Peach Festival funds go to local projects

Published 2:38 pm Friday, June 22, 2018

By JOYANNA LOVE/ Senior Staff Writer

The impact of the annual Peach Festival reaches far beyond the week of events.

Along with all the fun hosted by the Clanton Lions Club are various opportunities to be a part of funding donations to help community organizations.

With funds raised from the 2017 festival, the club made $22,500 worth of donations.

to local organizations, students in need and Lions Club sight initiatives.

Lion Brett Culpepper said this does not include the $3,000 in scholarships the club awards in the Miss Peach Queen Pageant.

These funds are generated through program ad sales, program sales, the Peach Auction and T-shirt sales.

Peach Auction Chair Glenn McGriff said the focus of the Peach Auction is “to recognize our peach farmers and their beautiful fruit” in addition to raising funds.

“This county produces 80 percent of all the peaches in the state of Alabama,” McGriff said.

Festival Chair Jason Griffin said the finance committee meets each year to plan what projects and organizations to give to.

“A lot of those are traditional,” Griffin said. “If someone comes to us with a request for a donation, we will consider it. We have those quite often.”

Sight needs are a focus for Lions Clubs internationally. Lions President Tony Hughes said this emphasis began after Helen Keller approached the Lions Club about supporting Sight initiatives.

“Other than the eye foundation and sight, we try to focus locally,” Hughes said.

Education and those with special needs are also a major focus for the local club.

Funds from last year’s festival supported Chilton County YMCA Kids Campaign, Constituting America, various youth projects, Donny Martin Scholarship Fund, Clanton Youth baseball, Camp Seale Harris (a camp for children with diabetes), Alabama Eye Bank, Through the Grace of God Ministries, Chilton County DHR, Alabama Sight (Callahan Eye Foundation), Chilton County Special Olympics, vision help for students, Chilton County Education Foundation, Chilton County United Way, 4-H, Thorsby FFA, American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, Chilton/ Clanton Public Library, CCHS FFA and Senior Connection.

Culpepper said the Donny Martin Scholarship Fund awards $1,000 each year to a Chilton County High School graduate.

Some of the funds are also used to off-set the cost of putting on the Peach Festival, according to McGriff.

Hughes said the club does sponsor many of the requests it gets throughout the year.

One such request was for books for those who are visually impaired for the library.

Griffin said many of the donations in recent years have been given through Chilton County Schools. This year they helped fund a Girls Engaged in Math and Science team.

“I have a great pleasure in the people we have helped, like those who went to Troy for the leadership conference or anything else, when they come back and meet with our Lions Club and (to) see the glow on their faces and the enjoyment that they had and how they benefited is one of the best things,” Hughes said.

Culpeper said it gave him “a sense of pride as a person and as a club member to be able to give those things and see how it affects others in a positive way, and we have a good time doing it.”


A complete schedule of Peach Festival activities is included in The Clanton Advertiser’s Peach Festival Guide 2018 inserted in the June 23-24 edition.

Those who will not be able to attend the Peach Auction can make a bid by contacting McGriff ahead of time.