Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-June 24, 2015

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Fundraisers keep Guv’na hopefuls busy; Chamber celebrates four decades of service; Local woman’s club named best in state

Transcript of Lutz News-Lutz/Odessa-June 24, 2015



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    By Michael

    The race for Lutz Guvna is wrapping up,but the candidates arent ready to pack it in.

    All three hopefuls are prepping for last-minute fundraising, with some big events inthe final days of the race. All the money goesto Lutz organizations, and the candidatewho raises the most earns the ceremonialtitle. So theyre pulling out all the stops tograb as much cash as possible.

    According to two-time formerGuvna Suzin Carr, thats a good strategy tohave in the last days of the race.

    The final push is huge, Carr said. Itaint over until its over.

    That motto came to fruition last year,

    when the race was decided by less than $20out of around $9,600 raised. In the end, Dr.Cindy Perkins won the Guvna sash by thethinnest of margins. And on July 4, shellhand it over to whichever of the three can-didates pushes themselves over the top.

    The bulk of the money is actually duethe day before, July 3, at 2 p.m. After thatdeadline, the candidates can raise up to 10percent more of their total between thenand the Lutz Parade on July 4.

    Even that final window gets utilized bythe best candidates. Carr recalls raisingmoney at the parade itself, doing whatevershe could to add a few dollars to hertotal. When her races were finishing up, she

    MICHAEL MURILLO/STAFF PHOTOThe cash grab for the Lutz Guvna race wasalready in full swing at the debate back inMay. Now, the three candidates are rampingup the fundraising as the July Fourth dead-line looms.

    Fundraisers keep Guvna hopefuls busy

    See GUVNA, page 11A

    Chambercelebratesfour decadesof serviceBy Michael

    The Central Pasco Chamber ofCommerce will celebrate its 40th anniver-sary on June 26 with its awards andinstallation banquet at The Event Factory,7565 W. Hillsborough Ave.

    But it originally got its start as the LandO Lakes Chamber of Commerce. It was adifferent name at a different time in theareas growth.

    When this chamber first started, (USHighway) 41 was a one-lane roadway eachway, and the intersection of 41 and (StateRoad) 54 was a stop sign, said executive di-rector Meredith Kleker.

    The roads have grown quite a bit sincethat time, and so has the chamber. Nowboasting more than 400 members, theCentral Pasco Chamber of Commerce hascontinued to serve the needs and be a voicefor Central Pasco and NorthernHillsborough residents and businesses.

    That influence can be seen in the advo-cacy and support for what are nowconsidered staples in the area. From theSuncoast Parkway to the Baldomero LopezState Veterans Nursing Home, chamber busi-nesses and individuals have been a part ofimproving the community for decades.

    While the numbers have grown and thenames have changed, the secret ingredientin the chambers success has stayed thesame, according to member Terri Dusek.

    Its about the people.They care about their community, and

    they care about each other, she said. I think

    its wonderful. I absolutely love our cham-ber.

    Dusek also loves her title as honorarymayor of Land O Lakes. She earned it bywinning a race to raise the most money,which goes to the chamber and helps fundlocal causes and groups. She also directed aportion to the charity of her choice,ShelterBox, which provides emergency re-lief and aid to disaster victims.

    Last years race wasnt much of a contest,Dusek said. In the end, she was the only can-didate. While that might have given herlicense to relax and take it easy on thefundraising, she did no such thing. Insteadshe collected more than $4,000 to earn thetitle. Now, after a years worth of ribbon-cut-

    ting and other ceremonial duties, shell turnit over to this years winner at the end of themonth.

    While she wont be mayor anymore,shell remain an active member of the cham-ber, which will benefit both her real estatebusiness and her personal growth.

    It has helped me in my own business,and it has helped me in a lot of differentareas of my life, Dusek said. Im happy, Ilove going to our events, I love being aroundthe people that are there. I love meetingnew people when they come in. Its helpedme grow in all areas, not just business.

    But business continues to be a big focus

    By B.C.

    The GFWC Lutz-Land OLakes WomansClub has received the Lois B. Perkins Award,which goes to the GFWC FloridaOutstanding Club of the Year.

    This is the third year in a row that theclub has received the honor an unprece-dented distinction, according to clubmembers.

    Winning the award allows the club to re-tain the coveted silver commemorative teaservice to use for their club events.

    Kay Taylor, who is the clubs president,and Cathy Mathes, who is the first vice pres-ident, attribute the clubs success to itscommunity involvement.

    Teamwork thats what makes our clubsuch an awesome club, Taylor said.

    Mathes agreed: We do a lot of hardwork. We do it in a lot of different areas.

    The club is involved on several differentfronts.

    It supports the Old Lutz School. It helpsSupport Our Troops. It volunteers withbingo games at the Baldomero Lopez StateVeterans Nursing Home.

    Members pitch in at schools. They putbooks at coin laundries. They put up a can-didate in the annual Lutz Guvna race. Theyparticipate in Relay for Life.

    The women prepare foods for breakfastor brunch at the Hope Lodge at the MoffittCancer Center.

    On one occasion, Mathes found the ex-perience to be particularly poignant.

    A man came up and said, My wife hasnteaten anything in two weeks. This is the firsttime shes eaten.

    You just want to sit there and cry,

    Mathes said.The list of activities that the women are

    involved in goes on and on.Besides helping the community, the club

    is involved in two major fundraisers eachyear. It stages the Lutz Arts & Crafts Festivalat Lake Park, an event that draws around30,000 people each year. It also puts on theWomans Club Flea Market, another gargan-tuan task that involves lots of heavy liftingand volunteer hours.

    Taylor has been a member for six years,joining the club a year after she moved toLutz. She was recruited by AuraleeBuckingham.

    The club has developed a reputationaround the community, she said.

    If somebody needs something, theycome to us first to see if theres any way wecan help them, Taylor said.

    We are all about service, she said. We

    are a working club, not a social club.Mathes added: We do a lot of hard work.

    We do it in a lot of different areas.The womans club, known around Lutz

    and Land O Lakes as the green-shirt ladies,has 95 members.

    The club is open to new ideas and picksup quite a few from meetings in Orlando,Mathes said.

    You learn from all of the other clubs inthe state the projects theyre working on.You can come home with some good ideasof some things you can do here, Mathes said.

    Winning the top prize was a surprise anda thrill, Mathes said.

    The club placed second in a number ofcategories, but earned enough points to winfirst place, she said.

    There are a lot of active clubs all overthe state. Its just really a great honor,Mathes said.

    COURTESY OF PATRICIA SERIOThe GFWC Lutz-Land O Lakes Womans Club members were decked out in a sea of red at arecent general meeting in support of February as Heart Health Month.

    PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE CENTRAL PASCO CHAMBER OF COMMERCERemember the FlapJack Festival? It was just one of many area events the chamber has sup-ported in its 40-year history.

    Local womans club named best in state

    See CHAMBER, page 11A

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