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Hartnett retires from Boys and Girls Club

“The legend has retired.”

After 40 years, The Shelbyville Boys and Girls Club Executive Director John Hartnett retired Friday.

Much to Hartnett’s surprise, the Boys and Girls Club staff members Jennifer Wheeler and Chelsee Simerly decorated the lobby of the building to celebrate his retirement. Shiny lettering, banners and stars hung from the windows and doorways, reading out phrases wishing him a happy retirement.

And while Hartnett refused to wear a shirt they made him that read “The Legend,” he still appreciated the surprise.

He knew he was going to retire in 2020 a few years ago.

“2020 was going to be it for a number of reasons,” he said. “Forty years is sort of a milestone, it also coincided with me getting a little bit older, and I thought it would be a good way to transition into another part of life where you are still young enough to do other things and still remain active with the club and be effective.”

Hartnett began his career in 1980 as an assistant director.