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Founders Day returns on Saturday

Members of the Holland Ruritan Club, the first Ruritan Club in the United States, will celebrate the 91st anniversary of the organization’s founding with friends, family and festivities this weekend.

The club will hold its annual Founders Day celebration on Saturday in downtown Holland. The festivities will include an opening ceremony with Ruritan and Suffolk city leadership, the annual parade and car show and plenty of crafters, vendors and family-friendly activities.

“We hold a celebration (each year) and it’s like coming back to the grassroots of where it actually started,” said Donald Worrell, former Ruritan National president and active Holland Ruritan.

The first Ruritan Club was charted on May 21, 1928 in Holland. It has since grown to become “America’s Leading Community Service Organization,” with more than 25,000 members working to improve 900-plus communities nationwide, according to ruritan.org.

“It’s just amazing that a national organization was started right here, and people in the community look forward each year to the parade,” Worrell said.

Each Ruritan Club surveys the needs of its local community and works to meet those needs, working with local organizations and Boys and Girl Scouts. The Ruritan slogan is “Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service.”

The Holland Ruritan Club regularly holds fundraisers to donate money to other organizations and to provide scholarships to local youth.

“That’s what Ruritan is all about,” he said.

Founders Day will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., rain or shine, and is free and open to the public. The day will begin with an opening ceremony at 10:30 a.m., featuring Ruritan National President Larry Cassell and other speakers, plus a wreath-laying ceremony.

The Holland Ruritan Founders Day parade will follow at 11 a.m. This year’s parade will include local bands, antique cars and numerous, eye-catching floats. Worrell said there are still spaces in the parade, and people can register their vehicles up to 10 a.m. Saturday morning, before the streets shut down for the parade at 10:30 a.m.

The classic car show will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This show will feature custom cars and trucks. Those that want to show their cars pay $20 in advance or $25 on site, but the event is free for spectators. On-site registration will be from 8 to 10 a.m.

Crafters, vendors and all sorts of activities will also be available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The event will conclude with the Founders Day Banquet starting at 6 p.m. at the Holland Community House. Participants must register for the banquet by Friday.

Visit facebook.com/HollandRuritanClub for more information.