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Maugansville transplant fell in love with village, Ruritan

Bob Walton has been the Maugansville Pride Days chair or co-chair for 25 years

September 01, 2011|By JANET HEIM | janeth@herald-mail.com
  • Jerry Overdorff, left, Bob Walton, center, and Ron Parsons discuss plans on the setup for Maugansville Pride Days.
By Chris Tilley, Staff Photographer

MAUGANSVILLE — Bob and Virginia Walton are both from Baltimore, but their home for more than 40 years has been Maugansville.

They moved here for Bob's job with Burroughs, now Unisys, and liked the "little village quality" and proximity to the interstate for the travel his job required.

"I fell in love with Maugansville and the Ruritan," said Bob Walton, 69.  

This year marks the 31st year for Maugansville Pride Days. The idea came after a successful Bicentennial celebration in 1976, and the Maugansville Ruritan Club decided to make it an annual fundraiser, starting in 1980.

Bob Walton has been the event chairman or co-chairman for 25 of the 31 years, he said. Jerry Overdorff is the co-chairman.

"I'm in charge of the weather, too," said Walton, with a laugh.

He said they chose the Saturday of Labor Day weekend for the annual event, thinking that in the event of rain, they could at least sell the homemade soups and sandwiches on Labor Day Monday.

They haven't had to do that, though.

The community event held at Maugansville Community Park will kick off with opening ceremonies at 9 a.m. Saturday and run until 5 p.m. It will feature food sales, craft vendors and entertainment throughout the day.

Those attending can find homemade soups, cakes and pies, country ham sandwiches, burgers, hot dogs and hand-dipped ice cream. Sales of peanut oil french fries will benefit The Maugansville Goodwill Fire Department.

The Maugansville Historical Society will be selling the 19th in its series of wooden replicas. This year's is a composite of the Maugansville Little League ballpark, concession stand and sign, with the history on the back.

Walton, who is president and charter member of the Maugansville Historical Society, said this might be the last year for the wooden cutouts because the price they pay to purchase them has gotten too high. A limited number of the replicas will be for sale for $25, with a small percentage going back to them, Walton said.

Maugansville Pride Days continues to be successful because of "complete support of people in the village," Walton said.

The Maugansville Ruritan Club — 55 members strong with about 75 percent active participants — uses the money for scholarships, for loaner medical equipment, to help area people with medical bills and for maintaining the community park, tennis courts, ball fields and picnic facilities.

The club also holds quarterly blood drives for the American Red Cross, and Walton has given 5 gallons of blood through those drives.

"It's like church, helping others. It's wonderful. We handle over $100,000 a year, and it goes right back into the community," Walton said.

In addition to his community involvement, Walton is active in his church, Covenant Presbyterian, in Hagerstown.

The Maugansville Ruritan Club meets on the third Wednesday of each month at their community building in Maugansville at 6:30 p.m.

More information about Maugansville Pride Days can be obtained by calling Walton at 301-739-6742.

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