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Unicoi Ruritan Club celebrates 65th anniversary

The heavy rains throughout the day couldn’t put a damper on the Unicoi Ruritan Club’s 65th Anniversary Picnic on Saturday, Oct. 11. However, the rain forced the picnic to be moved indoors from Fishery Park to the Unicoi Visitors’ Center.
The Unicoi Ruritan has a deep history. It was charter No. 291 in 1949 and was sponsored by the Sweetwater Ruritan.
The Unicoi Ruritan had seven initial executive officers from various parts of Unicoi County. The initial charter listed their name, title and occupation. The officers were: President H.S. Murphy, merchant; Vice President Howard Garland, teacher; Secretary Wayne Scott, teacher; H.C. Carter, farmer; Director Guy Peters, merchant; Director Richard Jones, farmer; and Director Doyle Moore, superintendent of schools.
The full list of charter members of the Unicoi County Ruritan included: Hassell Evans, Doyle Moore, R.H. Renfro, Richard Jones, Floyd Pate, Fain Masters, Haynes Brown, Wayne Scott, Hilden Carter, Bruce Willis, Earl Foster, Homer Vance, Howard Garland, Howard Bradshaw, Vernon Sims, Paul Creason, Fred Booth, Jessie Rice, Hartsell Hoyle, Guy Peters, Theodore Gunn, Arthur Blankenship, Frank T. Gentry, Sam Dains, Jr., Walter Rice, Guss Harris, Wade Harris, H.S. Murphy, Will T. Pugh and Claude White.
As part of recognizing the club’s 65th anniversary, an art contest was held to give area children an opportunity to create a drawing or design in recognition of the occasion. Students and parents were encouraged to participate and the top 10 were chosen from each school in the county with prizes awarded for first, second and third place. The overall winner was determined and would receive a $50 prize. The other winners would all receive cash prizes as well.
Due to weather, the awards presentation was postponned.
The Unicoi Ruritan will be lending a hand at The Town of Unicoi’s 20th Anniversary Celebration on Friday, Oct. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Unicoi Visitor’s Center.