|October 27, 2018||From Dark Secrets To The Lions: A Life Of Success. An Exclusive Interview With Suzzanne Troiani P...||no comments|
|November 04, 2017||HOW COOPERATION AMONG VARIOUS LIONS DISTRICTS BROUGHT HELP TO HURRICANE VICTIMS.||no comments|
Tiziano Thomas Dossena: You went from President of a local club to vice District Governor, and then to District Governor. Did you find it difficult to adapt to the different duties or was it for you a natural flow situation?
Sue Piccolo: I was actually nervous until I realized I have run a business for so long I should just use those skills I have learned from owning my own business. Plus, the Lions offer fantastic training in Leadership not just for the Lions but, for everyday life that you can carry through into your personal life.
Tiziano Thomas Dossena: What were the goals you are in mind when you became District Governor and do you feel you have achieved them?
Sue Piccolo: My goal was to not let the Lions stay the best-kept secret anymore. That actually proved to be true when Harvey hit Texas. I called upon the Lions and the community and it went viral. We were on the news, which was amazing, showing the world what we are all about. I can actually say we are the best humanitarian organization in the world and it was proven by what we did and have done all around the world, not just catastrophic emergencies, but also diabetes, pediatric cancer, eyes, measles shots and just so much more…
Tiziano Thomas Dossena: I understand you will continue your activities in the Lions after July, when you will leave your position as District Governor. What will your new duties be?
Sue Piccolo: Your duties as a past district governor is just as important as a sitting governor. We continue to be mentors for the lions and the community. I have actually taken the position of Global Membership Leader. I help clubs recruit members and I train the new and seasoned members and give them the complete foresight of what our duties are as humanitarians. I do tell members it doesn’t matter if you give one hour of your time or many hours. You’re making a difference in your community and around the world, one Lion serves 70 people and that is huge. I am so Thankful to the Lions I have met around the world and in my own district. To see the dedication that the Lions have impresses upon me to keep humanity a priority. For that, I thank them all.
Tiziano Thomas Dossena: You have received many awards from the Lions throughout the years for your efforts in the community. Most recently, though you received a special award connected to the Sandy hurricane. What was it? Why was this award different from the others?
Sue Piccolo: Yes, it’s true I have received many awards, but getting the International President’s Award is unheard of as a sitting governor. It was for giving up my everyday life, turning my store upside down and sending over 220,000 pounds of supplies to Texas, 15,000 pounds to Puerto Rico and gift certificates to Florida. I was honored to receive it, but I dedicated it to everyone who worked so hard to complete our mission. When you work as a team, you can accomplish anything. That’s what we did and that’s why the award is for everyone.
Tiziano Thomas Dossena: You also contributed as a columnist for our magazine and wrote a novel, “Dark Secrets, The tale of a Shaman” Do you think that after this hectic period you will find time again for your writing endeavors? Regarding “Dark Secrets”, I was told by you that it is book one of a trilogy. Are you working on the second novel yet?
Sue Piccolo: Well, it’s my first novel and it’s aimed mainly at the young adults’ audience and the lovers of fantasy stories. It is the first book of a trilogy and I have started already on the second book, I’m trying to write again but, with all the tragedies happening, it’s hard to not answer the call of duty. But I have set a goal to write again by November.
Tiziano Thomas Dossena: Without giving away the story of your novel, could you tell our readers what inspired you to write it?
Sue Piccolo: I always loved stories and poems especially ones that a dear friend of mine wrote. They always hit me in a way that always kept that intrigue in me and that inspired me to put a pen in my hand and just do it.
Article by Tiziano Thomas Dossena
As soon as hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Suzzanne Piccolo, Governor of the Lions District 20K2 for Nassau County and Bermuda, started making phone calls. At first it was to find out whether family and friends who live there were safe, but within few hours, even before the hurricane had completed its destructive work, Suzzanne, Sue for the friends, went into high gear to collect various materials to help her brothers and sisters in the Lone Star State. For the people who know her, it’s not a surprise, since she is always planning some kind of rescue, collection or other to help people in her community, but this new project was certainly large and challenging even for her, without any support from other entities. So, Sue contacted Betty Ezell, Governor of Lions District S-S2 in Houston, who was excited and pleased to hear from her and immediately collaborated, along with Victoria “Vicky” d’Angelo Tompkins from the “Friends of Conroe”, to find someone who would provide the truck for the transportation of the collected provisions.
The key person turned out to be Tracey Mann, President and Founder of the Phoenix Charity, who donated the truck needed for this marvelous deed. Members of the “Friends of Conroe” and of the Lions in Texas offered to do the unloading and distribution of the materials when delivered.
Having solved this issue, Sue took a long breath of relief, since the collection was going full speed, thanks also to Suffolk County Lions from District 20S, led by Richard Irizzarry, who had started a collection of their own and re-directed the collection to The Cop Shop, the Massapequa store owned by Sue and her husband Sal, which had become the location of temporary storage for Long Island’s collecting activities. Soon, though, the materials collected proved to be a challenge for the truck supplied by Phoenix Charity.
The generous stream of supplies of all kind kept on flowing after the truck left and one more truck was needed. Phoenix charity offered once more their help and the second truck was promptly provided. So many volunteers helped with the collection, storage and loading of the supplies; among them members of the N.Y.P.D., the Nassau County P.D., Massapequa’s Fire Department, Lions clubs from both Long Island Districts and some even from upstate New York. The local community was also not shy in giving a helping hand and both trucks brought the much needed provisions, all 110,000 pounds of them.
As Sue Piccolo stated, “The water was not receding fast enough; it did not have a place to go. Flesh-eating disease started to pop up in various locations and these supplies were essential to a proper response to this tragedy.” Regarding this aspect of the destruction hurricane Harvey had brought, medicines were in high demand and short supply, so Sue located a nurse, Mary, who provided contacts to supply much needed medicines to Beaumont Hospital in Houston.
After these laudable efforts by the Long Island Lions and the community they serve, one would think they would lay back for a while, but the arrival of two hurricanes in Florida and Puerto Rico (Irma and Maria) presented a dilemma to Sue: could they ignore this second attack from Mother Nature just because energy was low and it felt awkward to ask people for more donations? Well, Sue and her friends did not have time to sleep over this conundrum and they decided that a response was necessary, even if they had to be the only one to do it.
The love that the community has shown her and the Massapequa Lions over the years, though, proved once more alive and well, since $1425 were promptly collected for Florida along with 15,000 pounds of supplies for Puerto Rico, proving this generous and extended effort on the part of the Long Island Lions and their surrounding community a real success and confirming that brotherhood is still alive in America.