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Smalley accepts Kiwanis gavel from Poston

Thomson's Kiwanis Club celebrated its tradition and renewed its commitment as new officers began their terms Monday.

Jay Poston handed off the president's gavel to Tom Smalley.

Leigh Culpepper advanced to president elect and Garrett Edmunds became vice president. Diane Purvis remained in office as treasurer and Donna Kerr continued as secretary.

Former club president Tommy Phelps, who is also a former district (state) vice president, conducted the ceremony at The Depot, where the club meets weekly.

"I've enjoyed this year," Poston said. "I've joked that I was looking forward to the past president's pin and this day. But it has been a fun year, it really has."

He said the office has been a learning experience, as he has gained new respect for those who work behind the scenes.

Poston said the Thomson club has a long heritage of service to the community. The Thomson club was founded in 1943.

He repeated the question he posed when he took office. "Are you a Kiwanian, or just a member of Kiwanis?" he asked. He said club members continue to serve the community in organized ways and in small, unnoticed ways. "A true Kiwanian sees a problem and just handles it," he said. "If we can do it in the name of the club, then it's good. But the main thing is that we've done it."

"We're here because we love the community," Poston said. "Thomson is one of the finest communities around."

Poston said when he took office he began a list of club accomplishments, with the goal of reciting that list when he left office. He said he stopped keeping that list. "I just got tired of it," he said, because the club's accomplishments are too numerous.

Phelps thanked Purvis and Kerr for continuing in their duties. He asked club members to take time to thank the officers personally.

He said the community recognizes the club's contributions. Since he helped deliver Kiwanis-sponsored dictionaries to area third-graders three weeks ago, he said, four parents have told him, "Please tell the Kiwanis Club thank you for the dictionary," he said.

"Be proud of what we have accomplished and will accomplish," he told the club.

Smalley, like Poston, quipped about the long year ahead, and then said, "I accept the challenge."

Smalley said there are many kinds of families the biological family, the work family, the community family and the civic family. "We've had some good times here in these four walls," he said.

With three guests among their number at Monday's meeting, the Kiwanis left only five seats unfilled.

"It makes a big difference when you look out here and all the chairs are filled up," Smalley said.

Web posted on Thursday, September 29, 2011

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