Local Ruritan Leaders Attend National Conference

L-R: Sarah Kelly, Linda Bradshaw

L-R: Sarah Kelly, Linda Bradshaw

Sarah Kelly and Linda Bradshaw attended the 2015 Ruritan National Summer Leadership Conference June 18-20 at the New River Community College in Dublin, VA. While they were there, they learned about new programs to improve America’s communities and revitalize the community service organization.

The conference was sponsored by the Ruritan National Office in Dublin, VA. as part of the organization’s ongoing training program for volunteer leaders.

Sarah is a member of the Stonewall District Ruritan Club in Winchester, and is the National Director of the Rapidan and Rockingham Districts.

Linda is a member of the Lignum Ruritan Club in Culpeper and is the Rapidan District’s Governor and Publicity Chair.

Attendees of the conference included Ruritan District Governors, Lt. Governors and Area Governors from Districts and Areas across 25 states, as well as other District leaders along with a host of volunteer speakers and seminar leaders.

At the conference, participants also met with national volunteer leaders and Ruritan staff members to discuss current issues and activities that affect Ruritan clubs and Ruritan members in their districts and areas. Some of the topics discussed included growth and development, leadership training, publicity, the Ruritan Foundation, and legal issues.

Conference participants represented 28,000 Ruritan members in over 40 Ruritan Districts and Areas that reach from the tidewater area of Virginia to the corn belts of Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska.

Recap of 2014 Summer Leadership Conference by President Elect Bobby Burton

Posted on “I AM Ruritan” Facebook page on 6/21/14 by Ruritan National’s President Elect Bobby Burton


The 2014 Ruritan Leadership Conference concluded Saturday morning after two days of informative information for the approximately 90 Ruritan leaders in attendance. The events started with an open house/reception at the Home Office on Thursday afternoon.

The Conference was opened on Friday morning with a special greeting from President Elliott and First Lady Sandra read by Mike Chrisley. A picture of them was projected on the screen – they were wearing their conference t-shirts – and it was great to see their smiling faces!

A patriotic theme was carried out at the Conference with an emphasis on honoring Veterans and everyone was encouraged to Revitalize, Get Excited, and WALK THE WALK for Ruritan.



Speakers for the conference included Julie Hopkins from Smithfield, VA., the 2013 Top Recruiter, who gave a fun and excited talk on how to recruit new members. Jon Hatfield, Executive Director of the Virginia War Memorial in Richmond, VA. spoke on Friday about the War Memorial, Veterans, and Ruritan. Jon had recently returned from a trip to Normandy for the D-Day 70th Anniversary.

On Saturday morning, we heard from April Cheek-Messier, President of the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. She gave interesting facts about the D-Day Memorial and she also talked about the recent D-Day 70th Anniversary and how they celebrated in Bedford. There were events for the Veterans at the memorial and a parade through downtown Bedford.

All three of our speakers, Julie, Jon, and April, are Ruritan members and we were privileged to have them participate in the Conference. Everyone enjoyed a picnic on Friday night at Randolph Park, provided by the Pioneer Ruritan Club, and music by a local band, Buck Nelson.

My hope for the conference is that everyone had a good time and that you learned at least one new thing from the information we offered. As I said in my opening remarks, “there is always something new to learn about Ruritan”. And no matter if we are a past, current, or future leaders, we need to keep up on the changes occurring in Ruritan. Giving out the wrong information is a sure way to injure our organization.

Thank you to Perry Marshman, Lorene Reece, and Sarah Kelly (Leadership Committee members) AND to the Home Office Staff. This Conference would not have been a success without their hard work in putting it together. Thanks to all the workshop presenters, the Growth, Development and Retention Committee, the Youth Committee, the Publicity and Public Relations Committee, and the Ruritan National Foundation for their part on the program.

Keep up the good work in your communities and Thank You for all you do for Ruritan.

Yours in Ruritan,
President Elect Bobby

Update on President Elliott Hogge from the Summer Leadership Conference

Original Post on “I AM Ruritan” Facebook page by Linda Burton
Summer Leadership Conference began this morning with a special message from President Elliott and First Lady Sandra being read by Mike Chrisley. It was a great way to start the Conference by seeing their smiling faces and know that they are doing well. President Elliott went home yesterday less than one month after his stroke. Keep the prayers gong for continued improvement for him.