The annual tradition of “electing” an honorary mayor for Apollo Beach continued this year. Fifi Queen and Joel Brandenburg both ran as candidates. Each candidate must put on fundraising events and raise money for charity. Together they raised $7,500 in one month. In June, at the Apollo Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Annual Installation and Awards Banquet, it was announced that Brandenburg had won the race and the right to serve the community as honorary mayor for the 2009-2010 year.
Brandenburg is a fishing captain and owns Ana Banana Fishing Company. His charity is the Pediatric Cancer Foundation. “I wanted to do good for the community and raise money for an excellent charity,” said Brandenburg. He further said, “I fish with those kids every year at the Mercury Grand Slam Celebrity Fishing Tournament, and, sometimes, kids don’t come back the next year. I have two kids. I have piece of mind knowing two kids. I have piece of mind knowing that there is a charity like Pediatric Cancer Foundation out there.”
Queen, founder and owner of Fifi’s Fine Resale Apparel, a line of high-end resale stores throughout North Carolina and Florida also ran. Her charity was the American Cancer Society. Queen said, “I want to plant myself in Apollo Beach and grow and get to know all of you. This is the neatest upscale community.”
The tradition of electing an honorary mayor began five years ago and has continued ever since. The Apollo Beach Chamber sponsors the candidates who then, through a series of fundraising events, raise money. The candidate who raises the most money wins. The mayor then spends the year in office attending events such as ribbon cuttings and after-hour coffees. The outgoing mayor is Richard Crannell, and he presented the key to the city to Brandenburg.
The Apollo Beach Chamber of Commerce also installed its Board of Directors and officers for 2009-2010 at the event. Leading the board as director is Isabel Darcy who said, “I’m very humbled to be in this position.” The Board of Directors also include Peggy Boris (vice president), Greg Conley (treasurer), Gracie Guinto (secretary), Jim Martin, Donald Pearson, Ron Kobosky, Ron Seagren, Terry Faulds, Judy Woodrum, Jill Canavan, Peter Florence, Lee Calvin and Kevin Conlan.
The Apollo Beach Chamber of Commerce recently moved to its brand new location at 137 Harbor Village Ln. in the MiraBay Village shopping center, adjacent to Sweetbay. The Chamber was established in 1985. Its Website is www.apollobeachchamber.com.