By: Sharon Aron Baron
Ten exceptional residents can claim a new title this week as the latest inductees into the Broward County Senior Hall of Fame.
This year’s honorees joined the ranks of 389 past inductees at the 33rd Annual Dr. Nan S. Hutchison Broward Senior Hall of Fame Breakfast which was held at the Woodlands Country Club in Tamarac on May 6.
They are Sandra K. Booth; Mitch Ceasar; Sue Gunzburger; Mohsin Jaffer, MD; Marie Goodrum Johnson; George A. Kling, MD; Arlene Lakin, Esq.; Patti Lynn; Judge Ronald J. Rothschild; and Jack Shifrel.
Broward residents, age 60 and older, who have dedicated more than five years volunteering their time in the county are eligible for nomination into an elite group of community advocates. According to Edith Lederberg, Executive Director of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Broward County, nominations were accepted in January, and this year, the committee had to narrow 39 nominees down to ten.
The 2016 Broward County inductees to the Senior Hall of Fame:
Sandra K. Booth, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea
Sandra K. Booth, 74, has been a resident of Lauderdale-by-the-Sea for over 15 years, and a lifetime volunteer, spanning from her childhood service in the 4H Club and Girl Scouts to the present time. Booth’s dedication to humanity in Broward County has been evidenced by her allegiance to mental health organizations, such as Henderson, and the Mental Health Association of Southeast Florida. In addition, she is an active Listener at Oakland Park Elementary School where she devotes time to children. Her amateur photography skills have been recognized and applauded on local television broadcasts. They brighten the screen in the early morning.
Booth has been an involved member of the Lauderdale-By-The-Sea Chamber of Commerce, and the Charter Review Board. In addition, she volunteers for the Cystic Fibrosis Gold Coast Guild and Holy Cross Hospital. She is a tireless worker who always sets a positive example.
Mitchell “Mitch” Ceasar, Plantation
Any honoree must be judged by a body of work over a lifetime. Mitchell “Mitch” Ceasar, 62, has been immersed in everything Broward, with a commitment spanning more than 40 years.
A past Director of the Urban League, Ceasar knows that diversity is the key to our strength, fighting for the civil rights of others. As a long time member of the Civil Rights Committee of the Anti-Defamation League, he was always in the fight.
Ceasar served on the Judicial Nominating Commission, recommending individuals for Judgeships. Additionally, he served on the Board of Governors of the Shepard Broad Law Center for approximately 20 years. He was recognized by that institution on their Wall of Distinction for community activity. Ceasar also played a vital role in the formation of two Bar Associations, which are still in operation after more than thirty years. He also served as Treasurer and Chairman of the Sawgrass Expressway Authority. This independent body has the distinction of completion six months early and millions of dollars under budget.
Many know Mitch Ceasar as the longtime Chairman of the Broward Democratic Party. He also has served as Florida Democratic Chairman and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the national party. Ceasar held open forums on the most difficult issues of the day, in order to bring the community together.
Commissioner Sue Gunzburger, Hollywood
Following many years of active participation in children’s and senior causes in the local community, Sue Gunzburger, 76, served as a Hollywood City Commissioner from 1982 to 1992. She continued her political career and was elected to the Broward County Commission in November 1992, running on a promise to empower the neighborhoods, protect the environment, and clean-up county government. She was re-elected in 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, and 2010. Gunzburger’s “people-powered” campaign fought for ethics reform and helped secure the implementation of the Broward Ethics Code. In 2010, she was elected Mayor of Broward County for a one-year term.
Still, a dedicated community activist, Gunzburger’s current civic involvement includes Children’s Services Council; South Florida Regional Partnership Seven50; Florida Association of Counties; and Broward County Cultural Council. Gunzburger is a founding and current member of FAB! (Funding Arts in Broward), a non-profit organization committed to preserving and cultivating the arts in Broward. The devoted volunteer is Past President of National Council of Jewish Women Hills Section. Hollywood Women’s Club; Hollywood Lakes Civic Association; and a Board Member of Temple Beth El. Since her arrival in Hollywood in 1968, her philanthropic benevolence has aided people, of all ages, who call Broward County “Home”.
Mohsin Jaffer, Weston
Mohsin Jaffer, MD, FAAFP, is the founder, president, CEO, and lead physician at Senior Medical Associates. Jaffer, 62, has practiced family medicine in South Florida for nearly 30 years focusing on the care of seniors. He is an advocate of wellness care and stresses the importance of healthy lifestyles to his patients.
Jaffer regularly donates his time to the senior community throughout Broward County in various ways, most notably, by addressing seniors with his well-known lecture entitled 10 Pearls of Longevity with Good Health and Happiness. He is an engaging and dynamic speaker who captures the attention and hearts of his audience, inspiring seniors to live a healthy and happy life. He has also been an active Rotarian for over a decade, volunteering with the Weston Chapter. In addition, Jaffer is an active member of his mosque.
Additionally, he is a proud financial supporter of various senior-focused organizations in Broward County such as The Pantry of Broward; The Aging and Disability Resource Center; and The YMCA AOA. He believes in giving back to the community, especially to needy residents.
Marie Goodrum Johnson, Pompano Beach
After 36 years with the Broward County School System, Marie Goodrum Johnson, 66, retired but remained an active member of the Scholarship Committee for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Goodrum Johnson volunteers as an advisor at Blanche Ely High and other elementary schools in the Pompano Beach area. She also serves as a board member of Our Child Our Future, Inc, Pompano Beach Has a Heart, Inc.; Stephanie Boys and Girls Club; Pompano Beach Women’s Club. In addition, she is President of the Pompano Beach Kiwanis Club.
Her passion is giving back to the community. She encourages academic and vocational achievements to local youth, stressing to them they will help build better communities in the future.
Goodrum Johnson volunteers and promotes Purple Totes for the Homeless, by collecting and donating white socks and hygiene products for dispensing in the community. At the beginning of each school year, she can be found delivering backpacks and school supplies to children at local elementary schools.
George A. Kling, MD, Wilton Manors
George Kling, 81, served in Vietnam and received the Bronze Star for his service before arriving in Florida in August, 2000.
He began his volunteerism at the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of South Florida in 2001. He became a Board Member in 2003 and served 4 years in that capacity. In 2009, he joined the Board of the Pride Center in Broward where he continues to serve.
As one of the Founders of the Pride Center, Kling volunteers his time at the front desk. He also is the Co-Chair of the Fundraising Committee, where the main goal is to raise capital monies. He has gifted a large amount of money to the entrance lobby and elevator project to enhance the center’s presence and accessibility.
Kling has been an HIV case screener for Tuesday’s Angels for over 10 years and is the longest-serving screener. For the past three years, he has been a member of the Human Rights Committee for Broward County and a Board Member of the Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida.
Dr. Kling’s philanthropic deeds are greatly appreciated by non-profit organizations including Classical South Florida; Gay Men’s Chorus; SunServe; and the Broward House.
Arlene Lakin, Esq., Fort Lauderdale
Arlene Lakin, 69, epitomizes unselfish dedication, by working tirelessly on behalf of non-profit organizations throughout the community. She is a loyal volunteer, a supporter, and a valued friend. Lakin is the founder and current president of Florida’s Voice on Mental Retardation, a statewide advocacy and networking organization for families and friends of persons with mental retardation and related developmental disabilities.
Throughout the years, Lakin has been a dedicated supporter of the Alzheimer’s Family Center, devoting her efforts to assisting the project in many ways. For two years, Arlene and her husband, Clifford, served as Event Co-Chairs of the Black Tie Gala; lending their name as well as their financial support to the cause. She has shared her knowledge and experience by participating as a guest speaker in educational forums conducted by the Center, supported all of its fundraisers. In 2008, she was elected to the Board of Directors and remains active by attending meetings, and lending her experience and knowledge toward achieving positive results.
Patti Lynn, Tamarac
Patti Lynn, 73, has lived, worked, and volunteered in Broward County for more than 40 years. She has been employed as a police officer, U.S. postal worker, and manager, and presently as community outreach liaison for the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
Her true calling is as a volunteer and activist. Lynn began in the 1970s with the Listening Program which entailed going to the then juvenile jail to listen to incarcerated children. In the ’80s, she organized multiple post offices to bring Christmas to over 200 needy families yearly. She also established a Scholarship Fund in memory of her daughter, Veronica, at the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranches.
Lynn served as President of the Broward Coalition, the Broward Commission on the Status of Women, and the Broward Women’s History Coalition, among multiple other volunteer activities. She has been inducted into the Broward County Women’s Hall of Fame. Her exemplary accomplishments are worthy of emulation by humanity.
Patti Lynn has a philosophy of life that is quite simple. She believes that amazing things can be accomplished if one doesn’t care about who gets the credit.
Judge Ronald J. Rothschild, Hollywood
Judge Ronald J. Rothschild, 70, is an exemplary elder who has blessed Broward with his presence for the past 42 years.
In his capacity, as a legal expert, Rothschild has served as an officer or member of many law associations and committees. His perpetual voluntary service, to the legal community, is worthy of emulation by other professionals.
Rothschild’s community activities include service in all capacities for B’nai B’rith; being an officer and member of Temple Sinai, in Hollywood; being active on the State’s Commission Housing for the Elderly, and serving on Legal Aid Society’s Board of Directors.
He continues to: lead by personal example; stand beside advocates for the common good; and follow the path to benevolent and successful accomplishments in both the legal and social service areas as an exemplary volunteer.
Jack Shifrel, Coconut Creek
Jack Shifrel, 69, has been helping the citizens in Broward County for over 40 years. While serving as the South Florida Regional Director for the National Kidney Foundation, Shifrel directed efforts that resulted in millions of dollars being allocated to help those financially challenged kidney dialysis and transplant patients of all ages. He then established a job training program for those adults who were previously deemed unemployable.
He has always been involved in honoring United States Veterans. Shifrel is currently the President of the Veterans Coalition for which he has volunteered for over 30 years. He was instrumental in bringing the Bill Kling Veterans Clinic to Broward County. His dedication to those serving, have served, and their families, has been one of his proudest areas of volunteer work.
While a School Board member, he created a mentoring program, matching students needing help in their studies with senior citizens. The seniors felt needed, and the students received a great deal of educational assistance.
For many years, he has arranged for rides to the polls for countless Broward senior citizens, has delivered absentee ballots, donated supplies, and served in leadership roles. He has been committed to this positive action for over 20 years.
All of the inductee’s names are put on a plaque which hangs in the lobby of the Broward County Government Center.