The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce (VFCC) will host the annual Back-to-School Teacher Appreciation Luncheon, sponsored by Ferman Mazda of Brandon, on Wednesday, August 4 at Bloomingdale Senior High School in Valrico.

Every year, the chamber honors new teachers at each school it services by putting together this amazing event. The luncheon is a small token of appreciation for the hard work the teachers and staff are about to endure—countless hours of grading papers, learning the different personalities of their students, being role models and so much more. The VFCC services 18 schools in the Brandon/Valrico/Lithia area. Each school’s principal is invited to bring six of its new teachers to attend the luncheon.

In addition, OneBlood will be outside collecting valuable, much-needed blood donations for those that are interested. Entering the school, teachers will register and receive a bag to collect any goodies and business paraphernalia. Chamber members will line the Bloomingdale auditorium hallway where, as the teachers make their way to the cafeteria, they are able to meet and learn about the businesses in their community.

A selfie area, sponsored by MJ Photography, is set up just outside of the cafeteria for the teachers’ entertainment. They are then guided to their table, where they will be greeted by their table host and business sponsor. Teachers will each have the opportunity to complete a school supply wish list for the second half of the school year and drop it into a wishing well. VFCC chamber members will take the wish lists and fulfill them, and the supplies will then be distributed to each of the teachers in January 2022 as a continued thank you from the community of businesses.

A boxed lunch, including dessert and a drink, will be provided by Chick-fil-A of Lake Brandon Village and Bloomingdale. While teachers eat, those in attendance from the Hillsborough County School District will be introduced, then the much-loved Dave Mishkin, the voice of the Tampa Bay Lightning on AM 970, will be the guest speaker. He will encourage and inspire the teachers and staff in preparation for their new school year. Members of the chamber’s board will take a few minutes to speak and then the program will end. As the teachers begin to leave, they will be handed a bag filled with school supplies needed to help get their school year started off right.

“The Valrico/FishHawk Chamber of Commerce wants to say thank you to every teacher and staff member at each of the schools. May you have a great year with amazing students,” said Abi Merkle, VFCC chairman of the board.

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