RUSKIN – The SouthShore Chamber of Commerce has a quartet of candidates vying to be the community’s next honorary mayor.
At the Sept. 2 kickoff party at the Ruskin Moose Lodge, John Smith of H&R Block, Mandy Burdick of BlueMarc Printing, Anne Madden of Blue Ibis Consulting and Shannon Brown of Kids R Kids Southshore announced their intention to run and charities of choice.
Smith will raise money for the Firehouse Cultural Center, Burdick for the Ruskin Memorial VFW relief funds, Madden for Good Samaritan Mission and Brown for the Lennard and East Bay high schools’ athletic programs.
“We’re very excited about this year’s race,” said Melanie Morrison, the chamber’s executive director. “Not only do we have four enthusiastic members running this year but also four local charities to benefit from their efforts.
“Each candidate has a personal connection to these organizations so they are highly motivated to succeed.”
So the race is on and all four candidates will be pressing the flesh, kissing babies and hitting up everyone they know for cash, which – in this election – is king.
Between now and Oct. 31 they will host a number of events designed to draw large crowds and raise lots of money. Every dollar they collect equals one vote, and the candidate who brings home the biggest war chest wins not only the title but also bragging rights and assorted duties as honorary mayor.
“If anyone in South Shore is bored over the next two months they have no one to blame but themselves,” Morrison said. “These folks are planning some highly creative, fun events.”
Smith, 59, has already planned several – a couple of pancake breakfasts, a casino and poker night and a 1950 sock hop, where he will be the DJ. To aid his cause, contact his wife, Penny Smith, at [email protected] or call (813) 454-5406.
Burdick, 52, has decided to host a tailgating party and at least four other events before the October deadline, including a costume/karaoke event at the VFW with the three other candidates and a community barbecue. To assist her effort, email [email protected]
Madden, 54, will host a series of open houses at A Peaceful Harbor Day Spa, Miller Florida Homes, C1 Bank and Park Lane Jewelry. To help her out, call (813) 417-0978.
And Brown, 27, who was the last to decide to run, plans to host a family fun night and several other events. To lend her a hand, email [email protected]
The SouthShore chamber will accept donations for any candidate, which are dropped off at 137 Harbor Village Drive, Apollo Beach.
Details of upcoming events will be posted as they become available to The South Shore News’ weekly Community Calendar.
The results will be announced Nov. 2 on the main stage at the Ruskin Seafood Festival.
South Shore’s honorary mayor represents the chamber at a variety of community events and functions, including ribbon cuttings, coffees, luncheons and Business After Hours.
For additional information, call (813) 645-1366.