"Mel Lazerick: Goodbye, Friend"

Mel Lazerick: Goodbye, Friend

It is with a sense of profound regret tinged with deep gratitude that we say goodbye to our dear friend Mel Lazerick. Mel passed away on November 6 after a brief illness.

We want to express our deepest sympathies to Mel’s family and friends for the loss they are now experiencing. We mourn the fact that someone who has been such an integral part of BHH’s history up until a few weeks ago will no longer be just a few paces away from every BHH volunteer and staff member, standing behind our pantry desk counter handing out groceries to clients who all knew him by name. We will never again have the opportunity to listen to him practice his dry sense of humor on a captive audience. We are sad that a life that was lived so open-handedly and that touched so many others has ended.


But every one of us here at BHH who knew Mel feels truly blessed that our lives were touched by him. We are thankful that we had an opportunity to be eyewitnesses to a life that was significant by every meaningful measure: a life dedicated to serving others who were less fortunate. We are grateful to have heard Mel explain in his own words why he chose to live the kind of life he did: “I like to do things for other people because I’ve been fortunate.” We will remember the example and inspiration that he provided to all of us who admired his commitment to service.

BHH’s Volunteer of the Year in 2012, Mel was well known for being our oldest volunteer at 101. However, he was also one of our longest-serving volunteers, having supported BHH since its inception. Just last year, we took the opportunity to recognize his longtime contributions at our special “Celebration” event, at which he was honored along with Arthur Remillard, Jr. The evening was the brainchild of BHH Board President Gary Peters, who now feels fortunate that we took the opportunity to honor Mel and Arthur, both of whom we have lost in the past year. As Gary explains: "Mel was one of our most loyal and long serving volunteers; he was liked by all who met him. On several occasions, Mel shared with me that volunteering at BHH added to his life's meaningful experiences — and due to his very many life experiences, that is quite a compliment. Our Mel will be missed.” 

Mel’s memory and legacy will live on at Boca Helping Hands. Last year, we presented him with our volunteer Lifetime Achievement Award - which we also re-named the Mel Lazerick Lifetime Achievement Award in his honor. It’s but a small token in memory and appreciation for a life well lived.

Goodbye, Friend…we will miss you.

A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held for Mel at 3:00 PM on Sunday, November 17 at the Edgewater Pointe Estates, 23315 Blue Water Circle, Boca Raton, Florida 33433.