By Sherrie Norris
It’s been an informative summer in Foscoe as the community’s Ruritan Club has hosted an interesting and well-attended series of Local History Dinners. The upcoming gathering on Friday, Oct. 28, will be the final installment for the year and promises to be “seasonally-appropriate” with guest speaker Harry Yates as presenter.
As past president of the NC Christmas Tree Association, Yates, will share with those in attendance about the history of the Christmas Tree, its farming industry in the High Country and so much more.
Few people know the subject any better than Yates, who has been involved with Christmas tree production at all levels. Not only has he spent the majority of his life as a grower, but his knowledge on the industry has served him well in various mentoring and leadership roles through the years — at the county and state levels all the way to the Board of Directors for the National Christmas Tree Association.
Few could think of a better way to transition into the holiday season than to hear from this Christmas tree expert and support a nonprofit organization, such as Ruritan, that always puts the needs of its neighbors first.
Yates follows an impressive slate of guest speakers for this innovative series which began in July with neighboring Banner Elk’s Mayor Brenda Lyerly sharing very interesting facts about her town and its history.
Next on the agenda was train enthusiast and author Johnny Graybeal who also brought history alive during what members described as “an awesome presentation” about the train that once came to Foscoe, Shulls Mill, and Boone.
September’s special guest was one of Watauga County’s most esteemed senior residents, Clint Cornett, joined by several of his family members. The Cornetts shared their knowledge about shape note music, a once popular method in the mountains and one that Cornett has worked diligently to preserve.
The Ruritan Club members will be serving chili for dinner beginning at 5:30 p.m. Take-outs are available if requested. Cost is $10 per person with proceeds going to serve the needs of the community.
Yates will begin his presentation at 6:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Foscoe Grandfather Community Center at 233 Park Rd. Banner Elk (the Foscoe Community.)
Following Friday’s upcoming dinner and presentation, the events will cease through the winter months; plans are in place to resume the series in April 2023.
Foscoe Ruritan is a nonprofit organization that exists primarily to assist residents of Foscoe and surrounding communities. It is comprised of dedicated volunteers who work year-round to help meet the needs of their neighbors and promote the mission of National Ruritan.
More About Ruritan
Ruritan National has nearly 25,000 members throughout the United States that work to improve more than 900 local communities. Since the organization’s beginning in 1928, Ruritan Clubs have served America with Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service. Ruritan is a civic service organization made up of local clubs in urban areas, small towns and rural communities.
Ruritan’s purpose is to create a better understanding among people and through volunteer community service, make America’s communities better places in which to live and work. The slogan of Ruritan is “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.” Club membership represents a cross-section of the community in which the club serves, and is not restrictive with regard to occupation, social position or any other specific criteria.
Unlike most civic service organizations, Ruritan rarely has national programs. Rather, each club surveys its own community as to the needs of that community and then works to meet some of those needs.