Safety Harbor Mayor Andy Steingold and Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis at the 2016 Mayor’s Breakfast on Friday, Dec. 2.
The annual Mayor’s Breakfast kicked off the holiday season at the Nielson headquarters in Oldsmar last Friday morning, and by all accounts, it was one of the most successful in terms of turnout and proceeds in the event’s 20-year history.
With dozens of politicians, business owners and other local officials from the neighboring cities of Safety Harbor and Oldsmar paying $25.00 a piece to be served a gourmet breakfast by the communities’ mayors, the fundraiser for the Mattie Williams Neighborhood Family Center will once again go a long way towards providing meals and gifts for needy families during the holidays.
Safety Harbor City Commissioner Janet Hooper.
“It’s great to see two mayors and two cities coming together to help people in need at this time of year,” Safety Harbor City Commissioner and MWNFC director Janet Hooper told Oldsmar Connect after the breakfast.
“You don’t see this everywhere. You just don’t.”
“It’s heartwarming, especially at this time (with all that’s going on) in America,” she added. “It’s like, wow. It’s absolutely fabulous. I feel truly blessed.”
While the event was designed as a fundraiser, it has always embraced the “fun” aspect of the term, with the mayors wearing colorful aprons and trying to “out-earn” each other in tips, acting in skits, and giving and taking friendly jibes, all in the name of charity.
This year proved to be no different, Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis and Safety Harbor Mayor Andy Steingold, both seasoned breakfast veterans, enjoying what could be their last event together.
Mayors Steingold and Bevis enjoy a laugh at the 2016 Mayor’s Breakfast.
“I’ve been participating in this event for 10 years, and I think the event has worked because it has really put smiles on faces and got people laughing,” Steingold told the assembled crowd packed into the spacious Nielsen dining room.
“It’s a joyous occasion because we can afford to be here and afford to help other people. It’s really a great event.”
Oldsmar Mayor Doug Bevis receives a “tip” from Vice-Mayor Eric Seidel at the Mayor’s Breakfast on Dec. 2.
After Bevis accidentally revealed Steingold’s plan not to seek reelection in 2017 by stating this would probably be their last breakfast together, he turned his focus to the future of the event.
“We continue to outdo ourselves with the Mayor’s Breakfast every year, so we’ll have to see how we can outdo ourselves again next year,” Bevis said.
After the last cup of coffee had been poured and all the donated gifts and decorative Christmas trees had been auctioned off, both local lawmakers spoke about the importance of the event.
“I thought it was a fantastic event,” Steingold, who officially announced his intention not to run in 2017 on Monday night, said. “Everyone poured out their generosity from their heart to help these kids.
Steingold recalled attended his first breakfast a decade ago, when current Oldsmar City Council member Jerry Beverland was mayor, and he said the event has come a long way since then.
The 20th annual Mayor’s Breakfast was held at the Nielsen headquarters in Oldsmar on Friday, Dec. 2, 2016.
“I did a skit with Mayor Beverland, then we did a little film, and every year it’s grown from there,” he said. “I’ve never been to an event and seen a greater outpouring of generosity. It’s been a great joint venture between the two cities.”
“It’s overwhelming to see the turnout from the community,” Bevis said. “It’s a great event, and I can’t thank Nielsen enough for being a great corporate partner and allowing us to host it.”
“We joke and laugh and have fun, but it’s all about helping those in need at this time of year.”
Here’s a look at some of the scenes from the 2016 Mayor’s Breakfast: