Category Archives: Community Info & Events



Harley-Davidson® of Lakeland announced recently that they will be holding a Disaster Relief Charity Event in conjunction with a Customer Swap Meet and Sidewalk Event beginning at 10am on Saturday, June 18, 2011. The event will be held at the dealership, located at 4202 Lakeland Hills Blvd., Lakeland, FL. All proceeds from vendor registration, special t-shirt sales and planned activities will be donated to a 501(c) non-profit organization specifically set up to benefit the employees of Cycle Connection Harley-Davidson®, who were deeply impacted by the recent natural disasters that ravaged Joplin, MO.

The dealership is currently seeking donated items to be included in giveaways that will be held throughout the day. “We feel strongly about providing relief for the families in our sister dealership in Joplin,” stated Bill Monts de Oca, Vice President of Harley-Davidson® of Lakeland. “One of their team tragically lost his life, and several team members lost their homes to the tornados. We invite the community to come together and show their support for these hurting families,” concluded Monts de Oca.

The day’s events will also include a Customer Swap Meet and a Sidewalk Event. The dealership is inviting local vendors as well as individual sellers to participate. Registration is $25.00 for vendors and $10.00 for individuals. Pre-registration is required and space is limited. Space will be reserved on a first come, first serve basis. “We’re encouraging all types of vendors and individuals to participate,” said Rachel King, Marketing Manager for Harley-Davidson® of Lakeland. “We’d love to see an abundance of community involvement!” Vendors are encouraged to donate a portion of their proceeds, but are not required to do so. All vendor registration fees will be donated.

The dealership is offering financing assistance through their Seller Assist Program for individuals seeking to sell their motorcycles. Individuals may sell any make and model, though financing is through Harley-Davidson® Credit Corporation and is limited to Harley-Davidson® motorcycles. There is a $10.00 registration fee for individuals wishing to set up and sell their motorcycles, which will also be donated.

To participate or donate giveaway items contact Rachel King at 863-802-1971 or at The event is open to the public. There is no entry fee to attend.


2011 Emergency Shelters Map Available at Publix

Hurricane season begins its six-month run on June 1, 2011.  In preparation, Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing and Polk County Emergency Management have once again partnered with Publix Super Markets to distribute the “Polk County Public Shelters” map for 2011. This emergency shelters map is designed to assist evacuees in finding shelter during an impending storm.

“In the event a hurricane threatens Central Florida, we will work closely with our accommodations partners to assess the supply of available accommodations.  This information is critical in helping evacuees find available lodging. We want our guests to have a safe and pleasant experience, in spite of the circumstances,” said Mark Jackson, director of Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing (PCTSM).  PCTSM relays this vital information to Polk County Emergency Management (PCEM) and area lodging facilities.  PCEM uses this data to decide when and where to open shelters, once area accommodations reach capacity.  Evacuees can then be directed to open shelters using the “Polk County Public Shelters” map, which lists shelter locations on one side and directions to those shelters on the other.  The map also provides sources of emergency information, including important telephone numbers, and recommendations on items to include in a “3-Day Survival Kit”.

The 2011 map includes 43 shelters, three of which are designated as “Special Needs Shelters”, for residents with medical or physical conditions that would require special assistance during an emergency.  Pre-registration is recommended, by contacting Polk County Emergency Management at 863-534-5600.  Three additional shelters have been designated as “Pet Friendly”, with pets being limited to dogs, cats and birds only.  Specific requirements apply at “Pet Friendly” shelters, so it is advised to check those requirements in advance.  It should be noted that not every shelter may be opened during a particular storm, so evacuees are advised to confirm that a specific shelter has been activated prior to going there.

The public shelters maps will be available at Publix Super Markets in Polk County; and at Polk County’s official visitor information center (Polk Outpost 27), located on Highway 27 in Davenport,

½ mile south of I-4.  The new map, printed in orange, contains updated information for 2011.  Residents are advised to discard older maps of other colors.  Area lodging facilities, and chambers of commerce, have also received a supply of maps to keep on hand for distribution to evacuees in the event of a storm.  In addition, the maps will be available at Polk County’s annual Hurricane Expo on Saturday, June 4, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Winter Haven Orange Dome.  A PDF copy of the map is available online at – click on “Residents” at the top of the home page, and scroll down to “Emergency Information” and click on “Emergency Shelters”.  For more information about the Hurricane Expo, visit

Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing is an initiative of the Central Florida Development Council, under the direction of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners.

For more information, contact Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing at 863-420-2586 or at


Four Flying Tigers Selected to 2011 FSL All-Star Team

The Florida State League (FSL) 2011 All-Star teams have been announced by League President Chuck Murphy.

Left-handed pitcher Kenny Faulk, shortstop Gustavo Nunez, first baseman/designated hitter Tony Plagman and catcher Julio Rodriguez will represent the Flying Tigers at the 50th annual FSL All-Star Game.  The game will take place at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, home of the Clearwater Threshers, on Saturday, June 18 at 7:05 p.m.

Kenny Faulk is currently 3rd in the FSL with 14 saves and is second in the league with 22 appearances and 21 games finished.  The Flying Tigers closer is second in the FSL with 13.10 strikeouts per nine innings.  Faulk has been perfect in save situations, converting all 14 opportunities.  Overall this season he is 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA. Faulk was selected by the Tigers in the 16th round of the June 2009 draft out of Kennesaw State University in Georgia.

Shortstop Gustavo Nunez has been selected to the team for the second consecutive season.  Nunez is currently third in the league with a .972 fielding percentage, committing only six errors in 218 total chances.  Nunez was tabbed the best defensive shortstop in the Florida State League by Baseball America in 2010.  He currently leads the Flying Tigers in batting average (.301), runs scored (36), hits (59), triples (7) and stolen bases (11).  Nunez was signed as a non-drafted free agent in 2007 and is currently in his fifth professional season.

Tony Plagman was selected to the FSL all-star squad as the designated hitter.  In only his second professional season, Plagman currently leads the FSL in games played with 53 and at bats with 211.  He is fourth in the league with 42 RBI.  He leads the Flying Tigers with 8 home runs and 91 total bases.  Plagman was selected by the Tigers in the ninth round of the June 2010 draft out of Georgia Tech University.

Catcher Julio Rodriguez is currently 3rd on the Flying Tigers with a .287 batting average.  He was selected to the New York-Penn League all-star team in 2010.  He led all New York-Penn League catchers with 449 total chances, 391 putouts and 53 assists.  Rodriguez was signed by the Tigers as a non-drafted free agent in 2006.  He is currently in his fifth professional season.

Tickets for the FSL All-Star Game are available by calling the Clearwater Threshers at (727) 712- 4300 or by visiting The Flying Tigers are a Class A Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.  For more information please visit the Flying Tigers online at


Tobacco Free Partnership Hosts Dr. Victor DeNoble

The Tobacco Free Partnership of Polk County and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) are proud to host Dr. Victor DeNoble during a speaking engagement at the Auburndale High School auditorium on June 14th from 9:00 am to 11:00 am. This free event is open to the public.

Dr. DeNoble, a former research scientist at Phillip Morris (maker of Marlboro) will lift the veil of secrecy used by Big Tobacco to hide the dangerous health effects of their products. A key witness in the government’s case against the tobacco industry, Dr. DeNoble has been featured on several TV shows, including 60 Minutes, Dateline NBC and Sunday Morning with David Brinkley.

The Tobacco Free Partnership (TFP) is a coalition that advocates for issues important to the general health of our community and takes a stand against the tobacco industry and their tactics that try to recruit lifetime users of their dangerous and deadly products. The TFP’s intention is to continue forming community partnerships with individuals and organizations to educate and engage the citizens of Polk regarding tobacco prevention, cessation and policy change initiatives.

For more information about the TFP, or to RSVP, please contact Colleen Mangan, Program Coordinator, at (863) 519-7900 x 11334.


FSC Offers Summer Institute for Technology Integration for Educators

Educators interested in honing their skills with new, innovative classroom technology have the opportunity to attend Florida Southern College’s Summer Institute for Technology Integration. The course will be held July 11-15 and is open to the public. Designed by Dr. Jennifer Brown King, director of technologies for FSC and author of TechXtraordinary Integration, the residential program will teach new and innovative ways to incorporate SMART technology into current instructional practices.

The Summer Institute for Technology Integration is an immersive, hands-on learning experience for teachers and other education professionals. Sponsored by AVI-SPL, a Tampa-based audiovisual equipment sales and services firm, and hosted by Florida Southern College, the program includes four days of on-campus accommodations, meals, and in-depth training for $499.

SMART technologies, such as interactive white boards and document cameras, have become standard classroom tools in many central Florida school districts, including Polk County. This technology allows teachers to create more participatory and dynamic lessons for their students, regardless of the students’ age or grade level.

The course is structured with two “camps” for teachers that offer different approaches for using the material. The morning lessons will focus on developing technology-rich teaching strategies and lesson plans, while the afternoon sessions flip the orientation to student-centric work as participants create sample projects. Each day, participants will learn a key component of technology-centered lesson design, building on a single lesson until the final day of the Institute.

Midway through the program, AVI-SPL will set up a technology exposition in FSC’s Alumni Center, showcasing a selection of interactive technology currently being used in classrooms. The exposition will be open to the public on July 13 at 7 PM and will allow everyone an opportunity to personally experience the potential of these technologies.

On the final day of classes, participants will be given the opportunity to view and critique one another’s work, and will vote to select the best project. One winner will be given a SMART technology prize.

For more information or to register, call 863-680-5118 or visit

In addition to the Summer Institute for Technology, Florida Southern College offers workshops approved by the State of Florida Department of Education for teacher certification and recertification. Held in Lakeland, Ocala, Orlando, and Brevard as well as online, these courses strengthen delivery methods as well as content knowledge. The first session begins June 13, and the full schedule can be found at