Local News

Story published: 03-27-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

Butler Ruritans raise money with tasty contest

On Saturday, March 23rd, the Ruritan Club of Butler, Tennessee held their third annual soup competition and fundraiser. The event also featured a benefit bingo and a 50/50 raffle. It was held at their meeting hall, just above the volunteer fire department on Piercetown Road.

The goals of the club are simple and align directly with their slogan of “Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service.” Founded in Virginia in 1928, the over 30,000 members of the Ruritans use these principles to now serve over 1,100 communities across the country. The group is almost exclusively located in rural communities. Most of the clubs work directly with local 4-H and FFA organizations and often sponsor Boy or Girl Scout groups.

This particular club in Butler has been in the community since August, 1970. They originally met in the Watauga Elementary School but moved shortly after they helped fund the construction of the fire station. Requiring more space for meetings and special events, the club built their current meeting hall above the fire station in the early 1980s. Bill Benedict is currently serving as the Butler Ruritan’s President. He pointed out some of the awards that the club has received over the years, including recognition for public service, citizenship and patriotism, the environment, business and professional development. “We go out and do things for the public, like our park,” said Benedict. “We help others through food banks, clothing lockers, and pet adoption agencies.” The club is located close to Watauga Lake. “We try to clean up the lake and the environment,” said Benedict. “These are things you don’t hear about.” Ruritans often remain humble in their actions to assist those who need their help in the local communities.

Those directly responsible for putting the soup competition together were Nioka Markland and Geri Pierce. Markland has been the club’s secretary for several years. Pierce currently serves as the club’s director. They explained that throughout the year they have several fundraisers, but their largest event is the Old Butler Days. The event is held on the second weekend of August every year. This summer’s event will be the 24th year Old Butler Days has been held.

The festivities at the soup competition and fundraiser were the highlight of the evening. Along with soup, patrons were invited to have a dinner of chicken schnitzel, cornbread, and their choice of dessert. The judges for the competition were Jamie Roberts, Alan Coch, and David Markland. These three judges had the tough decision of choosing between close to a dozen soups, but these gentlemen know their soups.

For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.