Category Archives: Community Info & Events


Alabama Native Taking Donations to Storm Victims

Alabama native, Angie Birdwell now calls Lakeland home. As the Director of the Lakeland Campus of Webster University, Angie is a familiar face to many Chamber members.

This weekend, Angie and her family are making an important trek to her home state; one with significance for family members and friends stranded in the tornado-ravaged areas of the state.

In partnership with a Red Cross Distribution Center, Angie is collecting much needed clothes, shoes and personal hygiene items. To expedite the process, all donations should be separated and labeled as mens, womens, or childrens.

Help Angie and her family load up the truck! Donations are accepted at Webster University from 9 a.m.-9 p.m., now until Thursday (May 5). The campus is located at 1479 Town Center Drive, Ste 202 – on the second floor at Lakeside Village.


Lakeland Association of Realtors Derby Party May 6

You are all invited to the Lakeland Association of REALTORS® Fundraiser of the Year!

This year, it is a Kentucky Derby themed party complete with a ladies Kentucky Derby Hat Contest, a 50/50 Raffle and over $5000 in amazing Silent Auction items!

Each year the Lakeland Association of REALTORS® holds an event, and the proceeds benefit a local charity in our community. This year, the committee decided they would support a LOCAL Wounded Warrior from Operation Iraqi Freedom & family! We are very excited… and the family that was chosen is very deserving and excited as well. Please help us support this family by attending the event Friday night. It’s a GREAT time and we need your support! Cost is $20.00 per person and will be held at the SunTrust Building in beautiful Downtown Lakeland – Friday May 6th from 7 – 11 p.m.

Tickets will be sold at the door but if you would like to purchase a ticket today please contact Melissa Sanchez at (863) 687-6111 or email

If you cannot make it, but would like to make a donation please feel free. Join us at the race!


Public Relations Association Presents Media Boot Camp

Don’t let this unique opportunity to pass you by!

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd will be among those who will be speaking at the Dick Pope/Polk County Florida Public Relations Association Media Boot Camp on Wednesday, May 18, 2011, at the National Guard Armory.  The Armory is located at the Bartow Airport off of Highway 17 between Bartow and Eagle Lake.

FPRA’s Media Boot Camp is an opportunity for “recruits” to enhance their professional outreach to local media through sessions specifically designed to get information on the “front lines.”

Polk County’s most seasoned media partners are being gathered as “drill instructors.”  There will also be local representatives experienced in the areas of social media and blogging as well as internet news.

“Drill Instructors” will be from:

  • News Channel 8
  • Channel 10
  • Hall Communications
  • WWBF, Thornburg Communications
  • Lakeland Local
  • Polk County Democrat
  • Central Florida Ag News
  • Inside Polk
  • Voce Communications
  • Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce
  • Tampa Tribune
  • The Lakeland Ledger

The cost for the event, which includes a full buffet breakfast, networking with local PR professionals, and a 2011 Media Guide, is $40 for all non-profit organizations and FPRA members. General cost for the event is $50.

Registrations received before April 30 will have a chance to submit an event or story idea to be personally reviewed by our Media Drill Instructors with the chance of getting those specific points to get your story heard.

General registration deadline is May 9, 2011.  Please send your registration to Kelly Rote, or call (863) 295-5905 for more information.


SummerWerx Program Connects Lakeland Teens to Lakeland Jobs

Lakeland is a community of neighborhoods. This summer, link your company to your community by hiring a local teen.

Putting teens to work:

  • Advances Lakeland’s future workforce
  • Shares local opportunities with local teens
  • Strengthens your community

The Neighborhood Association Coalition (NAC) of Lakeland has banded together to bring qualified youth to the job market in Lakeland. In partnership with the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, businesses and communities have committed to hire Lakeland teens, giving them a connection to community, employment experience, and a sense of purpose.

Your company can be a part of the movement by employing teens from your local neighborhoods:

  • Ages 16-18
  • 20-30 hours per week
  • $7.25 per hour minimum
  • June 13 – August 12, 2011

To learn more about how your company can participate in the SummerWerx efforts, contact:

Commissioner Don Selvage: | 863-712-7360

Commissioner Phillip Walker: | 863 – 698-8094


Join the Lakeland Chamber on a Tour of China

As an emerging global power in innovation and economic development, China is key to understanding the future of business. Rich traditions and culture combine with modern society, providing an unparalleled opportunity for travelers to experience the diversity of the globe.

The Chamber has partnered with Citslinc International to provide this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity from Beijing to Shanghai and on to Suzhou and Hangzhou. Along the way, the group will experience historic sites like Tiananmen Square and the centuries-old Great Wall while also visiting economic development zones and traditional Chinese cultural sites.

Chamber President Kathleen Munson encourages everyone to take advantage of this exciting travel opportunity. “The Chamber presents a once-in-a-lifetime journey to witness the incredible beauty, culture and history that China offers.”  This all-inclusive trip will satisfy sightseers, adventurers, history-buffs, and those exploring Chinese business exchanges.

A May 23 orientation featuring Leo Liu of Citslinc will offer an informational overview of the trip planned for October 9-17, 2011. Beginning at 5:30 p.m. at the Lakeland Center, orientation guests can expect to learn more about Visa requirements, itinerary details and optional tours during the nine-day excursion.

The Chamber will continue to update information online at as it becomes available.

For more information about the trip, and to RSVP for the May 23 Orientation, call (863) 688-8551, Ext. 228.