Change starts at home

Published 4:48 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

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GATES – Those looking to make the world a better place to live can begin that effort in their backyard.

That was the challenge issued by Glen Broadwater, the 2022 Ruritan National President who was the featured speaker at the Gates Ruritan Club meeting here Sept. 12.

“When I meet with Ruritan clubs all across the country, what I find is that we are all of the same mindset,” Broadwater stated. “We love people. We love our communities and we want to make them a better place to live.”

Broadwater noted that in 2022, Ruritan National changed its vision statement.

“Our vision is to create thriving communities throughout America. Isn’t it wonderful to be a part of something that can do that? We care enough about our communities to do that,” he said.

Glen Broadwater (left in both photos) presents Golden Key Awards to Gates Ruritan Club members J.B. Freeman (above) and Tracy Smith (below). Staff Photos by Cal Bryant

Broadwater also stressed the fact that 100 percent of all monies raised by Ruritan clubs across America “goes where you, the club members, decide where you want it to go.

“Ruritan doesn’t invest in national or international projects; you, the club, have your projects, you decide how your money is spent,” Broadwater stated. “You have complete control.”

He continued the local theme of his remarks in another vein.

“There’s a lot of turmoil in our country and worldwide,” Broadwater noted. “But change begins locally. If we want to change our country, our world, that all starts here at home. It begins right here with you and I.”

Broadwater said the time is right for spread the “Ruritan word” throughout the nation.

“There’s not a better time in America than now to get people involved,” he stressed. “People are eager to help. And once they do come in, listen to their ideas. Give them a chance to contribute to your club; give them a chance to help you change your community for the betterment of all.”

He shared an interesting statistic on the average age of the membership of newly formed Ruritan clubs. While most would guess age 50 and over, Broadwater said it is 40 and below.

“Sometimes we get set in our ways, but when we do that we don’t open our ears and eyes and hear and see new ideas,” he remarked. “Look and listen to those with new ideas about how to make your community a better place to live.”

He encouraged the Gates club members to go out and expand their ranks.

“Ask people to be a part of something that’s exciting and growing,” Broadwater said. “People will follow those who lead and Ruritan is a proven leader.”

Broadwater joined Ruritan in 2005 in Nickelsville VA. He became president of that southwestern Virginia club in 2010, serving three years in that capacity. He was elected Ruritan Lt. Governor of southwest Virginia in 2012 and went on to serve as Regional Governor in 2014-15. In 2016 he was elected to serve as a National Director.

At last week’s meeting, Broadwater presented Golden Key Awards to J.B. Freeman, Tracy Smith, and Billy Seiling for recruiting new members to the Gates Ruritan Club. One of the newest members, Jeff Taylor, was formally voted in as part of club at the meeting.

Freeman, as the Gates club’s outgoing president, presided over the meeting. The agenda included a presentation from the Nominating Committee who put forth their recommendations for the Gates Ruritan Club’s officers for 2023-24. They are Cody Brinkley (President), Perry Tyler (Vice President), Dan Schaeffer (Secretary), and Don Gregory (Treasurer). Those individuals were approved without objection.

Danny Privott, the 2017 Ruritan National President, performed the honor of swearing in the newly elected Gates officers. Privott, who now resides in Gloucester, VA, has perfect attendance for 32 years in the Ruritan clubs where he has been a member.

“I challenge you to help these guys do their jobs better because that makes this club better,” said Privott upon presenting each Gates officer with a pin that says, ‘Together, we affect change.’


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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