Nash County Ruritans met last month at the Momeyer Ruritan Club for their 58th annual meeting.
The meeting included election of officers for 2018, a presentation of Rudy Bears, recognition of special guests, and a moment of silence for Ruritans who have passed away.
Bob Alford led the "In Memoriam" service at the start of the meeting. Nine Ruritans have passed away over the past year, including one from the Coopers Ruritan Club, four from the West Mount Ruritan Club and four from the Oak Level Ruritan Club.
"I stand here with gladness and sadness in my heart," Alford said. "Some of us have been hard hit."
Among the special guests in attendance were Yvonne Jones and Elizabeth Craft, event leaders for Nash County Relay for Life.
Jones told Ruritans that they appreciated all the Ruritans did to support Relay for Life each year. The Ruritans provide a barbecue chicken meal to hundreds of cancer survivors at the Survivor Dinner each year.
"Our Survivor Dinner is the only one in North Carolina fully funded," Jones said.
The event also included a presentation of Rudy Bears to Trooper Quintin Stanton, of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Each year, the Ruritans donate the bears to someone in law enforcement, emergency services or fire services.
Stanton said the simple gesture of providing a teddy bear to a child during an accident really helps.
"It makes a whole lot of difference and we appreciate it," he said.
New officers were also elected for the upcoming year. They included: Chair, Frank Bozelle; Vice Chair, Peggy Winstead; Secretary, Linda Ethridge; Treasurer, Donnie Perry; Program Chair, Jake Pridgen; Decorating Chair, David Thorne; door prize chair, Shirley House; Publicity Chair, Butch Mull; Registration Chair, Lynda Garris; Favors Chair, Kenneth Parker; Nominating Chair, Lester Weaver; Food Chair, Colleen Parker and Audit Committee, Chair Frank Bozelle and Past Chair, Colleen Parker.
The event concluded with entertainment from Ronnie Ezzell.
Jane Tyson introduced Ezzell and said he has given a lot back to the community, including the Ruritans. Tyson said Ezzell was instrumental in having a pink adirondack chair with a foot stool donated to the Ruritans to raffle off for Relay for Life. Raffle tickets are available for $2 each or 3 for $5. Tickets can be purchased by calling any Ruritan member or Jane Tyson at 478-4744. The raffle will be held on April 29.
Pictured (Above): Colleen Parker, of the Momeyer Ruritan Club (at left), presents a Rudy Bear to Trooper Quintin Stanton (at right), of the North Carolina Highway Patrol. Nash County Ruritans presented Rudy Bears to Stanton during their 58th annual meeting last month. The bears are used to comfort children during accidents and other events. (Graphic photo by Amanda Clark)