Category Archives: Community Info & Events


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.


MayfaireFlorida: Festival of the Arts Kicks Off April 30

Arts organizations around Polk County are celebrating the first MayfaireFlorida: Festival of the Arts, a cultural festival set for April 30-May 8.

Building on Polk Museum of Art’s 40-year tradition, MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake, the local groups will offer arts enthusiasts two packed weekends of events as well as plenty to do on the weekdays. The new festival is bookended by two longtime local events. The festival begins with Bok Tower Gardens’ 21st “Annual Concert Under the Stars” featuring the Imperial Symphony Orchestra and culminates with MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake.

The presenting agencies to date include Polk Museum of Art, Bok Tower Gardens, Imperial Symphony Orchestra, City of Winter Haven, The Lakeland Center, The Polk Theatre, Florida Southern College and the Lake Wales Arts Council. In addition, Polk Arts Alliance, the City of Lakeland, the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce and the Central Florida Visitors & Convention Bureau are marketing partners in this new countywide initiative.

Following is a schedule of planned MayfaireFlorida: Festival of the Arts events:

All week: Special national touring exhibition of “Annie Leibovitz: Women” at the Polk Museum of Art, with daily tours.

Bok Tower Gardens celebrates “Bok in Bloom! Florida Native Plant Celebration” and has on exhibit Alice Hansen’s watercolor show, “Florida Wildlife & Surroundings.”

Special docent-led tours of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture at Florida Southern College and exhibition in FSC’s Melvin Gallery.

“Coming of Age in America,” a traveling exhibit of collaborative works created by teams of established artists and emerging young artists at the Lake Wales Arts Center, Michael Crews Gallery.

Saturday, April 30: Bok Tower Gardens’ 21st Annual “Concert Under the Stars,” featuring the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, April 30: Screening of “Voices from Mariel” at The Polk Theatre, 7 p.m..

Saturday & Sunday, April 30 & May 1: 9th Annual “Marilyn Newell Youth Music Festival” for outstanding young musicians at the Lake Wales Arts Center. Competition April 30, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; awards and winners concert May 1, 4:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 5: 11th Annual Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition “Central Park Stroll” celebration with a Cinco de Mayo flair in downtown Winter Haven, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Thursday, May 5: “Menopause the Musical” at The Lakeland Center, 8 p.m.

Friday, May 6: Opening reception of the Lakeland Art Guild’s 39th Annual Show in the Melvin Gallery at Florida Southern College, 7 p.m.

Friday, May 6: Platform Art’s Pecha Kucha Night 3 at Florida Dance Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 6: Bok Tower Gardens celebrates “National Public Gardens Day,” where members of any public garden are admitted free.

Saturday, May 7: 40th Annual MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Lake Morton. Mayfaire Saturday Night from 5:30-11 p.m. at Lake Mirror, with live music, fireworks (9 p.m.) and Mayfaire Classic 5K with the Lakeland Runners Club (7 p.m.).

Sunday, May 8: Second day of MIDFLORIDA Mayfaire by-the-Lake Art Festival, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

Sunday, May 8: Mother’s Day Carillon Concerts at Bok Tower Gardens.

For more information, please visit the festival’s Web site,


Red Ribbon Rally May 3 at The Lakeland Center

Nearly 6,000 fifth grade students have been invited by InnerAct Alliance to attend Red Ribbon Rallies in May to encourage the choice of a positive lifestyle without the use of drugs. Events will take place on May 3 at 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. at The Lakeland Center, and on May 12 at 10:00 a.m. at the Polk State College Gym in Winter Haven.

The anti-drug rallies focus on reinforcing critical substance abuse resistance skills before students enter middle school in the fall. Guest speaker will be Patrick T. Grady, a former middle and high school educator who travels throughout North America inspiring and encouraging individuals to do their best in all of their endeavors. Grady is the author of the book titled, “Who Packs the Parachute,” and co-author of “Teen Power Too,” and the book, “Teen Power and Beyond.” Community leaders will also be on hand to encourage the choice of a positive, healthy lifestyle without the use of drugs.

Fifth grade students have been challenged to create original essays, poems, and posters that convey topical messages about the dangers of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. Contest winners will be recognized during the rallies with cash prizes of $100, $50 and $25 awarded to overall first place winners in each contest category.

For further information on the Fifth Grade Rallies on May 3 and 12, please call InnerAct Alliance at (863) 802-0777.


May 12 Dinner to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Polk County’s Tourism Program

Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing’s annual tourism awareness week celebration will culminate with a reunion reception and dinner on Thursday, May 12 at the Lakeland Center (Sikes Hall) to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Polk County’s tourism program.  The Polk County tourism visionaries who were instrumental in developing the tourism program will be honored as we remember the past and look toward a bright future.  The reunion reception begins at 5:30pm, followed by dinner at 6:30pm.

“We are looking forward to celebrating the 25 years of success of the tourism program in Polk County and the bright future that is on the horizon.  It will also be an outstanding opportunity to reconnect with, and recognize those that paved the way and made the program what it is today,” said Mark Jackson, director of Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing.

Award-winning writer Pauline Frommer (founding editor of and creator of the “Pauline Frommer’s Travel Guide”) will be special guest speaker for the evening.  Miss Frommer, also the daughter of Arthur Frommer – the Nation’s foremost authority on travel, will offer her unique perspectives on the tourism and travel industry.

The cost to participate in the reunion reception and dinner is $25 per person or $220 for a table of ten.  RSVP deadline is May 5.  For more information or to make a reservation, please contact to Julia at Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing at (863) 551-4734.  Payment and reservations can be made on line at for $27 per person.