. To help raise funds for construction of a community center building, members sold portions of the land as residential lots. While raising money for construction, the club continued to help build the community by sponsoring a Cub Scout Pack, Little Leaguebaseball teams, 4-H Clubs, and a summer playground program for community children. They also helped local residents in financial need, provided transportation, sponsored church services at community churches and held hymn sings. Construction on the community center building started in March 1976, with most of the work provided by members and volunteers. Despite a temporary setback when part of the superstructure collapsed destroying trusses, sections of new wall and injuring a couple of the members, the building was completed in 1978.
In 1982, Kauffman Ruritan Club celebrated its 25th Anniversary in the new Kauffman Community Center building. In the four years following the opening of the new building, members and volunteers prepared over 27,368 meals to help pay off the construction loans. In addition, the club established a scholarship fund at the Greencastle-Antrim High School, which provides two 4-year scholarships annually to graduating students. In February 1983, seven years after the first building block was laid, the building mortgage was burned. For the next sixteen years, the club sponsored many community projects including: a health care equipment “loan closet’; donations toward the Statue of Liberty reclamation; a benefit dinner for Hershey Medical Center; new uniforms for the Greencastle-Antrim High School Band; donations to the Marion and Greencastle Fire Companies, Rescue Hose Company Ambulance Squad, and the Shalom Christian Academy; food baskets for over 50 needy families during the Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays; fundraising for two neighbors’ surgeries and lung transplant; assisting with the Children’s Miracle Telethon; sponsoring a Greencastle-Antrim High School Football Team and Quarterback Club; sponsoring area youths’ attendance at the Freedom Foundation conferences in Valley Forge; raising funds for an electric wheelchair, van with a chairlift and financial support for a local accident victim and his family; and financial support to a local heart surgery patient, the Retarded Citizens’ Association, the new Chambersburg Cancer Treatment Center, and the National Hurricane Disaster Fund. During the night of 6 February 1999, disaster struck in the form of a fire that leveled the Community Center building. True to form, club members immediately rallied around and by October of the same year, a new and larger Kauffman Community Center building opened its doors and continues to serve Kauffman and the surrounding community area. Continuing to expand its outreach, the club added a wooded picnic park, pavilion and playground; a new regulation baseball field, bleachers and a Field House. Members continue to embody the Ruritan goals of fellowship, goodwill and community service.
The Club celebrated its 50th Anniversary 9 June 2007. If you are interested in joining this worthwhile organization, contact any member for sponsorship, or call Tara Eby at 717-375-4416 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.