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Why you should join a civic club

By JOYANNA LOVE/Managing Editor

A civic club is an organized group that comes together to help the community. Most also have a national or international cause.

Chilton County has chapters of many different civic clubs. While one may not have a club name jump immediately to mind, most Chilton County residents have seen their efforts. The annual Peach Festival, County Fair, Taste of Chilton, Miss Blackberry pageant, Spring Carnival, Clanton Christmas Parade and Miss Chilton County pageant are all the work of different civic clubs in town.

These groups are important because they raise funds for local nonprofits that help children and those in need. Many also give scholarships for local students looking to attend college.

I met my first friends in this county outside of work after I joined the Clanton Kiwanis Club.

My employer had encouraged participation as a part of community involvement. The club has provided me with a weekly opportunity to connect with community members and volunteer.

Being part of a civic club can give one the opportunity to have a positive impact in ways that are not possible as an individual.

Each year, the Clanton Lions Club awards thousands of dollars in scholarships through its Miss Peach pageant and raises money for local nonprofits and Alabama Sight during the Peach Festival Auction.

The Jemison Lions Club and the Clanton Evening Lions Club also hold pageants to raise funds for local organizations.

The Rotary Club of Chilton County makes the Clanton Christmas Parade possible each year, while raising funds for Chilton County DHR to give foster children Christmas presents.

The club also provides opportunities for local students to attend leadership conferences.

Just as the Lions Club internationally focuses on improving sight assistance, Kiwanis internationally focuses on children and ending prenatal and neonatal tetanus. Rotary internationally focuses on bringing an end to polio.

There are probably other local civic-minded organizations that should be included in an exhaustive list, but these are the ones that I am most familiar with.

Most of the local clubs mentioned here have a Facebook page to learn more about joining them.