July 9, 2012


DeRuyter’s helping hand

Ruritan chapter auctions donations to raise money for groups

AuctionsJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Ruritan members Dick Miller, left, and Tim Marr, right, unload donated items for an annual fundraising auction Saturday at the DeRuyter Fairgrounds. The auction raised approximately $1,500, which will be given to local community groups.

Staff Reporter

DeRUYTER — Tim Marr and Sam Fuller stood under a pavilion Saturday at DeRuyter Fairgrounds and looked at a list of items to be auctioned, while they talked about the impact their Ruritan organization has on the area.
Ruritan, a community service group, raises $8,000 to $10,000 per year through a variety of events, one of which is the July auction. Saturday’s auction was the 41st, the 40th anniversary.
Marr, a 12-year member who is Ruritan’s treasurer, said he joined because “I wanted to give back to the community in a small way.” Fuller, a 40-year member who is a past president, said it is fun to be part of a group that provides help for so many people.
He pointed to a pair of posters that listed items to be auctioned, donated by businesses in the area.
They included a mattress and box spring from Smith Furniture in the village, gift certificates from restaurants such as the Boathouse on DeRuyter Lake and businesses such as a lumberyard, Morrisville NAPA, Cincinnatus True Value and the General Store on the Lake, and work on a will from attorney Mark Levy.
Marr expected the evening auction, with local farmer Calvin Wood as auctioneer, would bring in about $1,500.
The DeRuyter Ruritan is a local branch of Ruritan National Corp., which has its home offices in Virginia. DeRuyter and Stockbridge have the only Ruritan clubs in New York state, Marr said.
The club also raises money through a car auction, coming up on July 22, and an event called a hunter-pace, an equestrian tour through fields and forests on a Lincklaen Center farm belonging to the Staley family.
“It’s like a fox hunt without a fox or hounds, and a road rally. You pace your horse for a distance and then stop at certain points,” Marr said. “There’s a 5-mile one and a 10-mile one.”
The hunter-pace events are Aug. 4 and Oct. 6.
Fuller, who taught science at DeRuyter High School for many years before switching to a business career in 1982 and eventually retiring, said Ruritan has about 44 members and meets once a month for dinner.
The club sponsors blood drives for the Red Cross, Christmas lights in the village and an adopt-a-highway.
The money raised by the club is distributed to a range of community groups such as 4H, Madison County Children’s Camp and youth soccer.
Ruritan sponsors a $600 scholarship for a DeRuyter High School senior, and gives out four awards of $50 each at graduation for athletics, academics and citizenship.
Marr, a retired research scientist from Bristol-Myers Squibb in Syracuse, said the club began donating $200 at Christmas for people with an emergency need, such as losing property in a fire. That changed a few years ago to aiding families that needed a boost for the holidays.
“It was four families the first year, then last year it was 20,” he said.
That underscores how much Ruritan is needed now, Fuller and Marr said.
The auction was held in conjunction for the first time with the annual villagewide garage sale. Rain at 11 a.m. caused some people to shut down their garage sales, but others continued through the afternoon.
Down the street from the fairgrounds, the village’s Woodford-Burdick American Legion Post displayed a wooden shed it is raffling off during the Ruritan car show. The shed, built by Amish carpenters, is 12 feet by 14 feet and is valued at about $1,400.
American Legion is another group that receives financial support from Ruritan. They have several members in common.


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