John and Joan Smith have enjoyed meeting people early in the morning at the Boone County Fitness Center for the past 20 years, but on Jan. 1, 2017 they gave up their volunteer job.
Each morning since 1997, they have been the first people at the Fitness Center, opening the door for members to come in for their morning workouts.
With their decision to retire from that job, the center will be installing an electronic key card entry system, starting sometime in March. The new system will allow members to enter and use the exercise facilities at any time.
Anji Kendrick, manager of the center, said the Smiths have been invaluable to the operation over the years.
“We cannot thank Joan and John enough for the service they provided over the years,” said Kendrick. “It was more than just the volunteering. They became friends to all of the staff and the members that they saw every day. We appreciate all they have done and wish them the very best!”
For the Smiths, it all started back in 1997 when Joan was walking at the fitness center and filled in temporarily for an employee who had to leave. “From there, it just kind of snowballed,” said Joan, and she became a regular volunteer.
Read more in the Feb. 15 Albion News Print and E-editions.