Armetta Hunigan, representing the Piney Flats Ruritan Club, was recognized for recruiting the most new members to a club during the 81st Annual Ruritan National Convention held last month in Raleigh, N.C.
Hunigan recruited 23 new members to the Piney Flats Ruritan Club, and the club won fifth place for membership increase.
Hunigan joined Ruritan members and other delegates from 25 states representing more than 29,000 Ruritan volunteers who gathered to participate in self-improvement workshops, organizational business sessions, and the election of Ruritan national officers for 2012.
Ruritans attending the national convention observed a patriotic theme and brought donations to the USO of North Carolina. They also donated Smiles Over Miles cards for soldiers, which provide an easy-to-use, private video messaging platform. Ruritan clubs and districts also donated gift cards to grocery chains in North Carolina 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 emergency personnel. Raleigh-based hospitals accepted donations of the bears as well as donations of knitted and crocheted caps for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
The national convention featured a range of entertainment and speakers, including Medal of Honor recipient Major Gen. James Everett Livingston and Cap. Tierian “Randy” Cash, a retired Navy chaplain and the current chaplain for the North Carolina American Legion.
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 more information about local Ruritan, call Hunigan at 578-6388.