DAMASCUS-Damascus Ruritans met in the fellowship hall at the Damascus United Methodist Church for a ham roast dinner with all the trimmings with 17 members and two guests present. Song Leader David Denny led the group in singing one verse of "America." Chaplain Pastor John Ryser gave the invocation. Vice President Al Lutz, in the absence of the secretary, called the roll and read last month's minutes which were approved. Treasurer Roger Smith gave his report.
It was announced that the March 13 blood drive, co-sponsored by the Beloit, Damascus and Goshen Center Clubs, was canceled do to a union strike of the nurses affecting the supply of much needed blood since mid February.
Member David Denny introduced Jim Nero from the Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve who spoke to the group highlighting what they are providing to the public at its preserve. The Beech Creek Botanical Gardens is 164 acres located in Stark County at 11929 Beech Street NE, Alliance. Began in 1999 by a small group of individuals interested in promoting environmental awareness, preserving land, and establishing a nature preserve and botanical gardens, they desired to provide the community with both educational and recreational opportunities as well as the uplifting experience of meeting nature face-to-face. The gardens feature a Butterfly House and Garden, Bird in the hand (hand-feeding birds), Fern Ridge Trail, and the Amazing Garden Plant Exploratorium.
President Dave Wingett announced upcoming events. The 47th annual spring Swiss steak dinner will be held from 4:30 to 7 p.m. March 24 at the West Branch High School cafeteria. Cost is $9 in advance and $9.50 at the door. Children 6 through 12 is half price, and free for under 6. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Damascus Hardware and Remember When or from any member.
The Ohio District Spring Banquet to be held at the Amish Door Banquet Center in Wilmot. Many out-of-town guests will be on hand to help celebrate 60 years of Ruritan in Ohio. A sign-up sheet is being circulated for those planning to attend.
The club will sponsor a non-perishable food drive from 9 a.m. to noon May 26 at the Damascus Post Office. The club will hold a rabies clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. March 26 at the Damascus Fire Department. All dogs must be on leashes and all cat in cages.