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Coral Springs Throws A Special Birthday Party For A Senior Activist

Abe Friedman, center, is surrounded by (from left) his daughter Lois, Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons, Commissioner Joy Carter, center right, and Coral Springs Mayor Scott Brook as a Happy Birthday sits behind them on a window.
Caitie Switalski Muñoz
Abe Friedman, center, is surrounded by (from left) his daughter Lois, Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons, Commissioner Joy Carter, center right, and Coral Springs Mayor Scott Brook.

Abe Friedman turned 100 years old on Monday. The City honored him with a special recognition for his activism as well as a birthday celebration at his senior living community, Park Summit.

Pre-pandemic, there wasn't really a Coral Springs city commission meeting Abe Friedman would miss.

Friedman is a dedicated member of the Coral Springs Senior Advisory Group and he stays in touch with city leaders about advocating for senior citizens. He's lived in Coral Springs for so long that neither he, or city staff could remember exactly how long he's been a resident — or been attending city meetings.

To thank him for his involvement, a ballroom full of city staff and police came to wish him a happy 100th birthday Monday.

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"Abe told me a secret about how he got to get to 100," Mayor Scott Brook said. "He said it's because he attends city commission meetings."

All the city staff and police that came to wish Abe a happy birthday may have laughed at that — but Abe said, that is actually his secret to getting older.

"Instead of you know, saying well, you know, just time to relax — No, it's time to stay involved. That's what keeps you active, keeps you interested, keeps you alive," he said.

Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons added: "Your voice, your presence is always counted on... You are on the commission, you are a commissioner. You've been as involved as anyone else in this city," he said. "I pray that I can even touch this number."

Joy Carter is the city commissioner who awarded Friedman with a special recognition.

"Congratulations on reaching such a momentous milestone," Carter read from the certificate. "We are honored to have you as one of the centenarians who live in the community."

Abe's daughter, Lois Tannenbaum, recently turned 70 and flew in from Las Vegas for her dad's milestone. And she was able to hug him for the first time since the pandemic began.

"You know how difficult this has been for family members, friends. Especially, you know, at his age. Because you don't know how long you're going to have that person with you," she said. "And thank goodness he has his health and he has his intellect, so he's doing really well."

At 100, Abe might still drive himself — which, his daughter hates — but everyone kept telling him the same thing, now that the commission is in person again:

"See you at the next city commission meeting."

Caitie Switalski Muñoz
Abe Friedman, 100, at his birthday party thrown by Coral Springs city staff and Commissioner Joy Carter Monday June 21, 2021.

Caitie Muñoz, formerly Switalski, leads the WLRN Newsroom as Director of Daily News & Original Live Programming. Previously she reported on news and stories concerning quality of life in Broward County and its municipalities for WLRN News.