Special to Atmore News
The Atmore Lions Club held its 92nd Charter Night Dinner at First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, December 3.
Charter Night is a birthday celebration honoring the club and its members for their service to the community and the general history of the Atmore Lions Club, one of Alabama’s longest-serving Lions Clubs.
The dinner meeting started with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance to a different type of flag — an historic one with 48 stars which was flown at a downtown business in Atmore until Alaska became a state in 1959 and a 49th star flag was introduced. This flag was the official flag at the time Lions club International was formed as well as when the Atmore Lions Club was chartered.
The evening’s Charter Celebration program was researched and written by Lion Nancy Karrick. Everything included had some historical significance. The program included a trip down memory lane from the perspective of the four wives of local founding Lions Club members playing bridge. The wives were portrayed by Patty Helton Davis, Audrey Moon, Renee Hardy and Anne Hetzel. Kevin Garrett, accompanied by Mary Beth Lancaster, gave renditions of early Lions Club songs which were written as far back as 1926.
History came alive as references to A.C. Moore, Professor Robert E. Hodnette, G.R. Swift, H.H. Dees, and others made the stories so real for those attending. Attendees learned about the Lions’ early involvement in the planning and construction of Greenlawn Hospital, providing milk for needy children, support of both Boy and Girl Scouts, and the lighting of the Escambia County High School football field. They were recognized for more current projects such as the renovation of the old high school building as a community center, financial support of the new splash pad, cooking and serving at a diabetic camp for children, participation in Taste of the South and Christmas parades, establishing a Leo Club at the local high school, and, of course, supporting the blind and sight programs through the sale of mops and brooms.
District Governor Yvonne Burroughs gave recognition to Robert Faircloth (30 years), Alex Jones (10 years) and Chris Walker (10 years) for Atmore Lions Club membership.
The big news came near the end of the night, as District Governor Yvonne Burroughs presented the Atmore Lions Club’s “Lion of the Year” to Nancy Karrick for her years of dedicated service. Nancy, along with Marjorie Freeman, Dr. Elaine McGrath, Marshall Rogers, Sherry Digmon, Patty Helton, and Myrna Monroe, were the first women to join the Atmore Lions Club once women were allowed to join.
Special recognition was also given to Mandie Thompson, Taylor Lee, Anne Hetzel, Renee Hardy, and Patty Davis for their help in organizing the event.