Amy Sams, principal of Southshore Charter Academy, is running for Honorary Mayor of Riverview.

Amy Sams, principal of Southshore Charter Academy, has entered the Honorary Riverview Mayor’s race and is planning to put the ‘FUN’ in fundraising for her charities. This race is a long-standing tradition that benefits local nonprofit organizations as well as brings the community together through hosting family-friendly events. During the month of April, each candidate chooses two charities for which they will host multiple fundraising events. The candidate who raises the most donations is named Honorary Mayor of Riverview. The event is sponsored by the Riverview Woman’s Club.

Sams’ inaugural run for Honorary Riverview Mayor was an easy choice. She hopes that it will raise much-needed funds for ECHO and believes the mayoral race is a great way to increase the connection between Southshore Charter Academy and the community.

Sams’ announcement on her mayoral Facebook page shows her enthusiasm for this race.

“With great excitement, I am proud to officially announce that I am running for Honorary Mayor of Riverview,” said Sams. “This is not a typical mayor’s race as there are no politics involved nor will the winner hold an office. Instead, this race is all about the community and charity.”

The first charity Sams has chosen is ECHO. According to its website, ECHO offers more than food and clothing; it’s advocacy care, community connections, workshops, job coaching, and more. ECHO offers life-rebuilding programs that prepare people to enter the workforce, including resume assistance and interview coaching.

“We have been partnering with ECHO for several years now for our annual canned food drive,” said Sams. “We see all of the great work they do to support our neighbors, and their success reports of helping families find jobs, housing and vehicles is so encouraging. They have even been supportive to a few of our own families that we have sent their way. ECHO does so much for our neighbors to provide food, clothing and support to find jobs and housing.”

Sams is hoping that her mayoral race will also raise the $10,000 needed to purchase and install bulletproof film for the windows and doors at Southshore Charter Academy.

“Southshore Charter, like all schools, is always striving to strengthen students’ learning by improving safety and security,” said Sams. “All funds raised will go toward those efforts.”

Southshore Charter Academy, located at 11667 Big Bend Rd. in Riverview, is a tuition-free public charter school educating students in grades K-8.

To raise money for her race, Sams has planned many fundraisers and events.

“We have lots of events planned, such as a sock hop and Spring Carnival at our school,” said Sams.

For the general public, Sams is hosting a scavenger hunt on Saturday, April 20, at 9 a.m.; a painting class on Sunday, April 21; and a bingo event on Tuesday, April 23. The exact locations and times can be found on her Facebook page, ‘Amy Sams- For Honorary Mayor of Riverview.’ There will also be a QR code posted on the page during the month of April for donations.

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.