A former Lehigh Acres honorary mayor has signed up to become the second person to vie for the title again for 2012-2013.
Julie Camp, who owns ABC Framing and Best Ever Events and Party Planning, said she enjoyed being honorary mayor and she found it a good way to raise money for the community.
The contest for years had been sponsored by Lehigh Community Services, but this year the Greater Lehigh Chamber of Commerce is taking over the event.
The honorary mayor attends ribbon cuttings and other community functions over the course of the year.
Applicants are encouraged to enter to help raise money for the Chamber and to donate to a favorite charity. It's a way for the contestants to buy votes legally.
Camp was honorary mayor in 2007 and raised $4,464.
In years past, there have been up to four candidates seeking the honorary title. The one who raises the most money becomes the honorary mayor. Lehigh Acres is not incorporated, so this is one way that someone can represent the community at several affairs, said Inke Baker, assistant director at the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce.
Camp said she loves living in Lehigh and doing business here. Her ABC Framing business is one in which she will come to your home with sample frames and let the customer make a selection of how he or she wants something framed. Then Camp delivers the final product.
"It's a mobile framing business," she said.
Her other business, Best Ever Events and Party Planning, helps people plan parties and special events. She does catering and she is also enjoys baking.
"I can plan any type of event from the smallest to the largest," she said.
Those who want to contact her may call 369-1629 to donate to her honorary mayor campaign.
The lucky person who wins the title will be presented a mayor's sash and likely a dozen roses on the Friday night before the Spring Festival Parade in March.
The winner will ride in an open convertible. The person who raises the most money through donations and/or events becomes the honorary mayor. The one who raises the second highest amount becomes the deputy honorary mayor and the person who raises the third highest amount becomes the honorary city clerk.
Inke Baker, the chamber's assistant director, said it is one way for the chamber to raise money. A portion of the money raised by each candidate goes to his or her favorite charity and the rest to the chamber.
Julie Camp said she would like to raise as much as the $4,464 she raised in 2007. "More would be great," she said.
Camp says she would give the other half of what she raised to the Relay For Life event to be held in Lehigh to fight cancer. She is the head of that event.
She also said she plans to sell raffle tickets and what are called "reverse raffle tickets." She plans a hockey game fund-raiser on Feb. 18.
She's getting the word out, she said, to all of those people who contributed to her campaign in 2007 and she is working Facebook, too.
She served a three-year term on the chamber's board of directors from 2008-2010 and has been active in the Relay for Life for past three years. The Relay for Life event will be Aril 21 and 22 in Lehigh.
"I'm also looking for more people to participate in that event. We already have 24 teams. If people are interested in helping, they can call me by phone," she said.
She is married and she and her husband have two children.
"I think they're going to help me raise money, too," she laughed. "Then they get to ride in the parade with me if become the new 2012 honorary mayor."
She has been active in different organizations over the years. Presently, she is president of the Florida Chapter for Professional Picture Framers Association.
The first person to file for honorary mayor was Marcie L. DeLoreto, an insurance agent with Great Florida Insurance at 1456 Lee Blvd.
Baker said the chamber is still hoping others will get in the race. To do so, those that are interested should contact her at the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce at 55 Homestead Rd. in the Lehigh Towne Center.
"It's already the second week of February and people shouldn't wait too long. By becoming a candidate now, candidates will have more time to work at raising money to become honorary mayor," she said.
The big check presentation to the Chamber will be held on the outside stage at the Spring Festival when the honorary mayor and the deputy mayor and hopefully, a deputy honorary city clerk will be named.