Bingham to lead Evening Lions’ membership, fundraising efforts

Published 4:04 pm Friday, August 9, 2013

Ralph Bingham joined the Clanton Evening Lions Club two years ago and began his presidential term in July.

Ralph Bingham joined the Clanton Evening Lions Club two years ago and began his presidential term in July.

Like the leaders of other civic clubs in Chilton County, Ralph Bingham wants to see new faces become fixtures in the Clanton Evening Lions Club.

Bingham, who serves as the director of Through the Grace of God Ministries in Clanton, started his term as the club’s president in July.

By increasing membership, Bingham also hopes to expand the club’s reach in the community by giving more money to the groups it supports.

“We’re just like any civic organization; we are trying to build our membership up,” Bingham said. “We serve about 15 different charity groups here in town. I’d like to see that grow to where we could do more for these groups we support.”

The Evening Lions Club joins the Clanton Lions Club in giving to the Alabama Sight Foundation every year.

“Our main focus is to get eye care needed for the less fortunate in our communities,” Bingham said.

The traditional East-West Baseball Game has been the Evening Lions Club’s main fundraiser for Alabama Sight, but diminishing interest in it led organizers to declare this year’s game the last one.

Bingham said he and fellow club members plan to look for new ways to fill the gap.

“We’re looking for some new ventures,” Bingham said. “That’s something that we’re going to work hard on doing the next few months.”

Bingham said the club still sponsors the annual Miss Chilton County Pageant and provides each year’s winner with a scholarship.

In addition, the club sponsors the winner in the Miss Alabama Pageant, if she chooses to compete.

“That continues to grow,” Bingham said of the Miss Chilton County Pageant. “We’ve been able to offer more scholarship money.”

About two years ago, the club created a community garden where residents can reserve plots of soil and grow their own fruits and vegetables for free.

“It really took off this year,” Bingham said. “We have had a lot of response for it.”

Bingham, a club member for more than two years, heard about the club’s efforts in the county and decided to join.

“I’m just civic-minded,” he said. “I want to be involved in what goes on in our community. It’s just an organization I had heard about and liked what they were doing.”

Bingham said the club currently has about 30 members and welcomes visitors interested in membership.

The Clanton Evening Lions Club meets the first and third Monday night of each month at Clanton First United Methodist Church at 6:30 p.m. in the Helen Parrish Activity Center.

“We’d love for them to come visit and see what we’re about,” Bingham said. “It’s a growing little group. I’d just like to see it continue to grow because we’ve seen quite a bit of growth the past few years.”