Lions celebrate 90 years of service
By By Matthew Nascone
The Atmore Lions Club has been around for a long time, almost as long as Lions Clubs International. In the late 1920s the Atmore club was founded, but around 10 years earlier the international club was founded.
The year 2007 marks the 90th year of Lions Club International serving communities across the globe. Many countries have Lions Clubs and America is where it all began, but the rest of the world believes in the same simple motto, 'We Serve.'
This phrase is what unites Lions from across the world and it is simple in its meaning and definition. A Lion is to serve any person in need at any time. The largest current program helped by the Lions is the Campaign SightFirst II. This is a program that helps people who are blind.
"I believe what the Lions accomplish with Campaign SightFirst II is the true essence of why they have been around for 90 years," Atmore Lions Club president Patty Helton-Davis said. "And that is why I love being a part of Lions Club. It is a wonderful organization and it speaks volumes that it has survived 90 years. And there is no way it could survive without God."
One of Atmore's longest tenured Lions Club members also believes in the true spirit of the Lions Club.
"There must be something beneficial about the club if it has lasted 90 years," Lion Robert Maxwell said. "And the future of the organization is bright because of the leadership and the interest to be a Lion. And the Atmore Lions Club has always been an important element in the community."
According to "The Lion," the Lions Clubs International monthly publication, it is party time.
This year is special in many ways to Lions Clubs International. The following is an excerpt from the explanation of the celebration of 90 years of Lionism.
"In the Lion universe, 2007 is the year the planets are aligned just right. This year marks the 90th anniversary of the founding of Lions Clubs International (LCI), the 50th anniversary of the beginning of Leos and the 20th anniversary of women as Lions and the Peace Poster contest. The anniversaries will be saluted in high style. And Lions are encouraged to take part in the festivities. There is a lot to celebrate. Lions will pay tribute to the past and look forward to the future. There are decades upon decades of service, accomplishment and innovation to commemorate. So let's don our party hats, toot our paper horns and bang our pots and pans. Last one to leave, please turn out the lights!"
The Atmore Lions Club will celebrate the 90th year with a guest speaker at their Feb. 21 meeting. Helton-Davis said Lynne Clarke, the district 34N chairperson for Campaign SightFirst II, will be in town to talk with the local club about the program.
This year will be a celebration for the Atmore Lions Club, as well as for the rest of the Lions across the world and Helton-Davis extended an invitation to join the club that she calls "an awesome opportunity to help people grow."