Taylor Ratcliffe: Over in Rindge – RAMS do good work

  • Members of the Rindge Athletic Men’s Social Club, or RAMS, take part in the group’s Turkeys for Veterans program. COURTESY PHOTO

  • Taylor Ratcliffe

Published: 11/17/2022 11:02:42 AM

It was two separate chance meetings at the grocery store recently that inspired this week’s column. The first was about a month ago in the pasta aisle where I bumped into Karl Pruter, Rindge resident and RAMS member.

Pruter tipped me off on the work the Rindge Athletic Men’s Social Club, or RAMS, is doing this fall with their Turkeys for Veterans program. I had heard about the turkey-donation program for vets here and there, and had read about it in the paper in the past, though I was curious to learn more. So Pruter suggested I reach out to Greg Hodgson, a fellow member and Rindge resident who could shed some light on their work.

Hodgson took an interest in the Rindge RAMS a dozen or so years ago upon seeing a flyer seeking new membership. There was an athletic component to the men’s group, with close ties to the Rindge Recreation Department and sports programs in town. With his children growing up in the community, Hodgson, like other members at the time, felt it was a chance to give back and enhance elements of the community, like the sports fields and recreation department.

“Members at that time recognized that their own families were benefiting from the town, and that, through the RAMS, there was a way to give back a little. In a way, support is passed on, passed forward.” Hodgson told me over coffee recently. “It’s all about community.”

The RAMS seem to exist in Rindge with a sort of quiet impact. Many, like myself, know about the men’s social club, but may not realize the ongoing progress and action of this nonprofit community group until is suddenly appears. The annual Turkey for Veterans program and the Citizen of the Year presentation at the Christmas Tree Lighting each year are a few examples of the RAMS’ signature projects, but other, lesser-known initiatives include painting projects at the town’s food pantry, offering help at townwide celebrations and assisting at senior events.

Dave Trieb of the Rindge RAMS says in the eight-member group there is not a lot of ego.

“It is an old-school organization that is just happy to help out in the community. They do it because they love it.” Trieb told me in a call about the RAMS.

In all, about 37 turkeys were delivered to Rindge veterans on Sunday Nov. 13. The RAMS divided up the turkeys and made personal deliveries to veterans in town, showing that they are valued and important members of the community and that their service and sacrifice continues to be appreciated. Hodgson says his deliveries included a turkey to veteran Roland Goddard, a name I seemed to recognize.

And about those chance meetings I mentioned earlier, the second was just days ago on a busy grocery shopping day before a bit of weather was expected. I didn’t exactly bump in to him, but when I saw him from across the store, I couldn’t help but to walk over and say hello.

“Thank you for your service to our country, Mister Goddard,” I told the 95-year-old Rindge resident and veteran wearing a green Army ballcap. 

Well done, Rindge RAMS, and thank you for the impact you make in our community.

Happy Thanksgiving, readers. Consider giving thanks this year through community involvement and service in your town. To learn more about the Rindge RAMS, send email to gregoryhodgson63@gmail.com.


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