Members of the Rapidan District attended the Ruritan National Convention from January 6-10, 2016 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Jacksonville Florida. The National Convention provided the opportunity for all Ruritan members to attend interesting and helpful training workshops, vote on important policy modifications, elect the 2016 officers, celebrate Ruritan accomplishments during award ceremonies, and plenty of opportunities for fellowship with other Ruritan members from around the country.
Several Clubs and Districts held Hospitality Rooms several afternoons and evenings, with free food and beverages, and fellowship available to all who dropped in.
Rapidan District Members that attended the convention were (in alphabetical order): Linda Bradshaw (2015 Rapidan District Governor & 2016 Rapidan District Publicity Chair,) Dorothy Duerson (Louisa Ruritan Club,) James Duerson (2016 Rapidan District Growth & Development Chair) Don Hackler (2016 Rapidan District Secretary,) Steve Hicks (Culpeper Ruritan Club,) Irene Luck (2016 Rapidan District Governor,) Perry Marshman (Past National Director & 2016 Rapidan District Foundation Promotion Chair,) Emily Payne (2016 Rapidan District Leadership Development Coordinator,) and Fulton Payne (2016 Rapidan District Lt. Governor & Fundraising Chair.)
Plastic bags filled with Hygiene items (total number donated by the District unknown at this time) for the local homeless shelter, 175 hand-made chemo caps, 14 blankets, and 91 hand-made afghan blocks donated by the local clubs of the Rapidan District were delivered to the convention. Other Ruritan Districts and Clubs also brought donations, and the total collected for the convention were: 360 hygiene bags, 670 chemo caps, 93 blankets, and 1030 afghan blocks. In addition, over 250 Rudy Bears were donated by clubs and Districts, for donations to hospitals, the Red Cross, and the local homeless shelter.
Linda Bradshaw led a workshop on creating Facebook Pages and Websites for Ruritan Clubs and Districts the afternoon of Thursday January 7. Perry Marshman was the song leader for the singing of America during the Opening Ceremonies the evening of Thursday, January 7, and assisted National Director Sarah Kelly with the presentation of the Flag Ceremony. Irene Luck carried the Arkansas flag during the ceremony.
Steve Hicks helped with the technical aspects of the voting booths during the elections Friday, January 8. New to National conventions this year, was the opportunity for delegates to use their laptops from their hotel rooms to log into MMS to vote instead of physically standing in line to vote. Those choosing to vote from their rooms, using their laptops, reported no issues in the process.
Laura Newell-Furniss, Director of Hunters for the Hungry, presented a certificate of appreciation Friday, January 8, to the Rapidan District for their participation in Hunters for the Hungry over the past twenty years. Over the course of twenty years, twenty-one clubs in the Rapidan District have donated $34,722 to Hunters for the Hungry. That translates into 305,994 servings of venison to needy families! Accepting the certificate of appreciation on behalf of the Rapidan District were Linda Bradshaw (2015 Rapidan District Governor) and Irene Luck (2016 Rapidan District Governor.) Ms. Newell-Furniss also gave certificates of appreciation for the local clubs to Irene Luck, for distribution to the local clubs.