Building the community, one check at a time

After the race for the Lutz Guv’na wraps up every year, the money raised is doled out to local groups and causes.

Kori Rankin is the 2017 winner of the Lutz Guv’na’s race and she has the plaque to prove it. She’s shown here with Paul Vahue, emcee of a celebration held to pass out checks from the annual race’s proceeds. (B.C. Manion)

This year the race drew candidates Greg Gilbert of Beef O’ Brady’s Lutz, Jessica Sherman with Pinch A Penny, and Kori Rankin, of Kori Rankin Photography. Ultimately, Rankin won the Guv’na’s sash. Her stepmother, Jennifer Rankin, won the sash in 2015.

The 2017 campaign for the honorary title generated more than $7,000 in contributions and the checks to local groups were handed out in a ceremony on Oct. 3 at the Old Lutz School.

This year’s recipients included the Old Lutz School, the Lutz Chiefs, the Lutz Cemetery, Girl Scout Troop 2717, Boy Scout Troop 12, Books for Troops, the Lutz Patriots, the Little Woman of Lutz, The Lutz/Land O Lakes Women’s Club, Steinbrenner High School Student Ambassadors, and Martinez Middle School, Learning Gate Community School, and the North Tampa/Lutz Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol.

Suzin Carr, a two-time Lutz Guv’na, said the good that the funds help to generate goes beyond sheer dollars.

“All of these little nonprofits, we’re keeping them healthy and whole,” Carr said.

“A candidate gets to decide where 10 percent of their money goes,” she said.

“The Girl Scout Troop, for instance, this year they were recipients of Jessica Sherman’s 10

Paul Vahue hands a check to representative of the North Tampa/Lutz Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. The group received a portion of this year’s proceeds from the Lutz Guv’na’s race. (B.C. Manion)

percent,” she said.

“That group can also apply for more money,” Carr noted.

“That scout group is going to go for an overnight at NASA. That’s something they could not afford, if this had not happened,” she said.

“You don’t know the impact that that will have, even if it’s just on one of those girls, what their future could be as a result of that trip,” Carr added.

The Civil Air Patrol cadets were there and they talked about their mission, she said. When a disaster hits, they’re among the first people on the ground to analyze what’s needed in an area, she said.

“It’s a tremendous feeling to be able to watch the money come in one hand, and immediately within a matter of a month or two go right back to the community,” Carr said.

The night the funds were being distributed a group from Learning Gate Community School arrived early, Carr said. “They helped set it up.

“This is a night to celebrate them, and here they are setting up tables and chairs, bringing stuff in from the cars to get it ready for everyone else,” she said.

Published Oct. 11, 2017

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