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You’ve got a job to do!  You’ve got to choose Mr. Central Florida!  I wanted to learn more about this amazing event and fundraiser.  I asked current contestant and hopeful “manly man,” Jeff Conley from Publix Aprons a few questions about the upcoming show, a fundraiser for Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center:

How did you personally get involved?  

“I have been catering the Women of Central Florida Fashion Show to benefit Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center for the past 3 years.  After last year’s event, the women who run the event, Debbie and Danita, asked me to participate in the men’s event, Mr. Central Florida.  I recently moved to Lakeland and decided to work on this project as a way to be involved with and give to my new community.  This organization also has a connection to my company, Publix.  In the 60s our founder, Mr. George, went to CFSHC for treatment, and also used the facility after his stroke in ’89.  The connection to the community as well as to my company both also influenced my decision to participate.”

Why do they have this event?  

“The money raised will benefit Central Florida Speech and Hearing.  This is an organization which provides hearing and speech services to everyone from newborns to seniors.  The services can include hearing testing, aural rehabilitation, hearing aid service, language disorders, fluency (stuttering), communication disorders associated with autism and much more.  Most of the patients seeking services from CFSHC are unable to afford these services on their own, and are in need of subsidies.  This event is to help raise funds for these people as well as for new equipment and more staff, (a generous grant a few years ago allowed the center to hire a second audiologist and increase the number of people that they are able to help).”

How can we get involved?  

“To vote or sponsor, visit www.cfshc.org/mrcentralflorida/ and click to donate (and support me!)  If someone wants to purchase a sponsorship, they can also do that online.  Sponsorships include an ad in the playbill, seats at the event and presence on the website.   Mrcentralflorida.org also has tabs at the top to help people find the auction items.  The packet is there to download as well as the flier with all of the information about the 4 different levels of sponsorship.”

When do we find out who is crowned Mr. Central Florida?  

“On October the 4th at 6pm, at Haus 820, is the main event, Mr. Central Florida Celebrates Manly Men.  Each of the contestants will be introduced and will strut the stage to music of their choice.  Tickets for the event are  $75.00 and include an evening of fun and laughs, (at our expense) and food from Carrabbas. All of the votes will be tallied and a winner crowned.  Contestants are able to secure votes/point by doing things like touring the center, getting someone to participate next year and of course, raising money.  Each dollar raised is equal to one vote.  The final count will be done the night of the event and all votes from dollars raised and other activities will come together.  Elect me.  ‘Nuff said.”

Thanks Jeff Conley, we love your enthusiasm and can’t wait to see you “strut your stuff!”  Thank you for all of the information on how we can help and good luck to you on the 4th, raise lots of money!  Let’s go online and vote now!  

#2018MRCF is the hashtag for all things Mr. Central Florida 2018.

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