Trentham joined Ruritan members and other delegates from 25 states that represented more than 29,000 Ruritan volunteers across the nation who gathered to participate in self-improvement workshops, organizational business sessions and the election of Ruritan National officers for 2012.
Ruritans attending the convention observed a patriotic theme — bringing donations to the USO of North Carolina. With the state of North Carolina home to many of the nation’s men and women in the armed forces — the USO was a perfect match for the Ruritans. In particular, Ruritans donated Smiles over Miles cards for soldiers, which provide an easy-to-use, private video messaging platform that brings loved ones close together across any distance. Ruritan clubs and districts also donated gift cards to grocery chains in the North Carolina area so that the USO could purchase important perishable items for their welcome centers.
Ruritans presented Raleigh area fire, rescue and law enforcement with hundreds of Rudy Bears — the Ruritan mascot. The stuffed bear is given to children in crisis situations in an effort to distract or calm them
Since 1988, Ruritan clubs have provided more than 50,000 Rudy Ruritan teddy bears to fire, rescue, police and children’s agencies to comfort children in times of illness, accidents or other crises. Raleigh-based hospital officials accepted donations of the bears as well as donations of knit and crocheted caps for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The convention featured a rang of entertainment and speakers — again with a military theme — including medal of Honor recipient Maj. Gen. James Everett Livingston and Capt. Tierian Cash, a retired Navy chaplain and current chaplain for the North Carolina American Legion. The closing entertainment was a USO-type variety show featuring the talents of Ruritan members.
Ruritan National is the parent organization of all local Ruritan clubs, organizations devoted to improving America’s communities through fellowship, goodwill and community service since 1928. For information, contact Trentham, who is district/area governor, at 472-2405.