With sadness, the City of Torrance received word that Harvey Horwich passed away on October 2nd.  We are sharing his Volunteer Spotlight, which was originally published in the spring 2012 edition of our Volunteer Newsletter, to honor his dedicated 32 years of volunteer service in our community.

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“You’ll always find time for what you want to do,” Harvey Horwich said. “You just have to do it.”

With this simple yet powerful thought, Horwich is a man who seems to bend time itself.  The 83-year-old began his 32 year volunteer career with the loving act of becoming involved with his kid’s activities.  In turn, this spawned a lifetime of dedication to make a difference and help others.

One of the first places he sought to volunteer for was the Parks and Recreation Commission.

“At that time, my son was involved with Little League,” Horwich said.  “The Parks and Recreation Commission were helpful in finding places to play.  Torrance has well over 30 parks now. It’s marvelous.” 

There are two general purposes for commissioners.  Citizens need someone to talk to about problems directly related to parks, buildings, property, etc. and look up to the commissioners to be their voice.  Second, the commissioners act as a liaison between the public and city council so that the board members won’t be bombarded with inquiries. 

In addition to the Parks and Recreation Commission, Horwich also became part of the Planning Commission where he remained for ten years up until January of 2011.  This commission is concerned with decisions regarding the growth of the community such as building or remodeling homes or businesses in Torrance.  

When Horwich first moved from Gardena to Torrance in 1959, he happened to buy the house next door to a gentleman who later became a member of the City Council.  

“He thought I’d be good on the Planning Commission and asked if I would be interested,” Horwich said. “I’ve been on the Parks and Recreation for ten years and was ready to do something else.  The rest is history.”

Although Horwich enjoyed his time on the Parks and Recreation Commission, he thoroughly enjoyed his time on the Planning Commission where he learned the developments of the city. 

In addition to his two commissions, Horwich has also been involved with Special Olympics, became a member of the Torrance School Financial Advisory Board, PTA, Boy Scouts of America, and became appointed as Council member from December 1998 to March 2000 to fill the seat of Councilman George Nakano. 

The City Council honored Horwich for his years of service to the community in front of 60-70 people, including Horwich’s family.  The mayor gave his speech of gratitude and asked Horwich if he wanted to say anything.  

“I replied with how honored I was and how I enjoyed every minute of it,” Horwich said. “I introduced my wife and said none of this would have been possible without her support because I was gone an awful lot. She not only understood but encouraged me and we’ve been married 63 years.”

Horwich believes a person can find the time to volunteer with the city or at a school if they want to.

“There’s always a place for volunteers,” Horwich said.  “There’s always some way you can do it. Sometimes you have to push yourselves to be accepted. It’s all well-worth it in the end.”

 

Written by Jennifer Hagihara

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