LUTZ — Fundraising is in full swing in Lutz with three candidates trying to buy their way into the honorary title of Guv’na of Lutz.
The candidates are Domenic DiFante, Jessica Sherman and Kandy Bradford Sinquefield. All have collection jars at their respective businesses and have set up specific fundraisers.
The election ends July 4 when the candidate who raises the most money is declared the winner at the Lutz Fourth of July celebration, which also includes a parade, games, exhibits and road races.
The contest, which began in 1991, is sponsored by the Lutz Civic Association and raises funds for grants to Lutz area nonprofit organizations, said race coordinator Jennifer Rankin.
DiFante , a first-time candidate, works in franchise development for the Cleveland home office of Panini’s Bar and Grill. He said he entered the race to be able to help raise money for Lutz charities.
"Just like our trademark overstuffed sandwich, I plan to make the Lutz area’s pockets and bellies overstuffed again," DiFante said.
Assisted by his friend Tommy Mennachino, DiFante will prepare an Italian spaghetti dinner on June 18. Tickets are $50 a person and reservations are needed by calling (813) 240-0807.
He also plans a silent auction at a date to be announced and has a Go Fund Me page on Face book.
Sherman, bidding for the title for a second time, manages Pinch A Penny at Sunset Lane and U.S. 41.
Her slogan is "Keep Lutz Local."
"You can’t help but notice the amount of locally owned and operated businesses we have in our community," Sherman said.
She will have a spaghetti dinner and silent auction from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday (June 9 )at 502 Crystal Grove Drive in the Crystal Lake Manor pavilion. Cost is $7 adults, $5 children. Attendees should RSVP at [email protected]
Sinquefield is a registered nurse as well as a bellydance instructor at American BellyDance Studio and manager of The Sydney Center (Performing Arts Theater). The first-time candidate has participated in the Lutz Fourth of July Parade for 14 years with her bellydance group and float.
A Lutz resident for almost 25 years, she wants to keep Lutz a friendly, safe, community-oriented town and promote fun.
She plans BellyDance 4 A Cause at 2 p.m. Sunday (June 10) at The Sydney Center, 102 Whitaker Road. It features the many styles of bellydance, colorful costumes and music. She also plans a Ms. Lutz Pageant at 7 p.m. June 23 at the same location.
Tickets for either are $15 and information about both is at Kandy4LutzGovna.com.
A third event is a Tex-Mex fundraiser at Tijuana Flats, 17475 N. Dale Mabry Highway, from 6 to 8 p.m. June 25 where 20 percent of the bill will be donated to her campaign.
The contest has raised more than $100,000 in the past ten years with schools, scouts, civil air patrol, Old Lutz School House and other groups receiving the donations.
For information about the Lutz celebration, email to [email protected]
Contact Lenora Lake at [email protected]