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Local group helps those in need

On Monday, members of the DTD Club were packing meals into Styrofoam containers for the Food Pantry as part of its annual Christmas meal tradition for those less fortunate. Earlier this week, the DTD members handed out the 225 plates they prepared at Trinity Episcopal Church.

Helping the Food Pantry is part of the new-look DTD Club, which has changed its focus from being a social club to one more geared towards community service.

The DTD Club has worked on Missy’s Garden at the Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital and will work on recycling projects after the holidays.

It also hosted a Halloween party, using some of the proceeds to help pay for the Food Pantry meal.

“What we made from the party from tickets and T-shirts, the club put up half of that money, and the other half came from donations from businesses and private donations,” said club sponsor Blair Parr. “Those donations came from Robert’s Restaurant, Parr’s Chevron, SouthernCare and Manley, Traeger. Perry and Stapp.

“The community has been very responsive and supportive of everything the club has done.”

Club member Victoria Barley is a member of the Episcopal youth organization, which helped the Food Pantry with its Thanksgiving meal. She brought that idea back to the club to help with the Food Pantry’s Christmas meal.

DTD members who were with the club last year said they were unhappy with the reputation the club has within the community.

“We didn’t do anything,” said junior Jordan Cramer. “Nobody liked us.”

“People were talking bad about the club,” said junior Brooke Bryant. “It had a different image. We were a ‘mean’ club.”

Club members said rumors about it having a harsh initiation were a big part of the club’s negative reputation. For earlier clubs, it seemed that the initiation was all it did.

“Now, we’re giving back to the community,” said president Hillary Stapp. “We wanted to do that. It feels very fulfilling to start that. That actually turned the club around and made it more. It gave a better reputation to the club.”

“Now, the whole initiation thing brings our class together,” said sophomore Tera Schroeder. “It’s a bonding experience with the girls in our class. If I had a choice to go through the initiation again or not do it, I would definitely go through it again.”

Schroeder’s great-grandmother, Norris Hall, is said to have begun the DTD Club around 1923.

The DTD Club plans to begin a community recycling program in January, and will try to have recycling bins around town. It also plans to have other community service projects throughout the year.

It takes a lot to change a club’s reputation and build it into something positive. The juniors and seniors of the DTD Club have done just that, and are building even more.