Category Archives: Community Info & Events


Chamber Presents The Restaurant Mom

Is your business ready for LEGOLAND Florida Visitors?

This October, the demographics of visitors to Polk County will change. As LEGOLAND Florida puts the finishing touches on the brand’s newest and largest theme park, Polk County businesses are gearing up for visiting families.

Although LEGOLAND Florida will be a destination for visitors of all ages, the park is designed for children ages two to 12. The Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau expects hundreds of thousands of young children, parents and grandparents to visit Polk County!

The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce, The Lakeland Center and the Central Florida Visitors and Convention Bureau have partnered to offer a free presentation on specific strategies designed to help businesses become more family-friendly on Wednesday, May 25 from 8:30 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at The Lakeland Center, 701 West Lime Street in Lakeland.

Julie Casey, The Restaurant Mom, is the industry’s leading expert on family-friendly dining and will be presenting keys to increasing revenues through the family market segment.  As a former restaurant employee herself, The Restaurant Mom knows what it is like to be on both sides of the table, and brings many years of research in consumer dining behavior to her presentation.  All businesses related to the hospitality industry will gain valuable insight from this presentation, not just restaurants! Learn more about Julie Casey at

LEGOLAND Florida stands to make a huge impact on the economy of Polk County, especially when businesses are poised and ready to serve!

This presentation is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.  Please make your reservations today at  The reservation deadline is May 20.


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