100th Birthday Party Turns into Wedding

Lions Judy Goldman (New York Ann Sullivan-White Plains Lions Club, in Eastchester, New York) and Mannie Corman (Brooklyn Bridge Lions Club in Brooklyn, New York) surprised more than 160 members of their friends and family on Labor Day, 2018, when they turned a centennial birthday celebration into a wedding ceremony.

The two, who have a 24-year age difference between them, met when Corman was a spry 92-year-old. “We met as friends,” says Goldman. “I had already had two men in my life—one I divorced and the other died. I thought I didn’t want another man.” But fate thought otherwise. After a trip to the beach involved sharing a bathroom with no door, they had no choice but to get to know each other better. They’ve been together ever since.

When Goldman finally agreed to marry Corman, they decided his 100th birthday celebration would be the best way place to take their vows.

Corman has been a Lion since 2003 after having undergone cataract surgery that didn’t go well, leaving him blind in one eye. A non-profit group called Visions, supported by Lions clubs, provided him with adaptive equipment and showed him how to use it, charging him nothing for the service. He was so taken with this, that he decided to get involved.

Since then he has regularly donated money and time. His first donation was for US$350,000 to help build a dining and community room in the accessible apartments owned by Visions.

The non-traditional couple, who met through Goldman’s late husband, are maintaining their separate residences—and separate Lions clubs. Goldman has recently transferred to a small women’s club, where she hopes to help revive the membership. She likes being a Lion because she feels like the money raised is truly going to a good cause.

“Every bit of money you donate to Lions goes to serving Lions,” says Goldman.

As for marrying a 100-year-old? “He makes me feel secure,” she told the New York Times. “I’m not looking for a 72-year-old prince with wavy hair. I’m looking for a real person to be with.”