The First Octogenarian takes office!!
On January 2nd, 2018, Betty Copeland was sworn into office as the mayor of Bridgeville, PA. Not only is she the first woman and the first person of color to be elected mayor in this town of 5,100 residents, she’s also the first octogenarian. At age 83, Copeland became an elected public servant, ousting the incumbent mayor with the message: “Do for Others”.
Betty was already well-known in her community. Her late husband was Bridgeville’s popular postmaster general and a member of the town’s council. They were both very active in volunteer work and various forms of community involvement. For decades, Betty volunteered for groups including Friends of the Bridgeville Library (which she founded herself), the Guild for the Blind, the Chamber of Commerce, the Bridgeville Historical Society, Mayview State Hospital, and others.
Last year, a local political committee approached Betty to run for mayor, although she had never considered running herself. They figured with all her years of volunteering and community involvement, she’d be an excellent ambassador for the town.
After she won last year’s November 7 general election, her opponent, incumbent mayor Pasquale DeBlasio was gracious in defeat, saying: “Mrs. Copeland is a fine, fine woman, and her and her family are wonderful people and are wonderful members of the community. Standing at the polls with her children was a very enjoyable thing. The community is going to be well-served.”
As mayor, Betty will now seek to get more people to volunteer, work together, and be kind to one another. Her unique #BestWithAge story shows us all how staying active and engaged in your own community can lead to exciting new adventures, at any time in life. Through Mayor Betty Copeland’s years, she has always returned back to one universal truth – the powerful change that can happen when you take the time to stop and help others. She will now use her new honored platform to elevate her community to do the same.
Photo Credit: Kristina Serafini – Tribune-Review