Atmore Lions celebrate 95th anniversary

Special to Atmore News

February 2, 2023, was celebrated in a big way by Atmore Lions as they gathered at First Presbyterian Church to acknowledge the 95th anniversary of the Atmore Lions Club. The 35 in attendance also included special guests Past District Governor Bobby Ziglar, Past District Governor and Council Chair Linda Ziglar, sponsor of the Escambia County High School Leo Club Barbara Whatley, and Leo president Darron Nichols. Lion Renee Hardy and her committee did an outstanding job with the plans, program, and set up for the supper which was catered by South Alabama Vending.
In 1928, the year Atmore Lions Club was chartered, A&P advertised bacon for sale for 29 cents a pound, Campbell’s Tomato Soup was 3 cans for 25 cents, and Atmore Motor Company was selling a new Chevrolet for $585. The Atmore Advance also had an article titled “Lions Club Assured.” After a luncheon meeting in the library of the old high school which was provided by the PTA and served by home economics students, 40 people, 10 of whom came from the Mobile Lions Club, helped and worked on the charter process. Atmore was definitely on the road to having a Lions Club. The following week, a large delegation of Lions went to Mobile where International President Irving L. Camp presented the charter. Entertainment included a dinner at the Battle House, after which dancing could be enjoyed by those desiring.
A month later, Field Director E.P. Line came and outlined the work that should and could be carried out by the local club. He stated that the purpose of the Lions Club was not for personal gain to its members, and that it was distinctly a service organization and the only reason for existence was to be of service to the community.
In 95 years, the words Mr. Line spoke are still true. Members of the Atmore Lions Club adhere to and live by their motto, “We Serve.” This is evidenced by the projects they support in the community, nationally, and internationally.
One of the Lion’s earliest projects was sidewalk paving and mosquito control. Those 1928 ideas were right on as we are still doing both projects in Atmore. Over the years, Lions have made donations to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Pilots for Christ, organizing and helping raise money for the Atmore hospital, numbering of streets and houses in town, lighting the football field behind the old high school, financial support for the splash pad behind Heritage Park, cooking and serving at a diabetic camp for children as well as one for families of children with pediatric cancer, establishing a Leo Club at Escambia County High School, supporting the blind and sight programs through the sale of mops and brooms, and posting the flags in downtown Atmore for many years. Perhaps their most notable accomplishment in Atmore was saving the old high school, which, after extensive renovation, became the community center for Atmore.
The program for the February 2 event included a welcome by Atmore Lion’s Club president Chuck Brooks, introductions of guests by Lion Renee Hardy, Pledge to the historic 48 star flag which now belongs to Nancy Karrick and was used in her grandfather’s store on Main Street until 1961, by Lion Taylor Lee, and the prayer and blessing by Lion Kevin Garrett. Following dinner, Lion Anna Marie Gilchrist introduced the guest speaker from Gulf Shores Lions Club, Lion Linda Ziglar. District Governor Bub Gideons gave the closing remarks.