Spirit of giving back in evidence

Published 10:17 am Friday, May 17, 2013

“For it is in giving that we receive.” 
~ St. Francis of Assisi

Going out to the Bronco Club this week to attend the Hunterdale Ruritan Club’s Beef Barbecue was a step back in time.

The Bronco Club is a beautiful spot on the Nottoway River. Even though it was hot, there was a nice breeze blowing and folks converged to enjoy the 50th annual festivities.

For me having lived away for a long time, I hadn’t attended a Bronco Club function in probably 18 years. It was indeed a coming home moment, seeing old friends and gazing upon the beauty of the river once again.

Everything about the spot brought back memories. We had our ten-year Franklin High School Class of ’75 class reunion there. I’ve attended many a party there in the past, including a rocking wedding reception of a special “brother” of mine.

There is something about driving down that dusty, dirt road and ending up at the river that smacks of nostalgia. The memories came flooding back even though I got turned around once driving out there.

And then walking around and running into folks I hadn’t seen in quite awhile, made it all that much more special.

Talking to the Ruritans and watching them at work made me realize what an undertaking putting on this event is. The guys who were cooking were sweaty and hot and had been out there most of the day preparing the beef for the crowd to enjoy. They were moving hot coals from one spot to another, standing over the pot to stir the “secret sauce” and flipping the beef every 15 minutes and then basting it.

After 50 years, I guess it is like a well-oiled machine; with each step of the process orchestrated in such a manner that everything is handled and handled well. I was very impressed — from the guys showing you where to park to the ones making sure you got stamped to imbibe in adult beverages to the ladies selling the T shirts; it all showed what working together for a greater purpose is all about.

Being a part of a club such as the Ruritans is all about giving back to the community. There are many such organizations and they all do good works. I wondered if young people are joining these groups to assure the community spirit will continue into the future. Many of the Hunterdale members I saw Wednesday are my age and many more are peers of my parents. While there were a few members that are of the younger generation, I hope that more will take heed and want to contribute. The want and desire to give back to your community does require time and energy and unfortunately in this day and age many people are so busy with life in general that they just don’t have the time.

But the spirit of giving back was in great evidence Wednesday and each Ruritan member I spoke to was all about the purpose — contributing their time to put on a first class fundraiser that will in turn provide scholarships, donations to the fire department and donations to United Way, Boys and Girls State, Boy Scouts and much, much more.

It was a good assignment — taking time to visit with friends, eat some great food and appreciate all the hard work that was given to make the 50th anniversary of the Hunterdale Ruritans Beef Barbecue a resounding success.

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” 
~ Winston Churchill

LUCY WALLACE is managing editor of The Tidewater News. Her email address is lucy.wallace@tidewaternews.com.