Club Officer Training Online

Training (free clip art)

Training (free clip art)

From the Desk of the Lt. Governor, Linda Bradshaw

As October approaches, local Ruritan Clubs are preparing to hold their elections for their officers for next year. One of the most important considerations at this point in time is the availability of the elected officers to complete their training. As I have been honored and blessed by the majority of the clubs in the Rapidan District to visit with their clubs this calendar year, I have discovered that some club officers feel that they have not received “any appropriate training” for their position.

As you can imagine, there are a variety of reasons for this situation, but that is not the point of this post. I am using this medium to utilize this opportunity at this time – election and training time, to write about the training for the club officers that is available online, through the MMS website. “MMS” is short for “Membership Management System.” You can access the website by clicking on this link: MMS.

Each club member, upon joining their local Ruritan Club, is added to the MMS database. Each member should have access to their own record in MMS. Each member is assigned a USER ID and password to access their own record. If the member has not been given that information, they should be able to get it by asking one of the club officers for the information.

For some reason the MMS program does not like the Chrome Browser – you can not see the entire record, and you cannot edit and save an edited record using Chrome. The preferred browser for MMS is Internet Explorer. So if you are planning to actually “do” anything to modify the records (like update your email address) you would be well advised to use Internet Explorer.

Once you access your record, if you are interested in taking the online training, look at the upper right hand side of the screen for the word “training.” You may see the word in two places, once in black letters under what appears to be a graduation cap, and once in white letters inside a blue bar (under that graduation cap image) in between the words “Club” and “Fund.” please click on the word that is in the blue bar.

That should open up a screen in the upper right hand corner that looks like the example screen shot below:

MMS training screen example

MMS training screen example

If you click on the link beside the desired training, it will take you to the online training course. It is a self-paced course, like a slide-show. At the end of the training course, there is a short quiz. You can take the quiz as many times as you would like to take it. Upon passing the quiz, your records in MMS will show that you have completed the course.

Ruritan National encourages all club officers to take this training every year – even if they have held their position for many years! Clubs can even become eligible to win an award for having their officers do this training (even as a refresher) every year!

For more information, please reference the PDF file (below) taken from the most recent (rev 8/13) Ruritan Club and District Officers’ Handbook:

Download (PDF, Unknown)


How Does a Business Member Benefit a Community Service Club like the Ruritans?

From the desk of the 2016 Publicity Chairperson:

Please note, images used in this post are, to the best of our knowledge, “Free Clip Art.” No copyright infringement is intended. If you own the rights to any of these images, we would be glad to, upon notification by you, either remove the image, or give you proper credit on the website. Simply contact the webmaster to let us know of the conflict.

Community Service (free clip art)

Community Service (free clip art)

In this day and age, more businesses are feeling the call of corporate leadership, and are looking for ways to support the local community. One way they can do that is by joining local community service organizations, such as the Ruritan Club.

Sample membership certificate

Sample membership certificate

Having a business member helps increase public awareness of a club’s existence. When a business member receives the membership plaque or window cling from the club, the business might display the plaque on their wall, window, or door, in a public space.

Customers and/or employees may see that wall plaque or window cling and through that sighting become aware for the first time that the Ruritan Club exists (they may have never heard of us!) This may spark a conversation between the customer/employee and the person within the company that did the paperwork for the application. Maybe even result in a few new members joining the club! This relates to the first part of our slogan “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.”

Newsletter (free clip art)

Newsletter (free clip art)

Often businesses have newsletters that they distribute among their customers/employees. They like to include stories in their newsletters about how they are “giving back” to the community by joining local community service clubs. If they join our club, chances are that they will publish a story about it in their newsletter. If they have a website and/or facebook page, they will likely include a mention about their membership with our club on that media as well. After all, those stories make their companies look like good corporate citizens. And, those stories will help to publicize our club at the same time.

Handshake (free clip art)

Handshake (free clip art)

Businesses that are members of our club have already indicated (by the very act of joining) an interest in supporting our causes. Chances are good that they are going to be receptive to the idea of donating gift cards, money, or services to our club from time to time when they are approached in the right way. That relates to “Community Service.”

A business owner may also decide later on in the relationship with the club to become an active member on a personal level, once he/she has become more familiar with all of the good deeds that our club does. They may consider encouraging their employees/families to join the club as well. More “Fellowship.”

Networking (free clip art)

Networking (free clip art)

A business member is a good resource for networking. Networking is a great thing! If our club has a need, and reaches out to the business members, asking for advice or referrals, the business member may be willing to help introduce us to people and companies that can help us accomplish our goals. The business member may not be able to help us directly, but often can help us get in touch with someone else who can help us, and with a little bit of social finesse, may get us discounts or free labor. This directly relates to “Goodwill.”

Some business members might help us with free publicity, letting us put our flyers in their windows. Others might donate gift cards or merchandise for us to use as door prizes, raffle prizes, or auction prizes. Some of them might buy ads in future fund-raising calendars in future years, or buy an ad in the District Convention Program. Some may donate ammo for a Turkey Shoots, buy a vendor table at a yard sale, or donate food for the concession stand to sell at one of our events. Some may provide free Internet installation and monthly service to the building we use as our club house. Still others may create and maintain our club’s website for free. Others may provide us with office supplies, or free printing services. Some businesses might even donate money to our scholarship fund-raising! All of this relates to “Goodwill and Community Service.”

partnership (free clip art)

partnership (free clip art)

Having a business member will increase our membership numbers, making us look good for National. That’s always a good thing! A business membership in the Ruritan Club is a form of Associate Membership. Clubs get rebates from National on the dues that an Associate pays to Ruritan! A business member will not interfere with the internal workings of the club, as they have no voting rights, and cannot serve on the board of directors. However, they may attend our meetings and be part of our “Fellowship” any time they wish.

Listing our business members on our website, our Facebook page, our membership promotional materials, (which costs us next to nothing) makes our club look good in the public eye. Acknowledging their membership and thanking them for their association with us, will help them to feel appreciated, and will encourage their continued membership and sponsorship of our events. This promotes “Goodwill.”

Business (free clip art)

Business (free clip art)

Putting all of that information on our promotional materials helps potential members to see us as a worthwhile club. After all, if these businesses have joined our club, then we must be a good club, right? This will encourage potential members (both business and personal) to join us, as we have the endorsements of these respected business members of our community. More “Fellowship” ensues.

There really is no down-side to having business members in our club. The more business members our club has, the better. More money goes to National Ruritan to help with all of the good work Ruritan does, and the local endorsement we get from the business members is priceless.

Win-Win Solution (free clip art)

Win-Win Solution (free clip art)

A business membership in a community service club such as our Ruritan Club is a win-win situation for everyone. Actively recruiting business members will help the club to grow and thrive, and supports our slogan “Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service” in every way possible.


Veterans To Be Honored at the Ruritan National Convention in January 2015

The following is copied and pasted from the Facebook Page “I AM Ruritan.” It is being copied here to accommodate Ruritan members that do not use Facebook. It is our hope to use this medium to spread the word (about the announcement) so that other Ruritan members that are veterans will learn about this event, and ask your club secretary to go into MMS to ensure that your military status is correct in the MMS records.

Are you one of Ruritan’s many Veterans? Are you planning on coming to Greensboro to the 2015 Ruritan National Convention? Remember that our members’ military records pull directly from our Member Management System (MMS). Make sure your veteran status is up to date in the MMS so we can properly honor you in Greensboro. If you aren’t sure how to use the MMS – one of your club members or the national office staff will be happy to help you. There are two important items: whether you are active or inactive; and which branch of the military you served in.

Note: if you are a member of the Rapidan District AND a veteran, if you are not already listed on our web page “Honoring our Veterans” we would love to include YOU on that page.  We want your name, the branch of the service you were in, the year you started, the year you ended, and which Ruritan Club in the Rapidan District you are in. We would also love to have a photograph of you to include in the the listing (preferably in uniform at the time you were in the service.) You can give us the required information by using this contact form below (if you have a photograph, let us know how to contact you so we can make arrangements to get a copy of the photograph from you):
[contact-form subject=’Rapidan Ruritan Veteran%26#039;s information contact form’][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Telephone Number’ type=’text’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]

Prayer Request for Ruritan National President Elliott Hogge

Prayer Request

Prayer Request


Prayers are being requested on behalf of Ruritan National President Elliott Hogge, who suffered a stroke Sunday, May 25, 2014.
From a notice posted on Facebook:

2014 First Lady Sandra Hogge has released the following update on 2014 President Elliott’s condition.

She confirmed that he did have a life threatening stroke Sunday around 6 p.m. and had lifesaving care both by the rescue squad that responded and at Riverside Regional Hospital’s stroke unit, where they were prepped and waiting for him when he arrived. Clot busting drugs were administered and a “life and death” surgical procedure was used to remove a clot from a major vessel in his brain. They were able to get to the clot from his groin so no open-head surgery was required. By the grace of God, a very well-known, Harvard educated neurosurgeon was on site and performed Elliott’s surgery. The staff told Sandra that Elliott had the “Super Bowl” surgical team.

Sandra said since that surgery Sunday night, Elliott has gradually gained the ability to use the right side of his body. He can stand. He can hold both arms up in the air. He can hold both legs up. He sat up this morning and fed himself sausage, eggs and toast for breakfast. He was using utensils and holding a cup.

Sandra and Elliott Hogge May 2014 Founders Day celebration

Sandra and Elliott Hogge May 2014 Founders Day celebration

He has been in ICU but they are weaning him off his IV meds and getting him back on his oral meds so he can be moved to a regular room later today. The challenge that remains is speech therapy as he is still struggling with being able to express himself – although he can say some words. The clot affected the speech center in his brain.

Saundra has asked that we continue to hold him in prayer – praying for successful speech therapy efforts and a complete recovery. She is very positive and has lots of family with her. Friends and neighbors are pitching in to help get in the rest of Elliott’s hay. She appreciates your thoughts and prayers and said Elliott would very much enjoy getting cards from his Ruritan family.
Those can be sent to their home or to him in care of the hospital. Both addresses are provided below:

Elliott Hogge
c/o Riverside Regional Hospital
500 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, VA 23601

or

Elliott and Sandra Hogge
9625 Line Fence Rd
Hayes, VA 23072

Both President-Elect Bobby and Executive Director Mike have been in steady contact with Sandra and are covering Elliott’s engagements. If you have questions or concerns, please contact one of them.