By Mayor Joy Cooper
HALLANDALE BEACH -
Hallandale Beach Continues To Host Major Events That Have Shaped This Community
As our community celebrates Passover and Easter, we here in south Florida are once again drawn to celebrating our rich, cultural and religious diversity. Everyone has been reminded of the sinister nature of hate as the resent shootings at a Jewish Center in Kansas City were shown across the nation. This senseless act has reminded us all how much more we must do to practice and teach acceptance of all humanity. I hope we all find peace as we celebrate our holidays. We have far greater in common then we have in difference.
I am always reminded of how everyone can make that difference right here in our own back yard. Hallandale Beach is a special place. We often get caught up in our singularly focused worlds, but we are fortunate that many neighbors and business partners in Hallandale Beach get what community is all about. Whether it is a dinner to help our kids, a walk to fight cancer or simply a festival to celebrate nature, Hallandale Beach is a city that cares.
I have been writing this column for over 10 plus years. I always joke that it is my penance for challenging my honors English teacher about a paper I wrote that she did not agree with. It is not easy to write a weekly column. I have grown a respect for good reporters. I understand what they have to go through.
I have decided to write this column for someone I have grown to respect over the years for his commitment to our city and most importantly his commitment to journalism, the young men and women he has covered for over 40 years in high school athletics and radio, Larry Blustein.
IT'S AN ON ONGOING BATTLE
On June 12th, 2004, Larry Blustein learned that his kidneys were failing as he was suffering from polycystic kidney disease, preventing the proper filtering of the blood. The reality of the diagnosis was that he would eventually endure dialysis three times a week and ultimately need a kidney transplant. Larry shielded his malaise from the public and began a regimented routine of nutrition and exercise and has shed 68 pounds over the past ten years.
In 2013, he reached the juncture where dialysis or a transplant were imminent and the Our Boy Blu Foundation was founded - not only to assist Larry with his mounting medical expenses, but to help others who were afflicted with a similar condition. It was a matter of using his name to get out the message about organ donation and how everyone can do their part.
We all know about the rising costs of medicine and healthcare in this country, so realizing that the cost of a kidney transplant is in the range of $500,000 and skyrocketing cost of the anti-rejection medicine that a patient must take for a lifetime after a successful transplant, can cost as much as $45,000 per year. Medical insurance covers a great portion of the process, but the patient is left burden with a hefty amount of financial responsibility.
STILL THINKING OF OTHERS
The one thing that you really have to admire about Larry is what he does to lift the spirits of others. Last Friday night, like he has since the American Cancer Society began its Relay For Life event, Larry had the chance to come out and cover and spotlight those going through cancer.
At the Relay, Commissioner Bill Julian presented Larry with a check for $500 dollars from the Kiwanis Club. It came after Larry shared with those in attendance that he was getting closer to getting that kidney transplant.
"It was amazing how many of those cancer survivors and their caregivers came up to me during the event to give me words of encouragement and thanked me for coming out to support them," Larry shared. "While we have different diseases, the objective is the same on both ends - to be healthy."
WE ARE STEPPING UP
It is time for us all to come together and help someone who has been a huge part of our community for over 40 years. On May 14th, my husband and I have decided to host a fundraiser in honor of Larry Blustein. We will be hosting a reception open house along with Kiwanis to raise money for the Our Boy Blu Foundation and everyone is invited! More info will follow but make sure to save the date.
WISHING ALEX LEWY WELL
We were all surprised to find out the Vice Mayor Alex Lewy will be stepping down as a Hallandale Beach commissioner. He was running for a state position, so we knew he would not have been on our dais after November, but he was offered a great job. He will be working for AIPAC American Israeli Political Action Committee.
By accepting this position he was required to give up his seat. We are all very proud that as a Hallandale resident he will be working for such a prestigious organization. Congratulations Alex!
The city commission will be discussing filling the vacancy that will be effective May 11th.
Wishing you a Happy Passover and Easter!
As always feel free to reach out to me with your questions, concerns and ideas to make our city a better place. I can be reached at my office number: (954) 457-1318. You can call or text me on my cell at: (954) 632-5700. Or you can visit my web-site at: www.mayorjoycooper.com.