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Discover Fauquier February 2019
What is a Ruritan club? It is a group of people who get
together with a common goal of "improving communities
and building a better America through fellowship, goodwill,
and community service."
Originating in 1928 in Holland, Virginia, Ruritan Clubs have
expanded to 1,100 local communities in the southeast
quadrant of the United States, including Warrenton. The
word "Ruritan" is a combination of the Latin words for
open country, "ruri," and small town, "tan."
Since receiving its charter in October 1967, the Warrenton
Ruritan Club (WRC) members have supported the local
community, often flying under the radar with little fanfare.
Early fundraising efforts, including turkey shoots and
circuses, have transitioned to a twice-yearly direct-mail
campaign seeking sponsors for plays now held at Fauquier
Community Theatre .
In 2018, their fundraising campaigns raised over $14,000,
which was used to support 16 local organizations.
Fauquier County Public Schools received a contribution
toward the cost of drug abuse
teaching materials and six high
school seniors received $1,000
college scholarships. The club
sponsored the FHS softball team
and their summer camp, as well
as the school FFA chapter and
Also receiving financial support
were the Fauquier Boys & Girls
Club, Fauquier Family Shelter,
Fauquier Head Start, and
Fauquier County Parks and
Recreation. In addition, the
club supported the Warrenton
Volunteer Fire Department, the
Warrenton Police Department's public education programs,
and Hunters for the Hungry. Programs for special needs
children were supported through donations to TOPSoccer
and The ARC.
The Ruritans also recognize
loc al law enforc ement
personnel who consistently
surpass their calls of duty.
Three local law enforcement
officers were honored at the
WRC meeting last December.
Sergeant Christopher Ford was
nominated by the Warrenton
Police Department as their Law
Enforcement Officer of the Year
based on numerous letters of
commendation. In addition, the
Virginia State Police nominated
Senior Trooper Robert W.
Marshall based on his 15 years of faithful service to
Fauquier County, where he
consistently goes above and
beyond his daily responsibilities
to assist with firearms training,
crime prevention, field training,
and serving as the tactical
team assistant team leader.
And finally, Corporal Kristin
Nicholas was nominated by the
Fauquier County Sheriff's Office
for her role in implementing the
"Recovery Inside the Walls"
substance-abuse program in
the Adult Detention Center, as
well as providing assistance in
launching the "Hidden in Plain
Sight" public education program.
And the WRC accomplished all of this with only 14
members! At one point their membership hung steady
around 30, but according to club treasurer and former
S h i f l e t t , " T h e
aging out. We are
looking for younger
men and women.
E v e r y o n e i s
welcome!" The club
who are willing
to devote their
time and efforts
to support club programs and activities. Membership
dues are nominal with the majority covering the cost of
the monthly dinner meetings.
Bill Benner, the only remaining original member, sites the
camaraderie amongst members as the motivating force
behind his longevity with the club. "We even socialize
outside of the group," he adds.
Vice president Earl Browning, who has been with the club
since 1982, says that awarding the scholarships each year
is one of the most rewarding aspects of membership. "I
love seeing the recipients come back to the Warrenton area
after college graduation and make a life here," he notes.
Members meet for a dinner meeting on the third Thursday
of each month at 7:00 p.m. at Bethel United Methodist
Church in Warrenton. In September the meetings are held
instead at Wesley Chapel UMC in Marshall. After dinner,
there is usually a short presentation by a guest speaker
followed by the business meeting. To learn more visit:
~ Lynnette Esse
Warrenton Ruritan Club:
and Community Service
Mark Lavoie accepts
an award for
Corporal Kristin Nicholas
John Shiflett, treasurer; Earl Browning, vice
president; Randy Ream, secretary
Robert W. Marshall, VA State
Sergeant Christopher Ford ~
2/3 cup unsweetened raw cocoa
1/4 cup maple sugar
2/3 cup raw cacao butter, melted
1 Tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened rice cereal
1/2 cup roasted salted peanuts,
plus more for topping
Line an 8-inch square baking
pan with parchment paper
and set aside. In a medium
bowl, whisk together the cocoa
powder, maple sugar and 1/2
teaspoon salt. Whisk in the
warm melted cacao butter and
vanilla until smooth. Gently stir
in the cereal and peanuts; pour
into the lined pan and, using an
offset spatula, spread evenly.
Scatter some peanuts over the
top and let set overnight at room
temperature or refrigerate until
firm, at least 2 hours. Cut into
squares and serve.
Makes 16 squares