By Kathy L. Collins

It is that time of the year again when local residents vie to become the 2017 Honorary Mayor of Brandon (sm). This year, there are two candidates who will be competing to raise the most amount of money for their selected non-profits. The winner will be announced at the Annual 4th of July Parade. Both the Honorary Mayor of Brandon race and the 4th of July Parade are sponsored by the Community Roundtable.

The first candidate is Sue Burkett, a resident of Valrico. Burkett is the Principal at Bloomingdale High School. Burkett’s sponsoring organization is Center Place and her named non-profits include Bloomingdale Academic Foundation, Center Place and the Boys and Girls Club.

As Principal at Bloomingdale High School, Burkett has always stressed the importance of community service. Burkett said, “There is no better way for me to lead the student body and community than practicing what I preach and putting my own words into action by participating in this race. I hope by giving back to the community through this endeavor, I am able to include and model citizenship to the kids, with them and their families, and make the greater Brandon area even better by strengthening three charities that benefit kids directly.”

Burkett will kick off her campaign with a party at The Landing in Valrico on June 1. She will follow that up with a garage sale/car wash on June 3 at Bloomingdale High School, Bingo Night at Hamburger Mary’s on June 14 and a Casino Night at Center Place on June 16.
For more information on Burkett and her events, please visit or follow her on

The second candidate is Linda Chion Kenney, a resident of Lithia. Kenney works for Pop-Up Media and Marketing, LLC, but is best known for being a reporter for the Brandon News, the Tampa Tribune and the St. Petersburg Times.

Kenney’s sponsoring organization is the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon Foundation, Inc. She will be raising money for BSAC, ECHO and the Kiwanis Club of Greater Brandon Foundation, Inc.

Kenney said of her platform, “My ‘Deeply Rooted, Deeply Driven’ race for Honorary Mayor of Brandon pays tribute to the thousands of people who over the past 25 years have trusted me to tell their stories and promote their causes. This race is tribute to the charitable spirit that exemplifies this town’s spirit of caring and concern.”

Kenney will kick off her campaign on June 1 with an event at O’Brien’s at 6 p.m. Kenney will also host Dinner Theatre with the Village Players as they present The Three Musketeers on Thursday, June 8 at 7 p.m. in Valrico. Tickets are $25.

For more information on Kenney and other events, please call 389-1809.

Both candidates will take part in the Chicks For Charity movie night on June 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the AMC Regency 20 in Brandon. The movie will be Wonder Woman. Tickets must be pre-purchased and you must choose which candidate to support. For Burkett, you can get tickets at Center Place and Bloomingdale High School. For Kenney, purchase tickets at the Osprey Observer.

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