Raising Money and Giving It Away
Andrew Dennis of Shady Side knew he wanted to go to college. He didn’t know how he was going to manage the costs. As a senior at Southern High School thriving in his welding class, Andrew went on the hunt for scholarships. He found his way to college with the Lothian Ruritan Club, which awards $8,000 in scholarships evenly to eight graduating seniors every year.
Andrew earned the John Hiser Scholarship, which helps seniors wanting to go into culinary or vocational school. When the Ruritans realized that even with the scholarship Dennis, now 18, couldn’t afford the $17,000 tuition for Ohio Technical College, the club helped him find a way.
“That’s what we do,” said Ray Glenn, the Ruritan that worked with Dennis. “We help in the community where it’s needed.”
Help in the community where it’s needed is what the Lothian Ruritans have done for 60 years.
This month starts burger burn season, with Ruritans cooking 20 pounds of hamburgers and almost that in hotdogs at Greenstreet Gardens in Lothian. On a good weekend, the smell of the charcoal brings in $2,000 to $3,000 — more money than any other project.
The December citrus sale adds another $3,000.
For the annual spring spaghetti dinner, Frank Gouin, The Bay Gardener, cooks 60 pounds of pasta and tops it with 18 gallons of homemade sauce. Spaghetti supper money bought $4,000 worth of processed food for the South County Assistance Network Food Bank.
“We raise money so we can give it away,” explains Gouin, Lothian Ruritan president.
Dennis has completed his welding training and is working on his certification — again with Glenn’s help, this time in getting his driver’s license.
“Around here,” Glenn says, “you have to have a license to work. It’s the first step.”