An editorial by Gary Nager
An editorial by Gary Nager

An editorial by Gary Nager | June 8

There’s no doubt that our lives as Americans (and Wesley Chapel residents and business owners), are pretty hectic and that there are plenty of things you can do with your time that don’t include helping other people.

So, in this observer’s humble opinion, anyone who spends any of their precious available free time to help others in need is praiseworthy and deserves to receive at least some of that praise in the pages of this publication — even though, most of the time, these helpful folks are too busy to worry about or are truly not interested in “publicity” for their generous acts.

A case in point is the title of “Honorary Mayor of Wesley Chapel,” which is bestowed each year by the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) on the person who raises the most money (of anyone “running” for the title that year) for a charitable cause (or causes) each “candidate” selects for his or herself. The second place candidate in terms of fund raising earns the title of “Deputy Honorary Mayor.”

Now, there have been some years that there have been more than two people running for this “honor,” which “allows” you to attend and “preside over” ribbon cuttings and make appearances wearing a sash (if you so choose) at WCCC events. And yes, there probably is some business benefit to being seen in pictures in this and other local publications every time you hold a piece of ribbon at these events, but you could just attend the events, get your mug in every picture and not “have” to raise any money for anyone or “have” to be anywhere in an official capacity for the Chamber.

So, to this year’s candidates — both of whom have become friends of mine through not only the WCCC but also other community organizations and businesses — VP/branch manager Mary Ann Yaney of Central Bank and market strategist Cathy Bickham of Florida Hospital Zephyrhills’ Chapel Home Health — I say thanks for stepping up yet again for the Wesley Chapel community and the WCCC.

Yaney is raising money to help the Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary Club and Tampa Leads & Philanthropy (TLP), as well as the Chamber itself (as all candidates do). She kicked off her “campaign” on May 28 at Central Bank on Bruce B. Downs (BBD) Blvd. Mary Ann was the first president of the New Tampa Chamber of Commerce, has twice chaired the New Tampa Relay for Life and is a member of the Wesley Chapel Noon Rotary, which meets Wednesdays at noon at Ciao Italian Bistro at the Shops at Wiregrass.

Bickham, whose campaign will help Support our Troops, Wesley Chapel Lions Club and the WCCC, began her “run” with an event on May 30 at the new Happy Cow Frozen Yogurt in the Shops at New Tampa of Wesley Chapel on BBD (see separate story on page 28). She also is an incoming director of the Wesley Chapel Lions Club and current Ambassador co-chair for the WCCC. She also worked on the campaigns of 2013 Honorary Mayor Troy Stevenson of Wesley Chapel Nissan, 2012 winner John Negley of Florida Hospital Wesley Chapel and 2011 winner Debbie Yoerg.

Stevenson was on hand at Cathy’s kickoff event and, even though I never saw him actually wear the sash, he will hand it over to the 2014 winner at the end of this year, as will 2013 Deputy Honorary Mayor Kenneth Stewart of Integrated Security Consultants to the 2014 runner-up. Good luck, ladies!

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