By Drew Granthum
In most states, the month of November means Thanksgiving, family and togetherness. In the state of Alabama, it means one thing: the Iron Bowl.
The last game of the year for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn University Tigers divides family, friends, and the occasional newlywed couple.
For the members of Chilton County’s Auburn and Alabama alumni clubs, the month of November is just the icing on the cake; football is a year-round ordeal.
Both clubs have different pasts, with the UA Alumni group starting back up in 2000 after being dormant for a time, and the Auburn group having not missed a meeting since its inception in 1966.
Pasts (and interests) aside, the clubs have more similarities than differences — the two frequently meet, host events and try to give back to the community.
Kendall Williams, of the Alabama Alumni club, said the UA club meets several times during the year.
“We have a spring event where we have dinner and a guest speaker,” he said. “We have a fall event, usually a pep rally, and then we have a ‘Beat Auburn’ pep rally.”
Glenda Mims, of the Auburn association, said her group has similar events.
“We meet three times a year,” she said. “We have an ‘Unsung Hero’ banquet in the spring, we have a kickoff party and golf tournament in the latter part of August, and then we have a ‘Beat ‘Bama’ party the week before that game.”
In addition to the events hosted, both clubs award scholarships to college students who are in need of financial aid.
“[We award] the Judy Melton Mims Memorial Scholarship to an incoming freshman at the University each year,” said Williams. “It’s an endowed scholarship, so it’s a perpetual fund.”
“Our scholarship goes back to the early 1990s,” said Mims. “We give a scholarship every year. It used to be a minimal amount, but it’s now up to a full year’s tuition. We’re also trying to establish an endowed scholarship.”
The two clubs’ member totals range at around 125-175 apiece and are open to any and all who call the Crimson Tide or Tigers their team.
“Our events are open to anyone,” said Williams. “You don’t necessarily have to be a graduate or alumni. Our only requirement is you believe in ‘Roll Tide.’”
Mims said Auburn Alumni Club membership followed a similar requirement system.
“Our membership is done through the Auburn Alumni Association. You don’t have to be a member to attend [our meetings], and you don’t have to be an alumni, either.”
For more information on the clubs, contact Mims at 205-755-5157 or Williams at 205-351-2099.