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Hardin receives highest honor in Lions Club

Gene Hardin, during the annual Greenville Lions Club Banquet, held on June 18, became the first member in the history of the Greenville club to receive the highest honor available at the local level.

Hardin was awarded the 50-year-member award, and became the first recipient to receive such an honor from the Greenville Lions Club.

The eldest of the charter members, Hardin joined the Greenville Lions Club, associated with Lions Club International, in February 1951.

"I have received awards before, and would prefer not to brag on them, but this one - this award I am definitely proud of," Hardin said. "It seems as though I have been a Lion all my life."

Also at the club's annual banquet held at Nanny's Fine Dining, a new slate of officers was inducted into service for the next term.

During a ceremony administered by Lion Frank Hickman, the following officers were inducted by taking the oath of office: Lion Herbert Morton, president; Lion Harriet B. Foshee, first vice-president; Lion O'Neil Carr, second vice-president; Lion Tim O. Craig, third vice-president; Lion Joseph M. Watts, treasurer; Lion Ricky Cargile, secretary; Lion George Wacha III, tail twister; Lion Smith Tutchtone, lion tamer; Lion Jane Adams, two-year-director; Lion Robert L. Glasscock, two-year-director; Lion Katie N. Holcomb, one-year-director; Lion Frank A. Hickman, one-year-director.

The new board of officers will take office effective July 1, 2001.

Outgoing President Lion MacDonald Russell Jr., during the June 25 meeting of the club, officially handed over the gavel to incoming President Herbert Morton, himself a Lion in the Greenville club since Feb. 1996.

Guest speaker at the same Monday luncheon meeting was outgoing District Governor, E.T. Rolson Jr.

Rolson, a native of Mobile, Ala. and a federal prosecutor for 26 years, is also a past president of the Mobile Lions Club.

He encouraged members to get involved in the community.

"The Lions Clubs that are strongest are those deeply involved in their communities," Rolson said. "I would encourage each of you to get involved in the community - feel its pulse, and get into it."

Rolson said the way that a club gets involved varies with each one.

"What works for some clubs will not work for others - do what your community needs you to do."

Those interested in joining the Greenville Lions Club, a part of the Lions Club International, and dedicated to the preservation of sight as charged by Helen Keller, may contact any member of the club for more information.