All posts by Cory Skeates


We’re Bragging Just a Little About Patriot Golf Day…

I love it when I find out really cool things that happen here in Lakeland – lucky for me, I get to do that on a daily basis!

Many of you may know our VP of Public Affairs, Yadira Holmes, but I bet you don’t know her brother! Major Ed Pulido is the national spokesman for the Folds of Honor Foundation, honoring military veterans and their families and providing scholarships to children of fallen and disabled soldiers around the country. An amazing calling for an amazing individual.

This morning, Major Pulido was a guest on Fox and Friends along with President George W. Bush to kick off Patriot Golf Day. From the Patriot Golf Day Web site:

Patriot Golf Day is the flagship fundraiser for the Folds of Honor Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides postsecondary educational scholarships for the children and spouses of military men and women disabled or killed while serving our great nation. On Labor Day weekend, golfers across the country are asked to add an extra dollar to their greens fees to fund Folds of Honor scholarships. The Patriot Golf Day campaign is jointly supported by The PGA of America and the United States Golf Association.

The inaugural Patriot Golf Day in 2007 was started by Major Dan Rooney, Founder of the Folds of Honor Foundation, F-16 Pilot, PGA Professional, and USGA member. On Labor Day 2007 Rooney asked golfers to add $1 to their greens fees. His request resulted in donations of more than $1.1 million from more than 3,200 golf facilities. In the last four years, golfers nationwide have been instrumental in raising more than $5.3 million through Patriot Golf Day events resulting in 2,000+ recipients in all 50 states and 41 PGA sections.

Local member golf courses that are participating are The Club at Eaglebrooke and Big Cypress Golf Club.

Watch the clip from Fox News.


August Small Business of the Month: Jefferson Allsopp Insurance

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate Jefferson-Allsopp, Inc. as the Small Business of the Month for August.

According to the 1920 Census, the population of Lakeland was 7,062. By 1925, the beginnings of the insurance agency that would later be known as Jefferson-Allsopp were taking shape. Today, Jefferson-Allsopp is a shining example of a successful family business. All of the principals of the agency are descendents of previous agency owners!

Through the years, the agency has weathered the storms of change, but has maintained the qualities on which it was founded. Jefferson-Allsopp offers a refreshing portrait of stability and longevity; some insurance company contracts date back more than 50 years. Additionally, of the firm’s current employees, 35% have been with Jefferson-Allsopp for more than 25 years.

Jefferson-Allsopp’s business model is built on personalized service by a well trained local representative.  You will always find a personal family atmosphere when conducting business.

Jefferson-Allsopp supports the community through a variety of charitable organizations. They support the Boys and Girls Club of Lakeland and Mulberry, Lakeland City Baseball, Alliance for Independence, United Way, and Florida Southern College Baseball, Golf, and Basketball programs.

In 2007, Jefferson-Allsopp moved into a new office on the second floor of the Pilot Bank building on South Florida Avenue. The office reception area offers a warm welcome for customers and the new space allows for greater efficiencies for office staff.

While the insurance marketplace may always be in a state of change, Jefferson-Allsopp stands as an example in our community of an insurance agency built on the principles of hard work, good training, and personalized customer service. As their motto says, Jefferson-Allsopp has been delivering “Quality Insurance since 1925”.

Jefferson-Allsopp, Inc.

439 S Florida Ave, Ste 201

Lakeland, FL  33801

(863) 688-7691 Phone

(863) 683-3790 Fax


GEICO Supports After School Success at the YMCA

Thanks to a $10,000 grant from GEICO, the children of Polk County are finding fun and meaning in reading!

The YMCA of West Central Florida provides after school care for more than 400 children at 20 sites around Polk County. Thanks to GEICO’s support, the YMCA was able to invest in the Making Meaning literacy curriculum which teaches comprehension strategies with read-aloud books. The read-aloud component also encourages social skills and a supportive peer community of readers!

Every day after school, the YMCA is a safe place for school children to play sports and be physically active, build character, eat healthy snacks and receive much needed academic support. Parents can continue literacy successes at home by reading to children, asking children to read to them, and finding teachable moments such as reading recipes and writing grocery lists!

To find out more about the YMCA and after school programs around the county, visit or call (863) 644-3528.


InnerAct Alliance Sponsors County-Wide Youth Leadership Program

Students from various Polk County high schools have recently been nominated by their school principals
and community leaders to participate in an exciting new Youth Leadership Program, the first of its kind in the county, and
spearheaded by InnerAct Alliance and key business partners to help teens develop crucial leadership skills.

On August 16-17, 2011, a group of over 30 teens from 11 different Polk County schools took part in the UthMpact
Leadership Retreat at the Florida FFA Leadership Training Center in Haines City, to kick-off the program, develop team
presentations, and enjoy Leadership Olympics games and activities led by motivation expert, Patrick T. Grady, a former
middle and high school educator, author of the book titled, “Who Packs the Parachute,” and co-author of “Teen Power Too” and “Teen Power and Beyond.”

Once a month, beginning in September 2011, youth leaders will travel throughout Polk County to spend the day experiencing the inner workings of local government, health care, education, and law enforcement. The group will meet with community leaders, discuss challenges, and recommend solutions for issues that face us now and in the future. The Leadership Program agenda includes 6 days from September-March, each with different themes:

  • September 28 – Health and Wellness Leadership Day
  • October 26 – Law Enforcement Leadership Day
  • November 30 – Volunteer Leadership Day
  • January 25 – Education Leadership Day
  • February 22 – Government Leadership Day
  • March 28 – Business Leadership Day
  • April 25 – Leadership Graduation Evening

UthMpact is the dynamic coalition of teen leaders committed to helping educate and deliver key substance abuse prevention messages to teens by their peers. Coalition goals for UthMpact are to provide positive community engagement; change community stereotypes about teen drug use by volunteering, informing and being educated; set examples for other teens; increase coalition membership and involvement in youth clubs in high schools; and positively encourage alcohol and tobacco prevention and cessation. For additional information on the UthMpact Leadership Program, please call Veronica Awai at (863) 802-0777, visit, or find UthMpact on Facebook.


Internal Medicine Specialists Breaks Ground on State-of-the-Art Medical Center

Polk County Builders Association Executive Director Stephanie Hutton, Builder Mike Hickman, Polk County Commissioner Melony Bell, Bartow Regional Medical Center COO Troy DeDecker and Samily and Dr. Carlos Romero were on hand for the special ground breaking ceremony for a new state-of-the-art medical building to be shared by Internal Medicine Specialists and Bartow Regional Medical Center physicians.

Currently located across the street from the build site, Internal Medicine Specialists anticipates that this new building will provide greater comfort, convenience and added medical services to patients. Samily Romero, Office Manager says that the new facility will attract a variety of specialists including a pulmonary physician.

For additional information on Internal Medicine Specialists or the construction of the new facility, contact:

Internal Medicine Specialists Medical Group, PA

4730 Exploration Ave

Lakeland , Florida 33812

(863) 619-5999