In the Beginning
In 2019 the Lucketts Ruritan Club celebrated its 40th year serving our community. Lucketts was not the first community in Loudoun County to establish a club however. In 1977, then County Agricultural Extension Agent, Bill Harrison of the Hamilton Ruritan Club, undertook an effort to establish a club in Lucketts. His primary local contacts were Buddy Moreland and John Adams who enlisted the aid of Buck Lawson and Walt Zeitfus in early 1979. These four were quickly joined by Lloyd Fry and James McKimmey and by March the group had grown to eleven, but less than that required for a Ruritan Charter. Lucketts was already changing from a purely farm community to a place where Washington, DC commuters settled to take advantage of the Point of Rocks commuter rail station. Through heroic efforts, the critical number of sixteen was reached in April and included both the “Rus” from the local farms and the “Urbs” who spent their day laboring in “town.” Their charter meeting was convened on May 8th and the work of the Lucketts Ruritan Club began in earnest. During the balance of 1979 the Club focused on identifying community needs, marshalling member talents, defining objectives, assessing fund-raising opportunities and just surviving.
In order to obtain a corporate charter and 501(C)(3) designation the Club members needed to identify the organization’s initial objectives. “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service” was not specific enough to meet State and Federal criteria. The following initial objectives were established by this group of 16 Charter Members:
- Support the needs of the Lucketts Volunteer Fire Department. At the time, Loudoun County did not have a combined Professional and Volunteer organization.
- Support the restoration of the Old Lucketts School and preserve it as a Community Center for the residents of Lucketts. (Our current Lucketts Elementary School had replaced the Old Lucketts School building in 1972.)
- Establishment of a Lucketts Agricultural and Forestal District to protect and promote the economic health of established family farms.
- Provide community-based trash collection for the hundreds of families with no local service. These families had to cart their trash to the south side of Leesburg to access the County’s Landfill operation.
- Promote and fund youth activities and assist the needy in Lucketts.
Today the Club continues its support to Lucketts Volunteer Fire Company 10 which is now combined with the County’s paid fire and rescue program. The Lucketts Community Center thrives in the Old Lucketts School building and stands as one of the best architecturally preserved examples of early twentieth century American school houses. The Lucketts Agricultural and Forestal districts are long established. The Ruritan sponsored weekly trash and recycling program operates every Saturday of the year with the exception of Christmas and New Years. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been awarded as scholarships to local high school and home schooled seniors. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Rudy Youth Clubs, our local churches and organizations that support our youth and those in need receive annual financial support from the Ruritan Club. As the communication needs of the community changed, the Club partnered with the Lucketts Community Center Advisory Board to establish a quarterly community newsletter – Lucketts News and Notes.
The Club has 40 local members in 2019 and welcomes new members who are interested in building on this legacy to keep Lucketts a great place to live.
As the Club enters it’s 41st year a number of new priorities have been added to the original list above. People who live here now are challenged by the demands of family life in the 21st century. Technology and Social Media have changed the way we communicate as neighbors. Commuting – whether to work, to school or to services, takes an increasing amount of time. Less and less time is spent face to face with others in our community. Youth are challenged earlier and earlier to explore their gifts and talents yet the resources available to support this exploration are hard to find. Our environment faces new challenges as our population grows and the nature of our land use changes. Going forward, the Lucketts Ruritan Club will also focus on:
- Becoming the centralized, on-line resource connecting people with the information they need about our community by building awareness of local news, events and issues.
- Creation of a Youth Development Grant Program fund to assist school-aged children with projects and activities that promote their development.
- Providing hands-on opportunities for residents of all ages to come together and preserve our local environment and celebrate our local history.