When Rosie Heim decided to toss her hat into the ring to run for honorary mayor of Land O’ Lakes, she had a purpose in mind.
She wanted to raise the profile of the GFWC Lutz-Land O’ Lakes Woman’s Club in the community of Land O’ Lakes.
She wants the club to become “a household name in Land O’ Lakes.”
She explained: “We are very well-known in Lutz because we do the parade, we do the art show. “But, Land O’ Lakes didn’t know the ladies in the green shirts. I wanted some of the businesses to know who we are, and some of the community to know the wonderful work that we do,” she said.
The club is active in many ways.
It pitches in at the Baldomero Lopez State Veterans’ Nursing Home in Land O’ Lakes.
It sponsors the annual Lutz Arts & Crafts Show.
It has an annual flea market, supports survivors of domestic abuse, helps to plant trees, decorates graves of veterans, packs boxes to ship to troops stationed overseas, and does all sorts of other things to support the communities of Lutz and Land O’ Lakes.
It uses the money it raises to help local community groups, and support scholarships.
So, Heim has learned a thing or two about fundraising.
In her quest to become the honorary mayor, she hosted eight events.
When she began the race, she was competing against Andre Pamplona. But, he needed to divert his energy to his family when owners of Royal Lanes decided to close the bowling center that Pamplona managed, Heim said.
That didn’t slow her down, though.
The woman’s club will get a portion of the money she raised, she said. “The chamber will get the rest for the community services that they do.”
Heim said she doesn’t have a clique that she hangs out with, but she has loads of connections.
Besides the woman’s club, she’s involved with Women-N-Charge, which is a networking group. She’s also involved with AARP, churches and other groups.
Heim said she wants to recruit more ladies to be involved with the woman’s club because more help is needed.
“There is a need in the community to help with community services,” Heim said.
Many of the women in the club are getting older and aren’t able to do as much as they once could, she said.
“Not all of the ladies are physically able to move tables and set up crafts,” she said. “We would love younger people with better backs.”
Besides working to increase the woman’s club’s ranks, Heim hopes she can attract more members to the Central Pasco Chamber, too.
She plans to be an ambassador for the organization — reaching out to new businesses and giving them a warm welcome from the chamber.
“I’ll do the ribbon cuttings,” she said.
She’ll also be participating in the Lutz Fourth of July Parade.
“They’re going to get me a convertible,” said Heim, who joined the woman’s club 10 years ago, after retiring from her job as a special needs school assistant at Denham Oaks Elementary.
She said she’s happy to be the face of the Central Pasco Chamber of Commerce, and will do what the chamber would like her to do to spread its goodwill.
“If any of the schools asks me to come and speak and give awards to the kids, I’m available to do that,” Heim said.
Being involved is rewarding, said Heim, noting she was overwhelmed during a recent pasta dinner fundraiser she had.
Ninety-six people turned out.
“I was just so honored and overwhelmed by the love shown in that room,” she said. “They were chanting my name, ‘Rosie. Rosie.’”
It was incredible, Heim said. “When you give, it’s always returned to you 10-fold.”
Published June 21, 2017