Junior League of Greater Lakeland Light Up Lakeland December 8, 2019

LAKELAND, Fla. – The Junior League of Greater Lakeland is hosting its annual luminary event, Light Up Lakeland, Sunday, December 8 at 6:00 p.m. The community is invited to line the curb in front and around their home with beautiful luminaries.

The League is selling luminary kits as follows: one kit for $20, or two kits for $30. Each kit includes 15 bags, candles, sand and assembly instructions on how and when to put your luminaries out. Kits can be purchased online at https://www.jlgl.org/store/. Kits will be available for pick up on December 1 at the Junior League’s Sorosis Building – 90 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland – or you may request to have your kit delivered to your home for a $10 donation.  Orders are due December 1, 2019.

The sale of luminaries benefits the Junior League of Greater Lakeland community projects focused on women and children’s wellness, and specifically, the League’s 2019-20 mission to meet the critical resource need of clothing and toiletries for children in the Greater Lakeland community.

“The League is proud to host our annual Light Up Lakeland event with the goal of uniting the community in support of women and children’s wellness. Together, we are bringing visibility to a very real and pressing need for basic resources for children in our community – clothing, shoes, socks, undergarments, and toiletries – that are readily available to children through our school system,” says Callie Miller, Junior League of Greater Lakeland President. “Your partnership in bringing visibility to this important need will not only provide a beautiful sight in our neighborhoods, it will also unite the community in support of this very important cause. The proceeds raised will impact the lives of thousands of children in our community.”

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland would like to thank our event partner The Lunz Group Architects, Lakeland Electric for lighting Lake Mirror, as well as our community partners Southern Homes, Publix Super Markets Charities, and 97.5 WPCV and Max 98.3.

For more information, please contact LightUpLkld@JLGL.org or call us at (863) 682.2112. Information is also available at https://www.facebook.com/events/779860462472080/

About The Junior League of Greater Lakeland

Women building better communities. That’s the Junior League.

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. is committed to promoting overall wellness of body, mind, and spirit for women and children in our community, through our own community efforts and by partnering with other non-profit organizations in the Greater Lakeland area with a wellness vision.

JLGL members actively reach well over 10,000 families each year. Sustainers, members who have served the JLGL faithfully for decades, have left a proud legacy. Together, all members continue to meet the needs of the community in unique and powerful ways.


The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.  The Junior League is exclusively educational and charitable.

Statement on Voluntarism

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. has as its purpose: to promote voluntarism, to develop the potential of its members for voluntary participation in community affairs, to demonstrate the effectiveness of trained volunteers, to support and promote voluntarism as an essential component of our society.

The Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. further recognizes the critical role of the voluntary sector in experimenting, demonstrating, innovating and advocating for needed change, monitoring the public sector objectively and impartially in?uencing governmental program development and providing those services unavailable through government programs.

Therefore, the Junior League of Greater Lakeland, Inc. will continue to take action that will ensure the effectiveness of the voluntary sector.



Lakeland Regional Health and City of Lakeland Team Up To Enhance Behavioral Health Services for Community

Lakeland, Fla. – The City of Lakeland and Lakeland Regional Health are pleased to announce today an unprecedented investment in our community aimed to lift up those with behavioral health needs and help lessen their distress and challenges.

Good behavioral health means a thriving community, but behavioral health problems can impede people’s abilities to realize their potential, cope with stresses, work productively, and make contributions to their communities. The burden of mental illness on a community also can create challenges associated with homelessness, poverty and substance abuse that can cause stress on the community’s health, education and public safety systems. Today’s announcement is a community collaboration between the City of Lakeland and Lakeland Regional Health aimed to alleviate the health and social challenges that are inextricably linked to behavioral health in order to make life better in Lakeland.

“We are so grateful to our City Commissioners, Mayor and city leaders for their unprecedented support of Lakeland Regional Health’s efforts to expand behavioral health services for Lakeland and the surrounding areas.  We are honored for them to be our partners in this extraordinary community investment,” said Elaine C. Thompson, PhD, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health President and CEO. “Without their dedication to see each resident of our community lead productive, high-quality and healthy lives, we would not be able to focus on this much-needed area of care that will be transformational for patients.”

Following this week’s approval by the Lakeland Planning & Zoning Board, Lakeland Regional Health will begin the process toward construction on a free-standing 96-bed Center for Behavioral Health & Wellness on the Medical Center Campus. Construction is expected to be complete in 2021. This behavioral health hospital for adolescents and adults will allow for expanded care and co-location of inpatient and outpatient behavioral health services for enhanced continuum of care in a safe, welcoming and relaxed environment.

The Center for Behavioral Health & Wellness will focus on several areas of service:

  •  Emergency Stabilization
  •  Adult Inpatient Care
  •  Substance Abuse Disorders
  •  Memory Disorders
  •  Child and Adolescent Inpatient Services
  •  Adult Outpatient Care
  •  Child and Adolescent Outpatient Care
  •  Family Behavioral Health and Wellness
  •  Non-Residential Intensive Behavioral Health Programs

The design will include three one-story buildings designed around the therapeutic and healing properties of natural light and other visual aspects of the patient environment to reduce stress and encourage healing. According to published research, natural daylight and evening darkness drive circadian rhythm responses that influence emotional and mental state. Research also shows that excessive noise is associated with stress for patients and team members. In addition, the facility design includes secure outdoor space for patients and families, which also has been scientifically shown to contribute to better outcomes.

“Behavioral healthcare needs are growing at a dramatic rate,” said Bill Mutz, Mayor, City of Lakeland. “The demand is far greater than just a decade ago. The City of Lakeland and Lakeland Regional Health partnership will provide progressive care and the capacity to meet these critical needs. Both organizations are committed to improving the Quality of Life in Lakeland and across Polk County.”

“Our society has traditionally underinvested in behavioral health resources, so it’s fantastic to see Lakeland Regional Health take a proactive approach to address the need in our community,” said Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin. “Citizens of Lakeland are fortunate to have access to such a strong and dynamic healthcare system, and our city’s partnership with LRH is something we should all be proud of.”

In Polk County, the ratio of the population to mental health providers is 1,400:1. In both the 2011 and 2014 Community Health Assessment, conducted by the Florida Department of Health, Polk Vision, other local not-for-profit hospitals and numerous health agencies, Polk County residents reported mental health issues and substance abuse to be critical health problems and urgent risks to their health and safety. About 25% of Lakeland’s population is affected by mental health issues or substance abuse every year, and many of them end up in the emergency room, on the streets or incarcerated.

Currently, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center has 68 beds for adult and adolescent behavioral healthcare, including depression, anxiety disorders, substance abuse and memory disorders, and serves as a Baker Act receiving hospital. In 2018 alone, Lakeland Regional Health cared for more than 5,400 Baker Act cases.

“We desperately need proactive, deliberate and comprehensive behavioral and mental health services for our community,” said Danielle Drummond, MS, FACHE, Lakeland Regional Health Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. “With the vital support of the City as well as local social service and health agencies, we are so excited to move forward to tackle one of our area’s most pressing needs.”

Lakeland Regional Health leaders and Peace River Center leaders have worked collaboratively to ensure programs and inpatient care are complementary across the continuum of care that each organization provides to the community.

“Often, those with mental illness feel misunderstood,” said Alice Nuttall, MBA, RN, BA, Lakeland Regional Health Director of Behavioral Health. “We need to embrace and encourage those with mental illness, dementia, post-partum depression, anxiety disorders and addictions to seek nearby help, start talking about their struggles and lead them on a journey toward hope and wellness.”

About Lakeland Regional Health 

Not-for-profit Lakeland Regional Healthreaches beyond its hospital walls to promote wellness, education and discovery in new places and new ways, providing a wide range of inpatient and outpatient healthcare services at its Medical Center, Hollis Cancer Center and ambulatory care locations. Lakeland Regional Health earned Most Wired Advanced and Most Wired status five times since 2013 from the American Hospital Association and has earned workplace awards from Forbes, Gallup and Becker’s Hospital Review. Its 864-bed comprehensive tertiary referral hospital, Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center, operates the Jack and Tina Harrell Family Institute for Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine; a Level II Trauma Center; the Carol Jenkins Barnett Pavilion for Women and Children, which includes a Level III Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; and the Bannasch Institute for Advanced Rehabilitation Medicine.

About Lakeland

The City of Lakeland was incorporated January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the U.S. Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and Gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.


The Lakeland Hotel & Motel Association Contributed More Than 200 Vanity Bags to “ONE MORE CHILD”

The Lakeland Hotel & Motel Association contributed more than 200 Vanity Bags to “ONE MORE CHILD,”  consisting of all the toiletries a young girl or boy might need for overnight stays.  Mary Babylon, President of the LHMA, with the Hampton Inn and Suites at Lakeside Village, was thrilled at the overwhelming response stating that there wasn’t a more worthy cause and they were so gratified to help!   Thank you to this wonderful local association for always giving back to our community!

LHMA Vanity Bag Donation 2019


Harrell’s Growth Continues with POLYON® Acquisition

LAKELAND, FL  Harrell’s, LLC has acquired one of the green industry’s signature brands – POLYON®– from Koch Agronomic Services.

The sale, which is effective at the close of business November 15, includes the POLYON® controlled-release fertilizer brand and related technology, patents and manufacturing capability. More than 70 veteran team members from the landmark Sylacauga, Alabama, POLYON® production facility officially become Harrell’s employee-owners.

“This is a great day for Harrell’s,” said CEO Jack Harrell Jr. “We’ve always wanted to own POLYON® and finally the time was right for everyone. Now we’re going to do everything we can to bring this superb technology to more customers and markets.”

Harrell’s has distributed POLYON® in the golf, lawn care, horticulture and specialty ag markets for three decades in a supply relationship that originally began with Pursell Industries in the early 1990s. “We’ve been so closely associated with it that folks mistakenly thought we already owned it,” said Harrell. “Those little green BBs have been at the heart of our business and a big part of our growth and success over the years,” said Harrell.

POLYON® is a unique, highly efficient fertilizer with a reactive coating technology that diffuses nutrients based on soil temperature and coating thickness. It provides consistent, predictable, dependable feeding to turfgrass, ornamental plants and a wide variety of specialty crops.

“It’s a foundational product for so many growers in so many markets,” said Harrell. “We believe in a Balanced Approach agronomic philosophy that combines nutrition and plant protection and POLYON® is the perfect start to the process.”

Under the agreement, Harrell’s will also custom manufacture POLYON® for Koch Agronomic Services, LLC, which will continue to hold exclusive rights to POLYON® in certain international markets.

Harrell’s LLC, an employee-owned company founded in 1941, is a national leader in supplying innovative and effective agronomic products to professional growers. In addition to being one of the nation’s largest distributors of specialty fungicides, herbicides and insecticides, Harrell’s produces POLYON®, the industry’s leading controlled-release fertilizer technology and other top-quality, custom blended fertilizers, specialty liquid nutrients, and wetting agents. Harrell’s guarantees stringent quality control procedures, tight manufacturing specifications and careful selection of raw materials for each product that carries the Harrell’s name. For more, visit www.harrells.com.


28 Students to be Recognized for Solo Flight

Lakeland, Florida: On Friday, November 22, 2018 at 10:00 a.m., 28 students will place special engraved commemorative bricks in the Pathway to Success walkway in front of the Central Florida Aerospace Academy (CFAA). Located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus, the annual Solo to Success Ceremony sponsored by the Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE) recognizes the exceptional accomplishment of students 16 to 18 years of age that have completed the necessary steps to independently pilot an aircraft or “solo” in the past 12 months. Many of these student pilots are recipients of a $12,500 ACE flight scholarship. ACE awards 3-4 of these scholarships each month to qualified high school age students from in or near Polk County. Earlier this year, the program was expanded to also include the entire state of Florida through a new initiative called Florida Takes Flight. ACE has the proud distinction of being the world’s leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and this ceremony recognizes the first milestone on their journey.

Guest speaker Dr. Angela Falconetti, President of Polk State College, will share her thoughts on the ACE Scholarship Program and the significant financial benefit it has provided to many students studying aerospace programs at her institution. Community leaders along with government and Polk County School officials will be on hand as well to share in the celebration.

“We are thrilled to recognize these 28 young men and women on this major accomplishment.” said John “Lites” Leenhouts, President / CEO of Aerospace Center for Excellence. “The Solo to Success Ceremony commemorates not only the first milestone along a young person’s path to flight, but also their commitment to excellence no matter what path they choose in life. There are no children in airplanes, only responsible young adults. It takes determination and resolve to learn to fly, and those attributes will help them in any endeavor they undertake.

Solo to Success Ceremony

Friday, November 22nd at 10:00am

Central Florida Aerospace Academy

(located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus)

4175 Medulla Rd.

Lakeland, Florida

The media and general public are encouraged and welcome to attend!


About Aerospace Center for Excellence, Inc.

The Aerospace Center for Excellence (ACE), a 501(c)(3) non-profit, has emerged as a nationally recognized leader in STEM-related and aerospace education through its various learning centers, outreach programs, summer camps and scholarships aimed at preparing students for tomorrow’s aerospace challenges. The organization’s mission is to “Engage, Educate, and Accelerate the Next Generation of Aerospace Professionals.” Located on the SUN ‘n FUN Expo Campus in Lakeland, Florida, the organization is known for its annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo fundraising event as well as the Florida Air Museum, which is Florida’s Official Aviation Museum and Education Center. ACE is the world’s leader in producing licensed teenage private pilots and delivers youth programs that engage over 50,000 students a year. For more information, visit www.ACEedu.aero