Retirement led to a Lifetime of Service and the Renaming of a Senior Center
The City of Pembroke Pines Dedicates
The Carl Shechter
Southwest Focal Point
Community Center Campus
Enjoy the Ceremony on Pembroke Pines Media
Pembroke Pines, FL… August 3, 2017…. On August 2, 2017 Pembroke Pines City Commissioner Carl Shechter sat proudly, yet humbly surrounded by his family, city and county officials and over three hundred people who attended a dedication and renaming ceremony to honor him.
Shechter, a World War II Army Veteran, retired in 1988 from his New York City law firm to the Hollybrook community in Florida with his “beautiful wife” Anita, to enjoy a life of community involvement which ultimately led to his election as Vice Mayor of the City of Pembroke Pines. Through the years, Shechter developed a soft spot for the city’s SWFP Senior Center. Not only did he become The Center’s long time benefactor, raising tens of thousands of dollars for seniors in need of services and programs, Shechter also volunteered countless hours hosting and underwriting Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners that he, his family and friends cooked and served to seniors who would otherwise have spent the holiday alone.
The ceremony included the Presentation of the Colors by the Pembroke Pines Police and Fire Honor Guard and the Pledge of Allegiance. “My father is so deeply moved to have this building, where he has spent countless hours volunteering in and fundraising for, now bear his name - The Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center Campus into perpetuity,” commented son Jay Shechter, Director of Community Services and Housing for the City of Pembroke Pines. In brief yet, poignant comments, Pembroke Pines Elected Officials conveyed a deep respect and admiration for their colleague, tinged with emotion and humor. The ceremony concluded with a surprise for Shechter, who will celebrate his 90th birthday on August 4th. A giant birthday cake was rolled out and the crowd sang Happy Birthday!
“Although The Center is now officially called the City of Pembroke Pines Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center Campus, we all know it as “Carl’s Place,” said Mayor Frank C. Ortis, who officiated the ceremony.
Following his retirement twenty-nine years ago from his New York City law practice, Commissioner Shechter and his wife Anita moved to Hollybrook. After relaxing and golfing “for about a minute” commented one of his children, he began volunteering in his community, Hollybrook, Pembroke Pines District One. It did not take long for Shechter to become an integral part of his new community and City, serving as Vice President and then President of his Hollybrook Golf and Tennis Association, while also serving on the City’s Planning and Zoning Board for ten years, five as the Chair.
In 1995, Shechter began organizing fundraisers, including the “Swing for the Green” golf tournament for the newly opened SWFP Senior Center, which now bears his name. In 2004, he was appointed as Interim City Commissioner from April through September. Two years later, he was elected to his first four-year term to the City Commission and was re-elected in 2010 and 2016. He served three terms as Vice Mayor.
“Retirement did not slow Carl down, he has generously given of his time, expertise and resources as a volunteer,” said Frank C. Ortis, Mayor of Pembroke Pines. “Carl’s volunteerism doesn’t stop in the board room. For many years, Carl would recruit his family to serve Christmas dinner to seniors who had no family or place to go. He was happy to help others celebrate their holiday.”
The list of board and committee positions to which he has been appointed is as significant as it is long. Appointment highlights include the Broward League of Cities, the Florida League of Cities Municipal Service Delivery Council, the Board of Directors of the Broward Regional Health Planning Council, a member of the Information Technology and Communications Steering Committee for the National League of Cities, Vice-Chairman of the Broward County Ethics Commission and Board of Directors of Douglas Gardens Housing, Towers I, II and III.
Reflecting upon his life achievements, Shechter is most proud of his close family, his service in the Army during WWII and his hometown of Pembroke Pines. When he retires, Shechter plans to begin phase two of his retirement, traveling with his lovely wife Anita, spending time with his four children and seven grandchildren, golfing a little more, continuing to serve as an Arbitrator for FINRA and fundraising for his Center, The City of Pembroke Pines Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center Campus.
Valerie L. Moran, Publicist Pembroke Pines Media
C: 954.392.9494 / E: VLMoran@ppines.com
The dedication and renaming ceremony to honor Carl Shechter a Pembroke Pines Commissioner also included a surprise, a birthday cake to recognize his upcoming 90th Birthday. Pictured above photo 1. Carl Shechter with his family from Left to Right: Laura, Taylor, Marilyn, Jay, Carl, Anita, Jill and Susan Shechter, 2. Carl Shechter speaks to guests attending the dedication ceremony, 3. Pembroke Pines Commissioner Carl Shechter and son Jay pose in front of the bronze plate to be installed in the foyer of The Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center Campus, 4. View from 103rd Avenue of The Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center Campus, 5. Dedication Plaque for The Carl Shechter Southwest Focal Point Community Center Campus. (Jpegs available upon request)
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