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2 honored at 90th annual Gainesville Kiwanis Club banquet
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Rushir Parikh says a brief thank you after receiving the John C. Thompson award at the Gainesville Kiwanis Club’s 90th annual awards program Tuesday at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville. Parikh, who will be attending Georgia Tech in the fall, was also awarded a scholarship. - photo by Erin O. Smith

A Chestatee High School student and a longtime Gainesville square businessman were recipients Tuesday night of two awards at the Gainesville Kiwanis Club’s 90th annual awards banquet.

Rushir Parikh received the John C. Thompson Award, given to the top Key Club member in Hall County. And Lorry Schrage was selected as this year’s winner of the John W. Jacobs Jr. Youth Service Award.

The awards were presented at the Chattahoochee Country Club in Gainesville.

Parikh thanked the club, saying, “It really means a lot to us as high schoolers for you to contribute money. It really helps us go to our conventions and do more service for the community.

“And it also inspires us to do more future service.”

Helen Henderson, assistant administrator for the Georgia District Key Club, presented the award to Parikh. She also serves on the Gainesville Kiwanis’ 2014-15 Senior Leadership Programs/Key Clubs committee.

“When he started at Chestatee High School, he was looking for an organization that he could do volunteer work and community service with,” Henderson said. “Luckily, he found Key Club.”

Parikh is now a senior, serves as club webmaster “and has been involved with many projects throughout his four years,” she said.

He plans to attend Georgia Tech, receiving a $1,000 scholarship with the award.

In presenting the award to Schrage, Gainesville attorney Eddie Hartness especially recognized him for his efforts on children’s literacy.

About 10 years ago, Schrage approached the club about handing out dictionaries to every third-grader in the county.

“For the last 10 years, he has run the project,” Hartness said. “... We know, because of his efforts, more than 30,000 schoolchildren in this county have dictionaries.”

Schrage “has truly made our community a better place to live through his service and altruism. His fingerprints are everywhere,” Hartness said.

Schrage, who runs Saul’s clothing store on the Gainesville square with his wife, Sherrie, said, “In truth, this award ought to be given to this club.”

He added: “I appreciate what this club did and has been doing to support this program. It’s been my honor and pleasure to work on it.”