Athens Kiwanis President Jeaneane Lilly is back in the leadership chair she held a dozen years ago as the club cautiously resumes normal activities. 

“We’ve got things to do. We’ve got people to help,” Lilly said. 

In what is probably the strangest year in the more than 90 year history of the Athens chapter, Lilly stepped in after Jamie Fizer could no longer perform the duties because of COVID-19 precautions required on her job. 

The meeting on Tuesday at Tilo’s Cuisine was attended by 15 members, observing social distancing and dispensing with the usual meet and greet segment. Before live meetings were interrupted in March, they would draw three to four times that many. 

Lilly said the Athens Kiwanis is a strong organization and many other clubs have been struggling during the shutdown of public gatherings and restricted re-openings. 

Lilly read a thank you from Trent Watson, who was a Kiwanis Scholarship Award winner this year. Despite the closings, the Kiwanis continued their practice of giving scholarships in May. There was also a thank you from the Scottish Rite Hospital for a donation in memory of former club president Joann McCarty. 

The timing of the COVID-19 shutdown was fortuitous in one regard. It happened just after the Kiwanis completed their more than 60-year-old tradition of Pancake Day, held the first Tuesday in March. Pancake Day is the club’s biggest annual fundraiser. 

The Athens club is a member of the Texas-Oklahoma District of Kiwanis International. The annual district convention has been canceled with the possibility of a one-day virtual event being entertained.

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