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Kelley hands off Rotary Club gavel

WEST POINT — Debbie Kelley has been president of the West Point Rotary Club for the past year and Thursday she passed down the ceremonial gavel to Gus Darden.

Kelley has accepted a new job in Phenix City and her final meeting was a heartfelt one as Kelley presented a slideshow showcasing her time as a member of the West Point chapter.

“I made the announcement today that I will be turning the gavel over early to Gus Darden,” Kelley said in a statement released last week. “I have been pursued for quite some time and finally accepted a position in Phenix City, Alabama where I will be over the Hampton Inn and the Holiday Inn Express there.  It is bittersweet but I hope you all will pray for me in this new journey and if by chance, I get homesick and want to come home….well one of you will have a place for me!

The show included photos of specific Rotary events such as the annual Sheriff’s Girl’s Ranch and the yearly Christmas and Halloween parties.

“My program took us through the past few years of Rotary with a slideshow presentation of some wonderful memories I will always cherish,” another statement from Kelley read. “Gus, you will be great and do an awesome job.  I hope you continue at the Hampton so each week a part of me will be in attendance with you all.”

Darden said he was honored to take the position.

“I hope I can do half the job you [Kelley] have,” he said. “I look forward to working with all of you and doing the best we can.”

With that Darden rang the bell, closing the meeting as the official president of the West Point Rotary Club.

“We are adjoined,” he said.