A coalition of three service clubs is continuing the 64-year tradition of recognizing a Good Friend and Neighbor at the Nettle Creek Rural-Urban Dinner. 

The Rural-Urban Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19, at Willie & Red’s, 40 E. Main St. in Hagerstown, according to David Williamson, the Economy Lions Club president.

The dinner started in 1959, sponsored jointly by the Hagerstown Rotary Club and the Young Farmers. The Rotary Club disbanded several years ago and the Nettle Creek Young Farmers found a new partner with the Hagerstown Optimist Club. More recently, membership in the Young Farmers dwindled and they decided this year against continuing.

Some members of the community wanted to continue the dinner and the Good Neighbor award. Williamson said that Darrell Smith of Nettle Creek Lions and Randy Newman from Economy Lions presented the situation to Economy Lions two weeks ago, and that group decided to join with the Nettle Creek Lions and Optimist Club for sponsorship.

The dinner’s original purpose was to bring town and rural residents together for a relaxing evening of good fellowship. The highlight has been the presentation of the Good Friend and Neighbor, a person or small group known for their neighborliness and community spirit. Another highlight has been a guest speaker. Some past programs have featured entertainment from a Hagerstown Jr.-Sr. High School musical organization.

This year’s dinner will start with presentation of the Good Friend and Neighbor, which traditionally has been chosen by a small committee of past recipients. There will be no guest speaker.

Reservations for the Rural-Urban Dinner may be made by calling Willie and Red’s, 765-489-4131.

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A version of this article appeared in the October 4 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.

Bob Hansen is a reporter for the Western Wayne News.