ERIC H. JONES, JR.
Born in Avon Park, FL, Mayor Eric Jones attended Attucks High School where he graduated in 1965. He received an Associate in Arts Degree in Clinical Technology from Charron
Williams Para-medical College. Mayor Jones also has a diploma from Southern Baptist Seminary Extension Curriculum. Mayor Jones currently serves as Senior Pastor at Koinonia Worship Center & Village which he founded in 1979. Prior to that position, he was General Manager of Continental Blood Components from 1984 to 1987 and Quality Control Supervisor of North American Bi-ological from 1974 to 1985. Over the years, Mayor Jones has been very active serving in community outreach activities and has earned prestigious recognition including the following: ???? Martin Luther King Faith Leadership Award—MLK Celebration Committee; ???? Special Service Award-Carver Ranches Senior Citizen’s; ???? Thurgood Marshall’s Advocacy Award- Urban League of Broward County; ???? Unsung Heroes Award-100 Black Men of Broward County; ???? Criminal Justice Image Award-NAACP; ???? Volunteer Recognition Award-Florida Department of Juvenile Justice; ???? Certificate of Appreciation-Hallandale Branch Library; ???? Proclamation of Accomplishment-Broward County Board of Commissions; ???? Outstanding Community Service Award- Akela Christian Academy; ???? Certificate of Recognition – Feed the Needy Program Broward Sheriff’s Office; ???? Certificate of Appreciation – BSO Military Training Unit; ???? Honoree-Contributor to the Labor Community-BCC OF CBTU; ???? Man of the Year 2006-Broward County Business & Professional Women’s Network; ???? Chairman of the Alliance for Action Council of Florida; ???? President of the Concerned Clergy for a Better Broward ???? President of the South Broward Ministerial Alliance; ???? First Mayor of the City of West Park, Broward County’s 31st City 10th Year Anniversary
RITA “PEACHES” MACK
Vice Mayor Rita “Peaches” Mack was born in Hollywood, Florida and raised in the unincorporated neighborhood of Carver Ranches. Upon incorporation of West Park, she was elected as one of the City’s first Commissioners. She is the mother of three children who are successfully following in her footsteps pursuing high honors and achieving personal goals. She received her elementary and second-ary education at Carver Ranches Elementary, Watkins Elementary, Perry Middle, and Miramar High Schools. She obtained her B.S. de-gree in Education from Florida Memorial College (summa cum laude) simultaneously serving as its switchboard operator and later, Assistant to the Bursar. In 2009, she earned her Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Phoenix. Vice Mayor Mack has established her role as a veteran educator for over two decades in the Broward County Public School system and has held various positions in Broward County Schools; she currently teaches at Walker Elementary School. Vice Mayor Mack’s mission is to assist and empower women spiritually and mentally, and to help ensure their emotional wellbeing. Her deepest passion is to contribute her knowledge, wisdom and expertise to our community’s youth, especially those classified as unreachable with varying related exceptionalities. Vice Mayor Mack’s personal motto, “Actions speak louder than words” is evident in her dedication to the City.
Commissioner Thomas W. Dorsett, community activist and resident of West Park, has rendered faithful, conscientious and valuable ser-vice to the community for the past 33 years. He was initially elected as a City Commissioner upon incorporation of the City and also served as vice mayor of West Park. Commissioner Dorsett was born in the Bahamas. He attended Bahamas Technical School and received specialized training in general construction. He was employed by the Broward County Public School system for over 17 years, and recently retired as a carpenter foreman. Over the course of his career, Commissioner Dorsett worked as a journeyman, level carpenter, carpenter foreman and supervisor. He was also a self-employed carpenter and served as Work Superintendent for the Ministry of Works in Nassau, Bahamas. Known as “Tommy” to those who love him, he is the father of six sons and four daughters. Commissioner Dorsett has been a tower of strength and a moving force for progressive, efficient public service and an advocate of economic development in the community. Mr. Dorsett, a man of noble spirit and humanitarian principles, possesses a compassionate understanding of the needs of his community.
Former Vice Mayor, Felicia Brunson, decided early in life that she would be the change she wanted to see in her community. Hail-ing from “The Mecca of Broward County” Carver Ranches, Brunson began constructing change in her community right after graduating from college. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications specializing in Journalism from Florida A&M University. From Nova Southeastern University, she also earned a Master of Science degree in English Education and an Ed.S. (Educational Specialist) degree in Administration and Management of Educational Programs. Brunson was instrumental in the move to incorporate Carver Ranches and the surrounding unincorporated neighborhoods into Broward County’s 31st municipality, the City of West Park. In March 2005, Brunson made history by becoming one of the inaugural City Commissioners as the youngest member of the Commission. She earned the reputation as a voice for the young and the young-at-heart. Brunson works to bridge the intergenerational gap between youth and senior citizens. Because of her activism, she has gained support and recognition from various organizations such as: The NAACP’s 2004 Recipient of the NAACP Eula G. Johnson Community Servant Award, the Women Elected to Municipal Government Empowering Women Award, ABWA Government Official of the Year, the Top Hat Community Service Award, the 2011 South Florida Freedom Sister Award, the 2012 League of Women Voters Young Elected Official to Watch, the 2013 Broward Black Elect-ed Official Community Service Honoree, the 2013 Florida State University Distinguished Alumni Award and the 2014 Broward Sheriff’s Office Community Service Award. She was past president of Women Elected to Municipal Government and hopes to leave a legacy for many youth to emulate.
Blanche Thornton Jones was born the second of five chil-dren to the late Homer and Mary Thornton on July 5, 1931 in Fitzgerald, Georgia. At the age of four her family relocat-ed to Bryant, Florida. During the second grade her entire class met Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt who gave each student a 10-cent defense stamp book from WWII. Inquisitive Blanche asked Mrs. Roosevelt why her husband, the President, was in a wheelchair. Mrs. Roosevelt answered that he suffered with the disease polio. This response left an impression that gave Blanche a deep desire to devote herself to helping others who couldn’t help themselves. Blanche received most of her education in Sebring, Florida. Her father worked for the At-lantic Coast Railroad and this work relocated the family frequently, but their home was always in Avon Park, Florida. In 1945, Blanche met the love of her life, Eric Huel Jones, in Port Mayaca, Florida, where her father was stationed. She was 14 and Eric was a working man at age 19. Eric worked for the War Food Administration during WWII. He courted Blanche and the two were married in 1947. They were blessed with four children, Reverend Eric H. Jr., Clifford H. (deceased), Rose Marie and Mary Alice. To date, Blanche has 10 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and 1 great, great-grandchild. In 1953, Blanche, Eric and the children relocated to Hallandale Beach, Florida. In 1954, Blanche and Eric became entrepreneurs of their family owned/operated landscaping business, E.H. Jones Gardening and Landscaping. They professionally serviced clients in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties for more than 50 years. Eventually, as a home-maker while the children were in school, Blanche volunteered at elementary schools and with the Parent Teacher Association (PTA). She later furthered her education and earned a Certificate in Home Health Care in 1969, which allowed her the opportunity to take care of the elderly and those who were confined. Blanche has a strong faith and belief in God. Her family were faithful members of The Star of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, in Carver Ranches, Florida (West Park). As dedicated members of their church the Jones family, Pratt Family and Carter Family were the first to purchase 100 blocks each to lay the foundation of a new church. This purchase signified building a strong knit community. Upon the passing of her husband on June 25, 1990, Blanche sold the business and continued living a life of volunteering and serving others.
For more than 30 years residents of West Park and sur-rounding communities know and recognize Mrs. Mary Kendrick for her tireless dedication and efforts to feed the needy during the Thanksgiving holiday. She has been fea-tured in many news stories and received numerous awards and recognitions for her community work. While the “Annual Mary Kendrick Thanksgiving Feed the Needy Feast” is a huge undertaking each year, Mary’s involvement in community outreach began many years ago. Mary was born in Savannah Georgia, the third of four children. Her family relocated to Miami, Florida when she was only a year old. She attended Dunbar Elementary School and Booker T. Washington High School. She later met her husband, Fletcher, and they were blessed with six children. Her desire to help others remained strong and when one of her neighbors passed away, Mary and her husband raised the neighbor’s grandchildren. Her love for volunteering began at the Neighborhood Action Center, known as the “NAC House”, where she was hired to create programs in the area that would benefit and uplift the outh. The first program was the 4-H Group. The next activity she devel-oped was the Thanksgiving Luncheon and the Goombay Celebration. Mary is also Vice President of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Celebration. Mary is also the owner of K&K Grocery Store in West
Born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, late Commis-sioner Sharon Fyffe received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Illinois. Upon moving to South Florida, she at-tended Sheridan Vocational School and graduated with a degree in court reporting. She worked for many years as a court report-er in both Dade and Broward County Courts. She also worked as an art instructor for Broward County Off-Campus School teach-ing painting and drawing to adult students. Commissioner Fyffe served as Chairperson of the Make-A-City Committee that was instrumental in establishing the City of West Park. At the time of the City’s incorporation, she was elected to serve as one of the first City Commissioners. Additionally, she served as president of the Twin Lakes Home Owners Association and was appointed to the Broward County Animal Control Advisory Board and the Broward County Cultural Arts Division. Commissioner Fyffe served with passion and dedication on the West Park City Commission, leaving a leg-acy of fostering community activism and wider concern for green initiatives aimed at im-proving sustainability of the environment and our community.
Pat Prutsman moved into what is now the City of West Park in 1959 and raised three children here: Buddy, Billy and the late Barbara. She truly appreciates the neighbor-hood and what an extraordinary place it was to raise Billy. Most of you know Billy Whitehead as they attend many City and community events together, from the Mother’s Day Brunch to the Senior Prom and various others. They regularly attend the Blue Grass Jam at the Lake Forest Vol-unteer Fire House on Saturday afternoons. Barbara was a member of the Girl Scouts, and Billy repre-sented the community in the Special Olympics. Pat worked at the Winn-Dixie Supermarket on County Line Road and 40th Ave until it closed. She has been an active member of the Lake Forest Homeowners Association for several years. She and her son, Billy, had the honor of being the Grand Marshalls of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Day Parade in 2012. Pat has dedicated her life to raising her children and being an active part of the communi-ty. She extends her deepest appreciation to the people of Lake Forest for helping her to raise her children, and is truly honored to be named a Pioneer of the City of West Park.
Dr. Gay Outler was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of Mrs. Kelcena and Gilfred Ferguson. She grew up in the Brownsville and Overtown areas. She was very involved with the church, specifically, the Historic St. Agnes Episcopal Church in Miami. She attended Bethune Elementary School, and Booker T. Washington Junior and Senior High School. Later, she furthered her studies at Talladega College in Talladega, Alabama, as an English Major. In 1965, after graduating from college, she was offered a teaching position at Attucks High School, which led her to the Carver Ranches area. Dr. Outler was married in 1966 to the late James Outler, Jr. They had two children, James Outler, III, and daughter Donyale Outler. The Outlers moved to the Carver Ranches area in 1965, then bought their first home there in1967. Gay’s father-in-law was James Outler, who owned a neighborhood grocery store on Pembroke Road, and was instrumental in early efforts to clean up the area and establish community services. In the early stages of getting the community laid out, due to sparse County services, Dr. Outler and other residents of Carver Ranches engaged in various community building efforts, such as setting dates for trash hauling, in order to keep the neighborhood clean. She and a group of residents also worked alongside Dr. Minnie Johnson, a supervisor at Broward County to bring social services into the area. One effort was a feeding program which was first launched at Mary Saunders Park. Additionally, through these activities they were successful in establishing the first branch of a Broward County library in the area, now known as the Carver Ranches Library. In the 1970s, Dr. Outler served as a member of the Carver Ranches Homeowners Association and in this role, she wrote several grants which were instrumental in attaining funding to help improve Mary Saunders Park and to acquire materials for the Carver Ranches Library. She was also involved in efforts to establish the Carver Ranches Boys and Girls Club. Over the course of her career, Dr. Outler taught at Nova Southeastern University, Florida Memorial University, Florida Memorial College, Miami- Dade College, B.F. James Adult Center, and Hallandale High School. Her roots and affiliations in the community have covered a wide range of institutions including government committees and education task forces. She also served on the Board of Trustees for the Black Archives-History and Research Foundation of South Florida; the Corporate Board of the Boys and Girls Club of Broward County; the Broward County Planning Council; the Urban League of Broward County; the Consumer Protection Board of Broward County. Dr. Outler has a brother, Gilfred, Jr. and a grandson, Isaiah Outler. 10th Year Anniversary Pioneer Recognition
In the late 1940s, the Newton family purchased land at 4013 SW 22 Street and built six one-bedroom apartments. These apartments are still here today in the City of West Park. In 1954, the Newton family also purchased land on 27th and 28th Street. At that time, portions of the Carver Ranches neighborhood had no through streets, and much of the area had palmetto bushes and dirt roads. Doris Newton’s husband, the late Major Hubert Newton, Sr. built their home on 27th Street in 1965. He then retired from the United States Air Force in 1969. Doris and Hubert had seven children who were born in different states over the course of the Newton’s travels. Their children include: Vanessa, Hubert Jr., James, Pamela, Frederick, Lenora, and Pat-rick. In 1970, after retiring from the military, Doris became a permanent substitute teacher at Carver Ranches Elementary School. She then went to Miramar Elementary School where she continued to work with children. She retired from teaching in 1986. Doris found teaching to be very rewarding and a way to stay connected to the communi-ty. Many of her former students in the City and community today are secretaries, doc-tors, teachers, retired military members and business owners. Doris and her husband became lifetime members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Post 8195. Doris attended the St. Anne Episcopal Church with Canon Dr. Ronald R. Fox Priest in Charge of Hallandale, FL for over 40 years. Over those years, she served as a Sunday School leader, directed various plays, and coordinated many events and fund-raisers such as walkathons that benefited charitable causes in the community. Doris has always believed that if she demonstrated a good, honest life as a wife, mother, leader, educator, neighbor and friend and always put family and God first, all would be well.