Jay Jacobs to be honored at 28th Snowball

By Jay Braman Jr.
It’s Snowball time again in the Belleayre Region, where every year the state-owned ski center plays host to the annual black tie get together that not only raises funds for the Belleayre Music Festival, but also provides a classy chance to honor someone that has been a friend of the mountain.
The ball, this year held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 in the Overlook Lodge, will honor Jay Jacobs, director of Timberlake Camp in the Greene County Town of Lexington.
The Coalition to Save Belleayre has selected Jacobs to receive the 2014 Spirit of the Catskills Award.  This award is presented each year to an individual or organization who has shown extraordinary dedication and support to the communities of the Catskill Mountains. Past recipients include Kenneth Pasternak, Kingdon Gould, and Tony Lanza.
Jacobs came to the Catskills as a camper at Timberlake in 1967, and a short 13 years later he owned the camp. In the intervening years he attended SUNY Oneonta and then received a JD from Northwestern Law School. The TLC Family of Camps includes three sleep-away camps, four Long Island day camps and a preschool. 

Long camping history
Jacobs was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to be a member of the Governor’s Council on Camp Health and Safety, served as President of the NYS Camp Directors’ Association and was President of the New York Section of the American Camping Association. Jay also created the Timber Lake Foundation, which donates approximately $800,000 a year to send less fortunate children to camps and various child-related programs.
In 1991, Jay was founder of the American Camping Association’s (ACA) Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education and has served for 22 years as chairman. He remains a major contributor to the organization, which last year sent more than 1,500 inner city children to camps in the tri-state area. In 2001, Jay founded and currently serves as Chairman of ACA’s Project Heal the Children, a program that provides free summer camp experiences to the children of victims of the September 11th tragedy. 
Most importantly, when Shandaken needed him after the destruction left by Hurricane Irene, Jay was there to provide a major cash donation to help the survivors meet their needs.
Jacobs is Nassau County Democratic Chairman, and is the longest-running chairman in the county’s history. He also served as Chairman of the New York State Democratic Committee under both governors Paterson and Cuomo, from September 2009 until June 2012 and is currently an at-large member of the Democratic National Committee.
He grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, and graduated with a BA degree from SUNY Oneonta and a JD from Northwestern University Law School. Jacobs currently resides on Long Island with his wife Mindy. They have two daughters, Jessica and Jackie.
To receive an invitation to the Snowball call 254-5787.