By LOIS KINDLE
Everyone likes a good picnic, and the GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club will be hosting a humdinger June 11.
The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the grounds of its historic clubhouse, 503 U.S. 41 S, Ruskin.
If you’re into great BBQ and old-time outdoor activities, like sack racing, corn hole, tossing water balloons and bobbing for apples, you won’t want to miss this granddaddy of picnics. A DJ will provide music, and there will be face painting, croquet, bocce ball and much more.
“There will be 13 games in all, and kids will earn points to choose prizes,” said organizer Cheryl DeLeon, the club’s immediate past president. “It’s going to be a community explosion of fun and games.”
Tickets are $10 per person up to four and $5 for every person thereafter. For example, if two parents bring their three children, the cost of admission would be $45, for access to all games and a generous lunch, which includes the choice of a burger, hot dog or chicken sandwich; side of beans; assortment of pastries; and choice of cotton candy, candy apple or popcorn. There will also be an assortment of chips and fruit snacks, plus the choice of assorted ice cream pops and beverages.
Cooling stations will be positioned on the property for those needing to escape the summer heat.
The event will also include drawings for gift baskets and a 50/50 cash drawing. Tickets are $1 for 1, $10 for 13 and $20 for an arm’s length.
The community picnic is a fundraiser for the GFWC Ruskin Woman’s Club to secure the building constructed in 1914, which was recently found to have some structural issues needing rather costly repairs.
“This is the first of many fundraisers we will plan to hold to get these repairs completed,” said Kat Sherwood, club president. “When the Ruskin Woman’s Club became federated in 1919, the former Commongood Society clubhouse was one of only three finished-wood, multi-story buildings comprising the town.
(The other two buildings were the A. P. Dickman house and L. L Dickman house.)
The Ruskin Woman’s Club was deeded the building by the Miller family as a memorial to Adeline Dickman Miller in 1940, and the property became listed on the National Register of Historic Places 48 years ago in February 1976.
“It’s important for the public to understand the significance of the woman’s club history and its contributions to the Ruskin community,” Sherwood said. “Our members are devoted to the clubhouse and its maintenance and upkeep.”
Sherwood noted the club is not allowed to tear down and rebuild because of its historic place designation.
The woman’s club, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, also is looking for grants to help “fix what is necessary to make the building safe and secure, but we’re not allowed to alter its outdoor footprint,” Sherwood said. “We’re having difficulty finding a contractor up to the task. If anyone is interested, call me at 813-296-3900.”
For more information or to acquire tickets, call 813-296-3900 or visit www.gfwcruskinwomans.org/. Credit cards and checks are accepted forms of payment.