Lions Club looks at ways to expand service, membership

Published 2:58 pm Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Clanton Lions Club President Hollis Jackson stands with guest speaker Barry Elliott, the Alabama Lions District 34-B second vice district governor.

Clanton Lions Club members spent part of their meeting Jan. 4 discussing ways to increase their outreach efforts and membership in Chilton County.

Barry Elliott, Alabama Lions District 34-B second vice district governor and member of the North Shelby Lions Club, led the discussion and offered ideas about how to better publicize the Clanton Lions’ community service projects and recruit more young members.

“You give people a reason to belong to Lionism,” Elliott said. “You have a challenge of bringing membership back up.”

The Clanton chapter is one of 46,000 clubs that comprise Lion’s Club International, the world’s largest service club organization, and members support sight, health and youth volunteer programs.

The Clanton Lions Club will mark its 66th anniversary on Feb. 27, with Donny Martin as its longest-standing member of 53 years.

The club’s primary fundraiser is the annual Chilton County Peach Festival held in June.

“Lionism contributes a lot to humanity throughout the world,” Elliott said. “We need to build that attendance back up.”

Elliott suggested starting a Leo Club for youths in the county and paying for local students to attend the Alabama Lions High School Leadership Forum at Troy University every year.

Another option would be to hold more vision screenings at local schools and businesses to diagnose vision problems early and provide eye care to those who need it but cannot afford doctors’ bills.

The club agreed to discuss each idea further and to continue membership growth after having added three new members in 2012.