Category Archives: Community Info & Events


Chamber Members Team Up to Benefit Mulberry Community Service Center Evening Under the Stars

Everyone is invited to attend an all-inclusive evening filled with music, memories, surprise guests, food, drink & a silent auction… all to benefit the expansion of the Mulberry Community Service Center’s Financial Education Program.

Friday, September 16 | 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Danielle Fence Mfg. Co. Inc. | 4855 SR 60 West, Mulberry

Tickets are $25 each and can be purchased at Danielle Fence Mfg. Co. Inc., Anna’s Diner and the Mulberry Community Service Center.

The event is supported by Chamber members Danielle Fence Mfg. Co. Inc., the United Way of Central Florida and QMI.

For more information, contact the Mulberry Service Center at (863) 425-1523.


Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History to Display Highwayman Artist Robert Butler’s “Florida Landscapes” Exhibition

The Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History at Florida Southern College will be the home of an exhibition by Robert Butler, accomplished artist of the Florida Highwayman School. Butler’s exhibition, “Florida Landscapes,” will be displayed in the first-floor gallery of the McKay Archives Center at Florida Southern College through the 2011-2012 academic school year.

The Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History will host a reception for Butler at the McKay Archives Center on September 8 at 7:00 P M. at which the artist will discuss his work. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Baxley, Georgia, in 1943, Robert Butler moved to Okeechobee, Florida, at the age of six. At a young age Butler began a lifetime of familiarity with the woods and waters of the Florida Everglades. Self-taught, Butler honed his skills as a painter, selling his first painting in 1968. Butler eventually became associated with a group of black artists, “the Highwaymen,” who traveled Florida’s highways trying to sell their paintings of Florida Landscapes. The artist developed his own style, now known worldwide as the “Butler Style,” exemplified by a dramatically lit and romanticized portrayal of the landscape. Butler’s paintings have graced private homes and public buildings in Florida, the nation, and throughout the world. His art has brought Butler countless awards and recognitions. Robert and his wife, Dorothy, have been married forty-eight years and are the proud parents of nine children. They live in Lakeland, Florida.

“We are extremely delighted to welcome Robert Butler to our gallery here at the McKay Archives,” said James M. Denham, Director of the Lawton M. Chiles Jr. Center for Florida History. “His beautiful depictions of Florida landscapes have enriched our state and introduced the nation to Florida’s vast physical beauty.”


Last Chance to Catch the Boys of Summer as Flying Tigers Return Home

The Lakeland Flying Tigers return home for a three-game series beginning Friday, September 2 at Joker Marchant Stadium.  Lakeland will host the Tampa Yankees September 2 (doubleheader) and September 4.  Games against the Yankees on September 1 and 3 will be played in Tampa.  Tickets for all home games are available by calling the Flying Tigers at (863) 686-8075.  Box seats are $6 and reserved seats are $5 and seniors 55 and over and children 14 and under receive a $1.00 discount.  Saturday tickets are an additional $1.  Wednesday All-You-Can-Eat tickets are $10.  Parking is FREE.

Friday, Sept. 2 Doubleheader vs. Tampa Yankees @ 5:00 p.m. (Gates open at 4:30 p.m.)
“Grab Bag” Promotional Item Giveaway
The first 300 paid fans will have their choice of a Flying Tigers promotional item including bobbleheads, ponchos, baseball cards, thunder stix and many more.  Items are limited in quantity and sizes.  Gates will open at 4:30 p.m.

Florida Department of Transportation Night
The Florida Department of Transportation will be promoting its “Over the Limit, Under Arrest” campaign and encouraging fans to be responsible this holiday weekend.  FDOT will have a display in the main concourse, provide giveaways to fans, promotions during the game and will recognizing local law enforcement.

South McKeel Academy Spirit Night
South McKeel Academy students, teachers and parents will be participating in fun promotions throughout the game as part of Back to School Night.  They will also be holding a raffle with cool prizes.

ConKerr Cancer Night
The ConKerr Cancer Center will be holding a fundraiser for their “A Case for Smiles” campaign, which has volunteers making pillow cases for cancer kid patients in area and national children’s hospitals. They will be giving away 4 raffle prizes – 2 baskets with gift cards to local restaurants, 1 set of Flying Tiger pillowcases, and 1 Flying Tiger pillow.

MS Night
Multiple Sclerosis Society will be raising money and awareness for MS.  They will have a table display in the main concourse.

Sunday, Sept. 4 vs. Tampa Yankees @ 11:00 a.m. (Gates open at 10:00 a.m.)
Sunday is Kids Day.  All kids 14 and under will receive free admission to the game.  Kids can play catch on the field beginning at 10 a.m. (weather permitting).  Kids can also run the bases just like the Flying Tigers following the game (weather permitting).  All fans will receive a voucher for a free sundae, compliments of Dairy Queen – North Lakeland.


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.


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.