Congratulation to the Electees of the 2018 Dr. Nan S. Hutchison Broward Senior Hall of Fame

Congratulation to the Electees of the 2018 Dr. Nan S. Hutchison Broward Senior Hall of Fame

Lillian Bergstein, 88  Lauderhill

Lillian Bergstein has been a volunteer at the Cantor Center, in Sunrise, since her husband passed away ten years ago. Over the ten years Lil has never said “no” to any of the crazy things she has been asked to do. Lil has taken on the responsibility of membership retention. She sends reminders when membership is due and follows up with telephone calls. When the receptionist calls in sick, what does the Center do? … call Lil! Lil NEVER SAYS NO! At one point the Cantor Center had so many members from Brooklyn that they decided to start a Brooklyn Club. Lil is from Brooklyn, so the Project Director asked her to facilitate the group. LIL NEVER SAYS NO!

They needed someone to teach Canasta and the staff knew that Lil plays Canasta. LIL NEVER SAYS

NO! Whenever they need an additional set of eyes in one of the Adult Day Care programs, Lil is the first one to volunteer. She is always the Cantor Center’s “Volunteer of the Year”, and the staff feel that all of Broward County should honor her for her volunteer efforts.

Bruce A. Blitman, Esq., 61  Cooper City

Bruce A. Blitman has lived in Cooper City since 1990. Mr. Blitman is a Charter Member of the Kiwanis Club of Cooper City. Bruce worked with local police departments to “recycle bicycles” and donate them to support the annual “Rick Case Bikes For Kids” Holiday Project. He also persuaded Kiwanis International to promote this project at their Convention. Mr. Blitman helped establish an AKTION Club for adults with special needs, which enables them to enjoy the benefits of serving their communities. Bruce is also a “guest chef” during the Annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser.

Mr. Blitman also serves on the Cooper City Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). In 2008, Bruce was instrumental in creating an Autism Awareness Day for Cooper City, and served for two terms on the Center for Autism and Related Disorders Constituency Board. Additionally, he persuaded the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to change its training materials for new recruits to include a module on how to interact effectively with individuals who have autism spectrum disorders.

Bruce is an attorney and mediator. In 2010, Mr. Blitman started volunteering in the fifth grade class at Bethune Elementary School to help their teachers with civics education. Every month during the school year, Bruce visits the classroom and coteaches a lesson, or brings in a guest speaker who will motivate and inspire the students.

Elizabeth C. Dawson, 79  Coral Springs

Elizabeth C. Dawson has lived in Broward for over 41 years. As a member of the Lions Club, Elizabeth served as the first female president of the Florida Lions Eye Bank. The Eye Bank at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute is a Lions Project dedicated to the retrieval, grading and dispensing of Corneal Tissue to hospitals throughout South Florida.

Ms. Dawson also is a member of the Research Committee at the Eye Bank, and has several 5 year terms as the Chairman of the Committee. The Research Committee determines funding grants from the Eye Bank to laboratories at the University of Miami to further research into eye related problems and illnesses.

As an active member of the Seniors Advisory Community Council of Broward Health for over 15 years, she is involved with delivering outstanding health to Broward’s senior population. Elizabeth also visits local hospitals to ensure the admissions office inquires and informs incoming patients about the organ donor program.

Shelly Greenberg, 74  Delray Beach

There are many quiet people in our lives who dedicate their time and talents to benefit the needs of others. These amazing volunteers are here, there, and everywhere when needed, and they work tirelessly day, night, and in between to counsel families, as well as individuals who are struggling to cope with Alzheimer’s Disease. A majority of her time is donated to helping caregivers understand the illness and its impact of their lives.

This capable candidate has volunteered to meet with caregivers, as well as spoken to family

members individually and in groups to explain the problems associated with the illness. As a

registered nurse, this senior has represented the North Broward Memory Disorder Center at

numerous conferences as a speaker and developed training programs for law enforcement and

firefighter officials to help them comprehend the ills of Alzheimer’s. Her caring and dedication have brought comfort and hope to hundreds of Broward residents seeking both knowledge and compassion in their search for hope

Ann Harsh, 68  Fort Lauderdale

Ann Harsh’s total commitment to SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders), as well as her caring and dedication to her clients, is unmatched. She has been a SHINE volunteer since 2009 and has given more than 2,700 hours of her time, with the majority being oneonone personal contacts.

Ms. Harsh is a fierce advocate for Seniors and disabled adults. She volunteers at two adult care facility sites, one in Hollywood and the other in Hallandale. She makes home visits to clients if they cannot get to the counseling sites due to health or mobility issues. Ann is passionate for low income clients who need help with copays and prescription costs assisting them to apply for Medicare Savings programs and Extra Help programs.

Ann served as President of the Friends, NSU Museum of Art organization from 20152017. The program promotes interest in NSU Art Museum Ft. Lauderdale through cultural activities and fundraising.

Ms. Harsh serves on the board of her Cooperative as President and Treasurer and oversees the management of vendors, new owners, and the properties aesthetics.

Council Member Caryl Hattan, 70  Davie

In 1976, Caryl Hattan began her lifelong commitment to others as a teacher in Broward County Schools. At the young age of 70, and a Broward County resident for 41 years, she approaches each day with the same passion. Her volunteerism is without boundaries as she works across the County.

To compliment her volunteerism, she often contributes her own money and works to help others while avoiding the limelight.

Ms. Hattan realized that she could be more effective if she served the community in a greater role as an elected official. Since March 2010, Councilmember Hattan has served on the Davie Town Council, and is proud of the infrastructure improvements that have been made in her District and the Town.

She was inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame in 2010 for her efforts towards empowering women to serve in public service.

Caryl devotes an immeasurable amount of time and energy to her community volunteer

commitments. Naming only a fraction of her volunteer roles, she is Chair of Broward County

Continuum of Care, Vice Chair of Broward County Housing Council, Member of Broward County Cultural Council, Soroptimist International of Davie, Treasurer of the Davie Women’s Club, Prestige Club Board Member, James Junior Fund Treasurer Honor Flight Advocacy and a Guardian ad Litem appointee. Her dedication to serving Broward County endures.

Linda Houston Jones, 66 – Pompano Beach

Linda Houston Jones is a leader, volunteer and youth mentor. Linda has been a resident of Broward County for 45 years. Ms. Jones has compassionately shared her time, talents and resources with others. She has literally changed the lives of hundreds of youth, seniors and those in need. Over the last 5 years, Linda Houston Jones has been recognized by the 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama, for her volunteerism; commended by the Broward School Board for volunteering assistance in schools; and saluted by Broward Board of County Commissioners for outstanding service in the arts. She volunteers once per week as a mentor at North Lauderdale Elementary & Central Charter Schools, providing assistance to youth completing application package and financial assistance to attend college.

Ms. Jones actively volunteers in the political process of voter registration, education & polling assistance, and accommodates disabled citizens with their personal needs and support. Linda also serves as a liaison with community non profit organizations to provide scholarships, tutoring, literacy, and health programs throughout Broward County. Linda is devoted to service and for doing all she can to shape a better tomorrow for the community.

Gary Lee Lawson, Fort Lauderdale  77

Gary Lee Lawson has been a lifelong activist for Lesbian, Gay, BiSexual and Transgender (LGBT) causes. Whenever he moved to other cities, Mr. Lawson was involved in volunteer activities to promote equality. For the last 6 years he has been active on several projects and served in several positions in the Fort Lauderdale LGBT community. In 2018, Lee also joined the Aging and Disability Resource Center’s Advisory Council.

Lee currently handles the reception desk of the Pride Center, where he is also a member of the Senior Advisory Council. From 2012 to 2014 Mr. Lawson served as the Office Manager for Senior Action in a Gay Environment (SAGE), and was elected as the Director, and appointed to be the organization’s community liaison. Currently, Lee is a cohost to the Tuesday morning “coffee and conversation” group.

Mr. Lawson is the present Commander of American Veterans for Equal Rights, (AVER), having held this position since 2015. Mr. Lee Gary Lawson has enriched the community. He believes strongly in reaching out to help others.

Julia Ruiz, 80 – Deerfield Beach

Julia Ruiz has been a Foster Grandparent Program Volunteer for Impact Broward since 2004. She serves at Quiet Waters Elementary School and brings many diverse skills and talents that are tailored to the needs of the students and the community.

Ms. Ruiz is addressed as “Grandma Julia” and as the classroom Grandma, she is trusted and

respected by all staff and students. Julia tutors, mentors, and provides nurturing attentive care to children in the 1st grade. She is part of the everyday scenery in the school. Julia’s presence speaks volumes to the children and to the staff. The school is a better school because of her volunteerism.

Julia has dedicated over 12,000 hours of service for the past 13 years which has resulted in her impacting almost 300 children during her years of service. Ms. Ruiz is able to provide one on one support to children. She helps out by assisting teachers in tutoring students who are either advancing faster than others or need some acceleration in the classroom. At the age of 80, Julia continues to volunteer in the community, enriching the lives of students in the school.

Renee M. Smoley, 93 – Weston

Renee Smoley has been a resident of Broward County since 1972. She has volunteered her time for projects in the County. She chaired the Peace Mound Park in Weston to restore the native Indians’ archaeological significance of the park, was a member of the Coalition for School Improvements, and cochaired the Steering Committee for establishing the City of Weston. She earned the title Mother of Weston. Ms. Smoley has been a member of Project Ralph, to create a youth center for middle school kids, and is involved with the Broward County Commission on The Status of Women.

Currently, Renee is a member of the Community Relations Committee of the North Broward Hospital District.

In 1999, Renee learned the plight of 27 refugees from Kosovo who were living in one house. Renee went to their rescue. She persuaded the Arvida home builders to allow them the use of two new Town homes, FPL to provide free electricity and City of Sunrise to provide free water until the migrants found jobs. Ms. Smoley’s committee was able to acquire donations of food, clothing and furniture from Weston residents. She also persuaded Nova Southeastern University to provide medical and dental care. Today, all 27 of them are successful and selfsupporting. They call Renee their Guardian Angel. Renee currently chairs the AAUW Weston Foundation to raise money for advancing equity for women and girls.


About Carma Henry 22156 Articles
Carma Lynn Henry Westside Gazette Newspaper 545 N.W. 7th Terrace, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33311 Office: (954) 525-1489 Fax: (954) 525-1861

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