I had the pleasure of brainstorming with some of the 2012 Guv’na candidates yesterday. We met at Nancy’s on 41 to share some thoughts, memories, a meal, and new seeds of friendship. Meeting with them brought back so many memories of my own time as Guv’na in 2009 and called me to reflect on what it means to be a part of the community.
When my family moved to the area in 2003, we could have had no idea of all the joy that Lutz would bring to us. Besides connecting with amazing neighbors, spending time with excellent coaches at Lutz Little League, and being part of a wonderful school community, I eventually found myself coerced into running for this deal called the “Guv’na”.
For those who may be unaware, the Guv’na Race is a non-political, totally silly, community-supported annual event sponsored by the Lutz Civic Association. In all honesty and with no effort to mince words, the person who raises the most money buys their way into office and gets to admit it. The monies raised are then returned to non-profits in Lutz that need a little extra boost. It is 100% about community spirit and supporting the local economy and area organizations. It is a win-win, regardless of the outcome for the candidates.
I am, by many accounts, a known “home-body”, except when called to action. I ran for Guv’na against 3 equally spirited folks who put their lives, energy and hopes into two months of "serious" campaigning. It was all fun, and I am grateful for a chance to know them as people. In the end, and with the help of more than 60 local businesses and the community, my “I Choose Lutz” campaign finagled enough pennies, dimes, quarters and bucks to claim the sash. It was a miserably hot, humid and joy-filled 4th of July day that I will never forget. In the year
that followed, I attended many ribbon cuttings and award ceremonies, waved
flags with the Lutz Patriots, served hot chocolate at the Old Lutz School, and
most importantly, supported the community. I have found friends and neighbors
that I never knew existed before, and connected with so many local groups out
there just trying to do good for everyone else.
These 4 new candidates will create their own paths with the help of their family and friends. I hope that the community will embrace them as well; for it is in that that the reward for us all truly comes. If you are a local business with a product or service that they could use to raise cash, I hope you will reach out to them. If you are a neighbor or an unknown to them, I hope you will stop at their events, car washes, shops, and check it out. I guarantee they will thank you immensely for your support.
The 2012 hopefuls in no specific order are:
- Brian Vindick of Philly Cream 127 Flagship Dr 949-5200www.phillycream.com
- Karin D’Amico of the Lutz/Land O Lakes Women’s Club
- Connie Dorton (just stepping up to help out and have fun)
- Robin LeBlanc of Good Behavior Dog Training (813)423-0474 www.goodbehaviordogtraining,com
The first combined event, the always hilarious Guv’na Debate, will be Saturday, May 19 from 2-4 at the Old Lutz School. Candidates will have promises to share and items for sale. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. These folks are clever and creative, and I am anxious to see how the next two months unfold.
Community starts with and counts on each of us. It extends the size of our family and connects us all on a very basic level. Community changes things. On their behalf, I hope you will choose community and support them when you can. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can help you connect with them. For now, choose well, and remember that “we choose what comes out of our mouth, what stays in our head, and what lives in our heart.”