Jay Copp 2014-11-11 16:51:49
100 Mile House Lions Club, British Columbia, Canada Age 40 | Optometrist I’m the only optometrist in our small town and wanted to get involved in the community. The Rotary club invited me to join, but the Lions seemed like a better fit so I had been thinking of attending a meeting. Then I went to the 100 Mile House Lions Club annual auction and won the $500 door prize. I joined the club within a month of that. One of our Lions joked afterward, “That was an expensive but effective recruiting tool!” My mom is a Lion. She joined when I was at university. I think she did it partly as a way of paying back for my great-uncle. He was blind and Lions in Edmonton got him a guide dog. So I’ve always been aware of the link between Lions and sight. I’m the youngest member of my club by a decade, but I think I fit right in. We’re all equal around the table. And even though I’m younger there are certainly members who are a lot more active than me. Their age is not a factor when it comes to service. Some of them even play senior hockey. No, I don’t play. I can’t skate to save my soul. I’m probably one of the few Canadians who can’t. In our small town there is no ophthalmologist, so if someone gets metal in their eye or an eye infection they come to me. Only one other city in our zone has optometrists. Last year I was my club’s visitation officer, and I found that most of the other clubs had members I already knew as patients. To date I haven’t met a Lion that I haven’t liked. I’ve also enjoyed offering the resources of my practice to clean, sort and measure the glasses Lions collect. I’ve had two students that I’ve mentored— one was in optometry school and one later enrolled—come in to measure and clean the glasses. They wanted to do unpaid service. They went on trips to El Salvador and Nicaragua with VOSH International to deliver glasses from Lions. Kimberly and I have four beautiful girls now. They ride on our Lions’ float in the winter parade. I take the two older ones to occasional Lions meetings and as often as possible to service projects. They get a chance to see what daddy does. We have a concessions trailer, and they’ve helped on that. It’s good—it gives them an ethical foundation. It teaches them that to be part of the community they have to take an active interest in the community. Of course, it’s a delight to be around them, too.
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