Jay Copp 2014-11-12 00:30:32
Sea Cliff Glen Head Lions Club, New York Age 63 | Criminal Defense Attorney I didn’t join Lions until I was 51. I had been in Kiwanis in my old community, which didn’t have a Lions club. Service was part of my upbringing. My dad was a Mason. I was in the Key Club as a kid. But finally someone asked. The president in 2002 was very aggressive about membership. Michael Imbriano owned a food market. If you shopped there, you were subject to becoming a member. I guess if he didn’t have such good food I might not have become a Lion. Even before I was a Lion, I always knew a lot of people in the community. That’s how I became involved in Life’s WORC, which runs a group home for special needs kids. I eventually was on their board. They were bringing in Geraldo Rivera for their golf fundraiser, and he was on a tight schedule and needed to land his helicopter. They knew I knew people, so I was able to get clearance for him to land. WORC eventually didn’t want to sponsor the golf outing, so I helped transition it into our club. I became very involved with Lions right away. I was president, district governor, council chair. Right after I became president a Lion came up to me and said, “You know, this is a great steppingstone if you ever want to go into politics.” Well, I was busy for a few years as district governor and so on. But I’m now a trustee in town and maybe being mayor is something that could happen. What took me so long to become a Lion? My kids were older. It was something I wanted to do. It’s a great way to be involved in the community and meet people. Nassau County is not that big. But I’ve met people I never would have met. Some of them are dear friends now. Everyone I meet wants to do the same thing: help others. It’s the same when I travel to the international convention or a forum. Being a Lion is a great icebreaker. It’s really opened my horizons–people, places, cultures. Now I’m the one recruiting Lions. When my son graduated from college, I asked him to join. His friends did, too. We’ve got a nice core of younger people in the club. It’s funny how things work. I met the parents of my son’s friend, and the dad became a Lion. So are my son and his friends. It’s the tree of membership–it has a lot of branches.
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