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Tuesday was a big day for the Athens Kiwanis Club with the swearing in of six new members. Lt. Governor Danny Morris administered the oath to Stephanie Gade, Kris Stringer, Phillip Parnell, Kathy Fleming, Jenny Palmer and Barbara Schmidt.

Like many organizations, the Athens Kiwanis Club has seen its share of struggles since the coronavirus started to spread last March.

After the 2020 Pancake Day, Kiwanis meetings were halted for several weeks due to Governor Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 order concerning the size of gatherings. The annual Easter Egg Hunt, where hundreds of kids collect thousands of eggs and win big prizes was canceled in he interest of safety.

This year, Pancake Day has been moved from its usual March location to the first Tuesday in May. The annual Easter Egg Hunt has been canceled for the second straight year with plans to put together a special event for the children later in the year.

But, after months of struggle, the induction ceremony at Tilo’s on Tuesday was a sign things are looking up. Lt. Governor Danny Morris presided over the swearing in of six new members who’ve recently joined the club.

“People are getting back out and it’s good to see our clubs are meeting public again,” Morris said.

Morris, who owns a computer services company. As a Lt. Governor, he takes part in numerous events involving the six clubs in his district.

“Each month, Kiwanis International inducts approximately 2.900 new members,” Morris said. “It looks like Athens is trying to catch up to that by themselves.”

The Kiwanis Club is a global group of volunteers dedicated to changing the world “one child and one community at a time,” Morris said.

The Athens Club was chartered more than 90 years ago and has been serving the community for decades with food drives, scholarships for high school seniors and food drives during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season.

Morris said members mean new ideas, new enthusiasm, greater fellowship and greater service.

The new Kiwanians are Phillip Parnell, Kathy Fleming, Barbara Schmidt, Kris Stringer, Jenny Palmer and Stephanie Gade.

The Athens club has about 80 members. Morris said many clubs have much smaller memberships, but clubs of all sizes can be a benefit to their communities.

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