Giving Back

Efforts Under Way to Bring Lions Club Back to Mahopac

78134be9f70a23f5cf32_50343_.jpg
Angelo Purcigliott, membership director of the Lions’ 20R-1 District, addresses the UN General Assembly during Lions Day. He’s trying to help bring a Lions Club back to Mahopac. Credits: Ellen Purcigliott
78134be9f70a23f5cf32_50343_.jpg

MAHOPAC, N.Y.— Mahopac has become known as a community rich in altruism, with a population that embraces charitable causes and civic activism. So, it seems odd that the Lions Club—one of the country’s most recognized civic organizations—doesn’t have a presence here.

That may be about to change.

Angelo Purcigliott, the membership director for the Lions’ 20R-1 District, which includes Westchester County (north of I-287), along with Putnam and Rockland counties, is on a mission to make it happen. He’s in charge of membership development and starting new clubs where there are none.

Sign Up for E-News

“They started a Lions Club in Mahopac back in the 1970s, but it died out around 2010,” he said. “I didn’t know how to make up for what we lost. So, in February, we wrote to the Greater Mahopac/Carmel Chamber of Commerce for their help and they turned out to be extremely helpful and we’ve had a few meetings. They want to promote it and see a Lions Club back in Mahopac.”

Purcigliott is a Carmel resident and member of the Somers Lions Club—one of the most active in the region.

“Over in Somers, we have 124 members in our club,” he said. “You can’t do anything in Somers without the Lions Club having some involvement.”

Globally, the Lions have 46,000-plus clubs in 210 countries and will celebrate their 100th anniversary in June.

“My background is I was district governor 22 years ago; I was elected council chairman; I was CEO for State of New York Lions Club, and in 2008, I was appointed to serve on the international board.”

Purcigliott was appointed to serve Lions Club International for UN Women, the official organization in the UN that promotes gender equality. He notes that 30 years ago, the Lions, which used to be a men-only club, made the decision to allow women to join.

“Women were brought in in 1987 and now a third of the membership is women,” he said. “It’s been quite a change. Next year, we’ll have the first woman president [for the state club].”

Purcigliott said that re-establishing a club in Mahopac has been a goal of his for the past two years.

“It’s been on my radar for a while,” he said. “Some of the members in Somers have businesses in Mahopac and they think it is a good idea, too. They see no reason why we can’t have a club here.”

Purcigliott said that Lions Clubs falter when they fail to recruit new members, which is why the first Mahopac chapter fell by the wayside.

“Leadership doesn’t change and they don’t promote themselves,” he said. “It’s tough to keep one going when you have to be the one who does the work all the time. You need new people coming in. Once you stop doing that, you’ll find yourself in trouble. The same people get stuck every year running the organization and they get burnt out.”

Purcigliott and the Lions have slated a meet-and-greet with the Chamber at Four Brothers restaurant on Friday, April 28, as a first step in getting the new club off the ground. Next, they would like to reach out to the school district to start up a Leo Club (the junior Lions Club) to get youth interested in the organization.

“In Somers, one out of four kids belong to the Leos,” he notes.

Purcigliott said he knows the new club won’t be established overnight, but he remains optimistic that he can bring the Lions back to Mahopac.

“I want to see how [the Chamber mixer] goes and see if we can get it rebooted,” he said. “It’s a project that will take some time to do. We need at least 20 people to get a charter from Lions International. Once we get that going, we have Lions district leaders work with them for two years to make sure the club gets off the ground and is working functionally.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

I Do Not Make Stuff Up!

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote in my column, “Watergate analogies apply to Obama, not Trump,” that President Obama’s Justice Department planted a spy in the Trump campaign. I said I used the term “spy” because this was a counter-intelligence operation, not a criminal investigation, where the term informant would have been proper.

That statement has been brought ...

Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

What Kind of Sports Parent Are You?

Social media recently showered a lot of likes and love on a high school pitcher in Minnesota whose team was playing in a regional final that would send the winning team to the state championship game.

After the last batter of the game struck out, the pitcher did something unheard of. Rather than spontaneously join his teammates in an on-field celebration, as is customary, the pitcher ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Packing Heat

“Are you leaving me?” asked my husband one night as he surveyed the contents of my closet on our bed.

“What? No!” I said. “Why would you think that?”

“Every single article of clothing you own is laid out on our bed,” he replied. “So I have to assume you are either leaving me or you have joined the armed services and if that’s the ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_b4cc78dd32adbbf57c97_2018_hiv_testing_day_eng

Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness