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Larry Blustein

Five Local Pioneers Join Select Group During Broward Pioneer Day

By Larry Blustein

   When it comes to promoting and recognizing its pioneers, Broward County is at the front of the line.
   Making sure that all the residents understand the rich tradition - and those responsible for making so many cities special - there is always a push to ensure those who have a major impact are singled out for all to see.
   One of the true pioneers in the City of Hallandale Beach, Vice Mayor Bill Julian, has been around making a difference in this area for over 50 years. During that time, he has been responsible for making significant changes and elevating the community and those who live there.
   Last Saturday, Vice Mayor Julian was on hand as the City of Hallandale Beach hosted Broward Pioneer Day for the second time as five Hallandale Beach community leaders were among 32 Broward County pioneers that were honored at the 42nd Annual Pioneer Day Celebration at the Hallandale Beach Cultural Community Center.
   "Events like this are vital to cities like Hallandale Beach, which does have a rich tradition," said Julian, who along with his mother, Kathy Conover and longtime Hallandale Beach resident and politician Dorothy Ross, are among the current pioneers. "What this does is keep tradition alive and the past so very important."
   Broward County is celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year. Since 1972, more than 2,000 Broward County residents have been honored for their impact in the county and in their respective communities.
   This year, along with the 32 others honored from across Broward County, Pioneer Day welcomed Hallandale Beach residents Jim Curci, Nancy DeCelle, Arthur “Sonny” Rosenberg, Commissioner Anthony Sanders and Paul Snow.
   "Because we hosted the event, we had the chance to have five people join this prestigious group this year," Julian pointed out. "This is really huge for this community and what it represents to the history of Broward County."
   Mr. Curci has dedicated countless years to preserving the City’s history, including the historic Frank and Rosina Curci House, built by his grandparents. A trucking company executive, land developer and builder, Mr. Curci, his father and family, paved many of the streets in the Northeast quadrant of the City. He played a key role in the City’s historic properties survey in 1992 which lead to the City’s preserving the Curci House and Old School House.
    Former Pennzoil motor oil model Nancy DeCelle has been a Hallandale Beach business leader for more than four decades. She re-invented herself several times in the community. An interior designer, she helped countless Hallandale Beach residents decorate homes. Being a former model, she used her on-camera talent to found a video production company with her sons. She also owned and operated a successful luxury rental business.
   Sonny Rosenberg spent 24 years as a member of the City Commission, serving as Mayor from 1981 to 1983, 1987 to 1989 and 1991 to 1993. A former television graphics company owner, Mr. Rosenberg, his wife and two daughters, moved to Hallandale Beach in 1971.  He was active in Broward County development serving 12 years as a member of the Broward County Water Supply Advisory Board and 14 years as chairman of the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Council.
   A life-long City resident, Commissioner Anthony Sanders has served on the City Commission since 2008. A minister, deacon and community leader, Commissioner Sanders has played a major role in helping troubled youths through the Eagle’s Wings Development Center he founded with his wife, Jessica. Also, he is the senior pastor and founder of the Higher Vision Ministry. He has been active in the Community Civic Association and Palms Community Action Coalition.
   Paul Snow is the driving force being the Hallandale Beach Food Pantry serving thousands of meals each month to homeless and low-income residents. When Mr. Snow became volunteer director of the Food Pantry in 1992, the group served 15 families a week. He built the Food Pantry into a 14-member volunteer force that now serves 7,000 families in the area. Mr. Snow moved to Hallandale Beach in the 1970s to train horses at Gulfstream Park, Hialeah Park and Calder race Course. Active in preserving the rights of all residents, Mr. Snow was appointed by former Gov. Lawton Chiles to two terms on the Florida Human Rights Advocacy Committee.
   "We are so proud of those who have made this city special for decades," said Mayor Joy Cooper. "Everyone of those five that were recognized have had so much to do with the way this city is today. We cannot thank them enough for their major contributions.
   In addition to the five from Hallandale Beach Among the other Broward County pioneers nominated by organizations and communities for their service were: Robert H. Banks, Hollywood Historical Society, Kenneth Sewell Brister, Pompano Beach Historical Society, Claudette Bruck, Coral Springs Historical Advisory Committee, MaryGay Chaples, Southwest Ranches Historical Society, Patti Anne Clempson, Hollywood Historical Society, Clemonteese J. Lawson Foulkes, Black Historical Society, Frankie Green, City of West Park, Hugh L. Harris, Oakland Park Historical Society, Norma J. "Jeannie" Harris, Oakland Park Historical Society, Mary Lou Ingalls, City of Fort Lauderdale, Joel Jancko, Plantation Historical Society, Pam Jancko , Plantation Historical Society, Robert Dwight Johnston II, Broward County, Rita Kahn, City of Sunrise, Paul Anthony Kelly, Tamarac Historical Society, Mary Novella Kendrick, City of West Park, Reverend Rosa Lindahl, Broward County, Sheldon McCartney, Broward County, Carol Ann Mott, Pompano Beach Historical Society, Irving Roger Panciera, Broward County, Tina Joy Recchi, Coral Springs Historical Advisory Committee, Albert Roth, Davie Historical Society, Patricia Austin Sanford, Broward County, Russell Morse Setti, City of Cooper City, Leo C. Tullock, Lauderdale Lakes Historic Preservation Board, Gordon J. Vinkemulder, City of Coconut Creek and King Wilkinson, Wilton Manors Historical Society.

    The 42nd Annual Pioneer Day Celebration is sponsored by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Broward County Libraries Division and is co-sponsored by the City of Hallandale Beach.  For further information, contact the Broward County Libraries Division, 954-357-7511.