All posts by Cory Skeates


Top Chef of Polk County 2020 To Benefit Achievement Academy – Looking for Sponsors

LAKELAND, FL (October 9, 2019) – Achievement Academy’s sixth annual Top Chef of Polk County event will take place on Monday, February 24, 2020, from 6:00 to 9:00pm at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

Last year, the Achievement Academy raised $150,000 for children with special needs. The event is expanding from 250 guests last year to 350. This will be a night of delicious food and fellowship while raising much-needed funds for children with special needs.

Participating chefs will create and prepare their signature dish (tapas style) accompanied with a wine or libation that complements the flavors of the dish. Guests will enjoy a cash bar, silent/live auctions and a tasting of signature dishes from Polk County’s leading chefs.

Guests will judge each chef on their creation to award the title of “Top Chef of Polk County 2020.” In addition, guests will rate each dining station to award the “Top Table Décor.” The chef who raises the most funds for Achievement Academy through their donated auction item(s) and online voting will earn the “Top Philanthropic Chef” award. Chefs will sample each signature dish prior to the event to vote for the “Chefs’ Choice” award.

We are proud to announce our participating chefs for this year’s event:

Chef William Ball, Cob & Pen
Chef Tina Calhoon, Frescos Southern Kitchen and Bar

Chef Gene Gelb, Publix Aprons Cooking School

Chef James Lazaros, La Imperial Bakery Café & Catering

Chef Luis Melgar, 1916 Irish Pub Lakeland

Chef Matthew Oakley, Crave and Copper
Chef Dean Riley, The Estates at Carpenters
Chef Steven Rojas, Nutwood

Chef Patrick Schaefer, Patio850

Chef Jose Vicente, Brasa Latina

Terrie Lobb Catering, Inc.

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit or contact Stacy Williams-Myers, CFRE at 863-683-6504 or

The Achievement Academy serves children from birth through age five with various developmental delays and disabilities.  The Achievement Academy offers two programs, each provided at no cost to the child or family.  The first program is a Charter School that offers specialized instruction by certified teachers; small class sizes; individual speech, occupational and physical therapies; and assistive technologies that enable each student to reach his or her full potential at one of the Achievement Academy’s three campus locations (Lakeland, Winter Haven and Bartow).  The second is a “Birth to Three Program” that provides early intervention services to infants and toddlers who are “at-risk” for developmental delays and/or have been identified with a specific delay.  Professional Early Interventionists serve these children and their families.



SEU Hosts Polk County Special Olympics October 12

SEU Hosts Polk County Special Olympics

LAKELAND, Fla. — For the fourth year, Southeastern University will host the Polk County Special Olympics Fall Classic. On October 12, more than 500 athletes from eight counties will compete. The event will be run by more than 300 volunteers consisting of Southeastern students and staff members and volunteers from the Lakeland Magic. The event will begin at 9 a.m., with the opening ceremony and parade of champions on Victory Field. It will conclude at 4 p.m.

The athletes will compete in softball, flag football, powerlifting and gymnastics. Several of Southeastern’s Fire athletic teams will be helping to host each sport. These events will be located in various locations on Southeastern’s campus including the student activities center, fitness center and the softball complex. Six students from Pathways School of Excellence, located at Southeastern, will be competing in flag football skills, an individual event.

According to the Special Olympics Florida, the Special Olympics is the world’s largest program of sports training and athletic training for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. They currently serve over 51,000 athletes and unified partners in Florida, who train and compete year-round in sports of their choice.

For more information, contact Priscilla Burr at


AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in Florida

AMERICAN PICKERS to Film in Florida
Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to Florida! They plan to film episodes of the hit series American Pickers throughout your area in December 2019. AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s
past along the way. Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them.

AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with
photos to: or call 855-OLD-RUST.
facebook: @GotAPick


Heath Funeral Chapel Receives National Recognition

Heath Funeral Chapel in Lakeland was honored recently with the 2019 Pursuit of Excellence Award by the National Funeral Directors Association for the seventh consecutive year. The Pursuit of Excellence is presented annually by NFDA to firms that have demonstrated a commitment to raising the bar on funeral service excellence by adhering to strict ethical and professional standards and providing outstanding service to families and their communities.