Silk Hope Ruritan Club tallies 70 years of service

It’s been a community pillar, embodying the values of 'Fellowship, Goodwill and Community Service”'


SILK HOPE — Northwest of Pittsboro, amid sprawling fields and rustic farms, lies the small rural community of Silk Hope. A run-down gas station, doubling as a surprisingly delicious BBQ joint, suggests a community forgotten. But nearby, an immaculate fire station and the 5,000-square-foot Silk Hope Community building tell a different story.

For seventy years, the Silk Hope Ruritan Club has been a community pillar, embodying the values of “Fellowship, Goodwill, and Community Service.” The tireless efforts of its members have led to real improvements in the quality of life in Silk Hope.

From restoring the fire department and supporting the local PTA, Scouts and Little League baseball to disaster relief, blood drives and roadside clean-ups, the Ruritans have been steadfast in their dedication. Perhaps most impactful is their support for local students, with scholarships totaling more than $230,000 awarded to local high school seniors since 1983.

The spirit of Silk Hope, characterized by its generosity and commitment to service, was well evident at the community center during The Ruritan Club's 70th Anniversary celebration last Monday. The event was a testament to the club's continued ability to bring Silk Hope together, with local Bluegrass band New Direction providing entertainment and Brown's Chapel Methodist Church Ladies serving a BBQ and chicken dinner. Thanks to the active participation and support of the community, the celebration appeared a resounding success.

Ruritan National President Robin Davenport was on hand to present a certificate acknowledging and congratulating the club, giving a speech to inform Silk Hope members of the organization’s operations from a national perspective, citing Silk Hopes's numerous achievements as a terrific example for the Ruritans.

A roster of former and current club leaders spoke proudly of past accomplishments and goals for the future. After an invocational prayer and welcome introduction to guests by treasurer and past president Johnny Johnson, the group honored deceased members and those who had reached the fifty-year membership mark.

The club shows no indication of slowing down, with an annual roster of events including the Silk Hope Summer Spectacular on July 29, now in its fourth year, with family-friendly activities, food, and fireworks. Old Fashion Farmers’ Days celebrates its 49th year in 2024, drawing thousands over Labor Day weekend.

“These events serve as a testament to the club's ongoing dedication to bringing our area together and fostering a sense of support,” Silk Hope Ruritan Vice President Randy Johnson told Chatham News & Record.

Chartered in Holland, Virginia in May 1928, The Ruritan Club has grown throughout the United States of America and is, self-proclaimed at least, "America's Leading Community Service Organization." For more on the Silk Hope Ruritan Club, visit