All posts by Cory Skeates


You’re Invited: Ford Dealership to Celebrate Its 70th Anniversary

inviteIn 1948, Harry Truman was President, a loaf of bread would run you 14 cents, and Ernest Smith opened the doors to the Bartow Ford store at 495 and 510 W. Main St. WWII hadn’t been over long, and they sold used cars and appliances to remain afloat.

Now, 70 years later, Bartow Ford sits on a beautiful 30-acre campus and is one of the most successful Ford Dealerships in the state – and ranks within the Top 100 of the nation.

That’s reason to celebrate.

To do so, Bartow Ford is holding an Open House to celebrate this anniversary on Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 5 to 8 PM, which will feature a raffle and entertainment. Additionally, Bartow Ford’s Signature Shop and Service Department will feature specials that day only, including The Works (oil change package) for $19.48.

For more information about this event or to schedule an interview with Benny Robles Jr., please contact Amy Sumerlin 863.533.0425 ext. 2240 or email


Founded in 1948, Bartow Ford Company is a privately held company providing new and used vehicles, and automotive services. The Central Florida facility, located on 30 acres of property in Polk County, with over 286 employees, includes a service and parts department, detail depot, collision center, rental vehicles, commercial services and a quick-lane. Bartow Ford has achieved Ford Motor Company’s prestigious President’s Award 20 times. For more info on Bartow Ford Company, please visit



tmp_2427_1-1-1753_120000_The annual Polk Emerging Leaders Awards will once again be a collaborative event of the three young professional groups in Polk County. Continuing a new era of collaboration and blurring the east/west dividing line, the awards have been established to annually recognize five young professionals between 21-42 who have made significant contributions and commitment to the Polk County community. Nominations are due May 30, 2018. To nominate someone, please click here.


Hearing Loss Association – Lakeland Chapter

The Hearing Loss Association – Lakeland Chapter extends an invitation to Join us Thursday, April 12, 2018, at 6:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, Florida 33801.  Our meetings are in Multipurpose Room A.  To learn more about the Lakeland HLAA Chapter meetings, visit our website at

Hearing Loss and Animals

Paula Creamer from the SPCA will join us and give a presentation on hearing loss and animals.

Paula is a native Floridian and proud to call Lakeland her home. She received her post-secondary education from Florida Southern College and completed her MBA graduate work at Liberty University. When asked, Paula humbly remarks how her career chose her as she juggled full-time work, a new family and college. This balancing act proved useful – providing the foundation for her focus and commitment today.

With over 20 years of project management and marketing experience, Paula has positively impacted the bottom line and increased market share for highly-regarded for-profit and non-profit organizations within the Polk County area. Paula is married to Mark Cook and has a 26 year old daughter, Jenna and a new son-in-law, Danny. Her four-legged children include a miniature Dachshund named Bella, a German shepherd named Nyla and Asher-man, a Belgium Malinois/Shepherd mix. In her spare time, Paula enjoys running, reading and is an active volunteer for Guardian Ad Litem.

Everyone is welcome….our meetings are looped and captioned, so everyone can hear and understand.  More about us at



The Florida Lecture Series at Florida Southern College welcomes environmental historian Jack Davis, professor of history at the University of Florida. In his lecture, Davis places the Gulf of Mexico within the American mythos in a sweeping history that extends from prehistoric times to the 21st century. Davis is the author or co-author of several books, including The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.


WHAT: “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea,” a lecture in the Florida Lecture Series

WHEN: 7 p.m. March 22

WHERE: Hollis Room, Florida Southern College

COST: Free

INFORMATION: Call 680-3001 or go to


Election Association Scholarship Deadline Approaches

Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards said today that college students have until March 29th to apply for one of three $1,200 scholarships to be awarded by the Florida State Association of Supervisors of Elections in 2018.  Applicants must be:

  • Registered to vote in the State of Florida
  • Enrolled as a full-time student in a senior college or university in Florida
  • Majoring in political science, public or business administration, or journalism/mass communications

Applicants must also possess at least a “C” average for the previous year, demonstrate financial need, and be available for an interview in the county where they are registered to vote.

“Interested students should contact the Supervisor of Elections in their county of residence to request an application packet,” said Ms. Edwards.   Polk County residents may contact Lori Edwards at 863-534-5888, or by email at

Scholarship applications, along with two letters of recommendation, must be returned by the March 29th deadline.