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Club to honor ex-leader
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The members of the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club will honor their former leader Sunday and have invited the public to join in the celebration.

The club will have a reception in honor of Connie Hagler, its former executive director. The reception is a chance for the community to show its appreciation for Hagler, said Beth Hefner, secretary for the Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club's board of directors.

The reception is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m. at the boathouse at the Clarks Bridge Park venue.

Hagler left the club in October, saying her time as executive director had run its course. Hagler came aboard the LCKC during the 1996 Summer Olympics excitement, and helped bring events to Gainesville such as the Canoe and Kayak World Championships, the Olympic team trials and the Dragon Boat Festival.

Hefner said the LCKC board wanted to honor Hagler for her more than 10 years of dedication to the club, and wanted to give the public the chance to do so."We knew there were a lot of people in the community that would like to see her and thank her," Hefner said. "We felt like we wanted to provide an opportunity for (that)."

Hagler is no longer in charge at the club, but she still has plans to help the club whenever she can, Hefner said. The Olympic venue will host the Canadian Olympic Trials next year, and Hagler plans to assist with that, Hefner said.

"If we do really big events she's going to come back, and (she said) she'd be really happy to help us," Hefner said. "She's only a phone call away."

The reception precedes the club's board meeting to vote in new members. Hagler has been nominated to be on the board next year.

"I think the world of her," Hefner said of Hagler.

"She certainly has been ... the heart of the organization."