By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Atmore’s Yellow Hats Society, in existence for nearly 20 years, now has an offshoot under which the group will carry out its service projects, and the Atmore Lions Club now has an offshoot that strengthens the international organization’s presence in the Atmore area.
The Atmore Yellow Hats Lions Club was formally chartered and its members pinned during a ceremony last Thursday, March 9. As District Governor Bub Gideons “called the roll,” ALC member Patty Helton Davis pinned each new Lion, who then signed the charter scroll.
Atmore Lions President Chuck Brooks presented the new club with a patch declaring it a member of Lions Club International. The patch will be attached to the new group’s flag.
“Atmore Lions Club bought the flag and patch as gestures of goodwill to get them started,” Gideons said. “The Yellow Hats already existed as a group and had already conducted several service projects.”
Lillie Johnson, president of the Yellow Hats, said the society decided that forming and chartering their own Lions Club would give them added support in their efforts to better the community.
“(District Governor) Bub Gideons is a member of Yellow Hats, and we wanted to pursue this,” Johnson said. “We wanted to do this to help more people; helping people is what we are all about.”
She added that the new club’s motto is “Building bridges, not walls.”
The Yellow Hats Society has sponsored the annual Rosa Parks Breakfast for the past 15 years. Its members have carried out food distributions and have helped families and individuals who were affected by COVID, those who lost their homes to fire, and even those in Brewton who were left without clothes or shelter when a series of tornadoes swept across the community last year.
Gideons, who is a member of Atmore Lions Club and Yellow Hats Society, said the community should benefit from the new alliance.
“It’s real exciting; it works really well,” he said. “By working together, we should have our fingers on the pulse of the entire community.”
Johnson said the new Lions affiliate will conduct its meetings at a different site each month.
“We’ll meet and eat at different merchants’ places,” she explained. “That way, we can put our money back into the community.”