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Race to be honorary mayor starts

Spring Festival committee looking for candidates

February 7, 2018
By ERIC DeVAUX ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Community members looking to maybe make a difference can join the race to be the next honorary mayor of Lehigh Acres.

The Spring Festival Committee in Lehigh is actively looking for candidates who can raise money in a effort to be crowned "mayor" at the Lehigh Spring Festival.

"We need candidates," Vicki Culver, treasurer of the Spring Festival Board, said.

The mayoral race is a fundraiser.

"Whoever raises the most money becomes honorary mayor and then they represent Lehigh for the following year," Culver said.

The winner can expect to stay busy.

"They do ribbon cuttings and groundbreakings," Culver said.

Culver, as honorary mayor in 1990-91, still remembers a big event that she was happy to be a part of.

"That's when they opened Colonial Boulevard," Culver said. "I was one of the first people to arrive on that as the mayor of Lehigh."

There are plenty of ideas on fundraising that she shared.

"The reverse-dinners where you pay $100 a ticket and we sell 100 tickets and then during the dinner they start pulling out numbers and you don't want your number pulled because the last number pulled is the winner," Culver said.

As soon as a person signs up to be in the race they designate a charity to raise funds for.

"Half the money they raise goes to the Spring Festival, the other half goes to their charity," Culver said.

The mayor is named on the final day of the nine-day festival.

"Nobody knows how much money they raised," Culver said. "It's all secret. They know how much they raised but they don't know how much the others raised. Up until the very end, nobody knows who it is until we announce it on stage."

The mayoral "race" has been going on since the late 1980s.

"It started off as a fundraiser from Lehigh Community Services and then several years ago they passed it over to the Chamber," Culver said.

The Chamber passed it to the Spring Festival Committee.

"Its always been tied to the Spring Festival because we always announced the winners at the Spring Festival," Culver said.

The most important thing right now that she wants to accomplish is getting new people in to the race

"We have one candidate," Culver said. "We need more candidates."



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