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Chamber calls end to honorary mayor contest for 2017

February 1, 2017
By MEL TOADVINE (mtoadvine@breezenewspapers.com) , Lehigh Acres Citizen

There will be no Lehigh Acres honorary mayor for 2017, and possibly never again.

The once-popular competition, which the Greater Lehigh Acres Chamber of Commerce kicked off on Jan. 1, has been ended by the chamber's board.

No contestants have signed up.

Lenore Maffetore, a Florida Community Bank manager who heads up the program, recently made the announcement.

For almost 40 years, there has been an honorary mayor for Lehigh. They would attend official affairs, ribbon cuttings and ground breakings.

The contest is believed to have been started by Lehigh Community Services sometime back around 1980.

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In addition to the mayor, the second and third place winners were named assistant honorary mayor and assistant city clerk.

The contest was taken over by the chamber as a fundraiser years ago. Contestants raised funds through fundraisers, with half of the proceeds going to the chamber and half going to their favorite charity.

Over the years, the contest has raised thousands of dollars, but interest has dwindled. Last year, there was no contest.

"Perhaps in the future, we will revisit the contest," Maffetore said.

Liz Eilf, former executive director of Lehigh Community Services, carried on the contest. She raised thousands of dollars for the agency. She served as the third and fourth honorary mayor.

"I'm sorry to see that the contest has lost interest in the community," Eilf said. "It was exciting for the contestants to compete against each other, and it really helped us to raise thousands of dollars most years."

"It was a fun contest all during the years,"?she added. "It concluded during the Spring Festival. The winners rode in the parade."

 
 

 

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