Driver club seeks new members

Published 7:54 pm Monday, February 27, 2012

The Driver Ruritan Club is planning its first fish fry and swap meet next month, but it hopes to do more than just sell fish that day.

The club also is trying to rebuild its membership after dwindling to just six members during the last two years.

“When we joined two years ago, there were 17 members,” said Bill Wulfkuhle, the president of the club.

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The club has lost members that have died, moved out of the area, are no longer physically able to come to meetings or have just stopped coming, he said. Now, the half-dozen members who are left are trying to rebuild the ranks.

“It’s tough trying to get people to do a volunteer thing,” he said. “I want to make it prosper. That’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”

The group has changed its meeting night from Monday to Wednesday to avoid conflicting with Boy Scout meetings and has scheduled more events to get more people interested.

“We’re trying to avoid the Scout nights,” he said, noting that different levels of Driver Scouts meet on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. That left only Wednesday, even though some families attend church on that night.

“It’s a scheduling nightmare,” he said.

In addition to next month’s swap meet and fish fry, they’ve also scheduled a barbecue chicken dinner in May. Wulfkuhle also has been attending many informal events, such as a weekly cornhole tournament in Driver, to get people interested in the club.

“I’m always talking to people at events,” he said.

The club doesn’t even have enough members to have a full slate of officers, he added.

“We’re keeping our head above water,” he said. “We’re almost to the begging and pleading part.”

There’s more at stake than just the Driver Ruritans. They are the chartering organization for the Driver Boy Scout troop.

“If something happens to us, the Boy Scouts are going to lose their charter,” he said. “I’ve been down that road when I was in Scouts. It’s tough.”

That’s another reason the club is fighting so hard to stay alive.

“I want to see it grow,” he said. “I want it to grow into a bigger group so people can see us out in the community. Lots of people don’t even realize we’re here, because we’re so small.”

The club is hoping to change that situation with its upcoming events. The fish fry and swap meet are set for March 17 at Berea Christian Church, 4109 Driver Lane. The swap meet will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the fish fry will be from noon to 5 p.m.

On May 19, the barbecue chicken dinner will last from noon to 6 p.m., also at Berea.

Proceeds from the events will help the club send a student from Nansemond River High School to Boys State and conduct other community service projects.

The club meets on the first Wednesday of each month at Berea.