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The Lewistown Ruritan Club held their annual Ladies Night Dinner at Dutch’s Daughter Restaurant in November in appreciation of the ladies of the Lewistown United Methodist Church who prepare the dinners for the club’s monthly meetings and the wives of Ruritan members.

Frank Warner, Ruritan president, welcomed everyone and thanked the ladies of the Lewistown United Methodist Church for preparing the delicious meals for the Ruritan meetings.

Harold Staley (pictured on right), program committee, introduced Richard Cutter (pictured on left), a retired sheriff from New York as the guest speaker for the evening. Cutter provided a very interesting history on the origins of the Pledge of Allegiance. He described the various changes that were made prior to the acceptance of the pledge that we say today. The original purpose of the Pledge of Allegiance was to bring the United States together after the Civil War, which had caused a devastating divide in America. The Pledge was written in 1885 by Union Army officer George Thatcher Balch, with the purpose of healing the nation. This wonderful history lesson was appreciated by the members of the audience since the Pledge of Allegiance is said at every Ruritan Meeting.

Following the presentation of the guest speaker, Frank Warner distributed donations totaling $2,600 to the following organizations: Catoctin High School Safe & Sane, Team Hope, Lewistown Fire Co, Lewistown Elementary PTA, Lewistown United Methodist Women, Thurmont Food Bank, and the 4H Therapeutic Riding Club. At the annual picnic in August, $4,200 in scholarships were also awarded to local students.

The slogan of Ruritan is fellowship, goodwill, and community service. The Lewistown Ruritan Club is a service-oriented club that provides financial support for many local community functions, as well as the annual scholarship program for local students. Club membership represents a cross section of the community which the club serves and is available to all persons interested in joining. The club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of the Lewistown United Methodist Church in Lewistown.  New members are welcome. If interested in membership, plan to attend one of their meetings or contact Frank Warner at

At the November dinner/meeting at Dutch’s Daughter Restaurant, Lewistown Ruritan President Greg Warner presented Harold Staley and Richard Baseley the Ruritan Forever Award.

A Ruritan Forever Award helps solidify the future of the Ruritan Organization and recognizes members for their contributions toward the goals and achievements of the local organization. Harold Staley was recognized primarily for his organization and scheduling of the annual Lewistown Ruritan Golf Tournament for more than 20 years.  This was one of the main fundraisers for the Ruritan and the funds derived from these tournaments were used to provide scholarships for the local students.

Richard Baseley was recognized for his participation in the annual Lewistown Ruritan Chicken BBQs for countless years, which are a mainstay for the Lewistown Ruritan Club. Richard was usually the first one to arrive at each BBQ and could be counted on to ensure a successful event.

The Lewistown Ruritan President Greg Warner also announced the annual donations provided by the club to the following organizations: the Thurmont Food Bank, 4-H Therapeutic Riding, Lewistown District Volunteer Fire Department, Team Hope, Lewistown Elementary School PTA, Catoctin High School Safe and Sane, and the Lewistown United Methodist Church Women’s Group. These donations were made possible through the funds from the Lewistown Ruritan’s famous chicken barbeques.

The Lewistown Ruritan Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at the Lewistown United Methodist Church in Lewistown and welcomes new members at any time.

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Pictured are (from left) Harold Staley, Lewistown Ruritan Program Committee; Lewistown Ruritan President Greg Warner; and Richard Baseley, Lewistown BBQ Committee.