Category Archives: Community Info & Events


American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball Returns to Polk County

“Sparkes & Spurs” set for November 30, 2018

LAKELAND, FL. – October 30, 2018 –  The American Cancer Society Cattle Baron’s Ball returns to Bunch Ranch in November. The Cattle Baron’s Ball is a distinguished fundraising event featuring an evening of western flare with entertainment, silent and live auctions, dancing, games and great food.

At this special event, Polk County comes together to fundraise and bring awareness to the importance of cancer research and the programs and services provided through the American Cancer Society.  Our mission is to save lives, celebrate lives, and lead the fight for a world without cancer.


WHAT:               Cattle Baron’s Ball of Polk County

WHERE:            Bunch Ranch

4641 Hancock Ave, SE

Lakeland, FL 33812

WHEN:               Friday, November 30, 2018

6:00 pm

For information on tickets and sponsorships, please contact Cassandra Fridovich, Community Development Manager at

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of nearly 2 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to


Panel of Consuls General Confirmed for International Trade Event

LAKELAND, FL (October 30, 2018) – A panel of Consuls General will discuss effects on international partnerships at a half-day symposium – Polk Goes Global IV – a collaborative event produced by the Central Florida Development Council, the Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, and the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce on Friday, November 9, 2018 at the Lakeland Linder International Airport.

Consul General of Canada in Miami Susan Harper, Consul General of Mexico in Orlando Juan Sabines, and Consul General and Trade Commissioner of Spain in Miami Inmaculada Gutièrrez will explore tariffs from an international viewpoint and share export experiences.  The discussion will be moderated by Javier Marin, Director of Business Development and Global Trade, at Central Florida Development Council.  A second, more local panel will explore the effects of tariffs on domestic companies and consumers.  Panelists on the second panel include Alice Ancona, Director, International Strategy & Policy, International Trade and Investment Office, at the Florida Chamber; Bill Lane, Executive Director, Trade for America; and Inke Sexton, FTZ/TTB Process Manager, Givaudan Flavors Corporation.  Torrey Chambliss, Manager of Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) #79, at Tampa Port will moderate the discussion.

For this year’s event, there will be two keynote speakers.  The opening key address will be given by Alice Ancona with Global Outreach at the Florida Chamber, and Bill Lane of Trade for America, and former Caterpillar executive, will deliver the closing address.

The event takes place on Friday, November 9, 2018, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Lakeland Linder International Airport.  Admission is $25 each for members of Central Florida Development Council (CFDC), Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce, and the Manufacturing and Supply Chain Alliance (MSCA), Polk Manufacturing Association Polk County, and FTZ clients.

Registration at or at (

Hon. Susan Harper

The Honorable Susan Harper, Consul General of Canada in Miami, United States




The Honorable Juan Sabines, Consul General, The Consul of Mexico in Orlando


Inmaculada Gutierrez

The Honorable Inmaculada Gutierrez, Consul General, Trade Commissioner of Spain in Mexico



Event Sponsors:

Global Leadership Sponsor:

  • Trade For America

International Sponsors:

  • Jannetides College of Business & Entrepreneurial Leadership at Southeastern University
  • Lakeland Linder International Airport
  • Lanier Upshaw, Inc.
  • Saddle Creek Logistics Services

Intercontinental Sponsor:

  • The Ruthvens


The Central Florida Development Council is Polk County’s economic development partnership responsible for recruiting new businesses to Polk County and helping existing businesses expand.

The Polk Global Trade Alliance (PGTA) aspires to be the prime catalyst for the growth of international trade in Central Florida and to make global initiatives an intrinsic part of Polk County’s broader regional economic development strategy.


The Greater Winter Haven Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic organization focused on improving and preserving Winter Haven’s business climate and quality of life.  Our Vision is advance commerce and community.  Our mission is serving, representing and enhancing business growth.  We have a long history of doing this in Winter Haven, from our founding in 1910 as a Board of Trade and then later our incorporation as a Chamber of Commerce in 1923.  The Chamber of Commerce serves as the hub for all information relating to Winter Haven – both for business and community. If we don’t have the answer, we will strive to connect you with the right people to help you grow your business or expand your network. We have more than 750 businesses with nearly 2,000 designated representatives that represent our member investors. The Chamber is administered by a Board of Directors who set policy and strategic goals.


The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce represents 1,400-member businesses in the Lakeland area and provides opportunities for networking, professional development and advocacy for companies of all sizes. Five-star accredited by the US Chamber of Commerce, the Chamber upholds the following vision and mission statements: Vision Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce will be the premier catalyst for the advancement of Lakeland’s economic growth and enhancement of quality of life– creating Florida’s community of choice. Mission Statement – The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce is the leading organization dedicated to creating a climate where business can prosper.

Stein-hoisting competition

Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest Enjoyed by Lakeland Residents

Lakeland residents celebrated Oktoberfest-style in Munn Park downtown at the inaugural Suncoast Credit Union SwantoberFest on Saturday, September 22.  Attendance for the first-time event was 2,500 – exceeding our estimation.  Our generous sponsors made the event possible – especially Suncoast Credit Union and their team.  They embraced their new community in Lakeland with flair and gusto.  To kick off the event, Community Relations Director Mary W. McDonald took the stage, called for anyone associated with a non-profit to come up to the stage, and then donated $1,000 to a Meals on Wheels representative!

Mary McDonald, Suncoast Credit Union

Mary McDonald, Suncoast Credit Union

Thanks to Bernie Little Distributors and Budweiser, our volunteers sold more than 2,000 beer and cider – Goose Island Oktoberfest beer, Woodchuck Hard Cider, Beck’s, Stella Artois, Bud, Bud Light, and Michelob over four hours.  Delicious, traditional German food was graciously prepared and served by two local Rotary Clubs – Rotary Club of Lakeland Christina and Rotary Club of Lakeland North.  With help from Tony Perry, Master Griller of 92 BBQ at PigFest, and the Interact Club volunteers – the Rotarians served over 750 bratwursts and sauerkraut!

Tony Perry at the smoker

Tony Perry at the smoker

Live music by the Europa Band was a crowd pleaser along with the Outrageous Olympiad competitions – stein-hoisting, mustache competition, the brat(wurst) toss, and the Treasure Hunt.

Winners of the brat toss!

Winners of the brat toss!

Stein-hoisting competition

Stein-hoisting competition

This community-wide event in Munn Park was free to attend and featured a business expo as an opportunity for member-investors to engage directly with the community in a family-friendly setting.


Families enjoying the event

Families enjoying the event

Rotary Club of Lakeland Christina, Rotary Club of Lakeland North, and the Interact Club prepare and serve German food.

Rotary Club of Lakeland Christina, Rotary Club of Lakeland North, and the Interact Club prepare and serve German food.

Fields Auto Group with BMW and Mercedes-Benz on display

Fields Auto Group with BMW and Mercedes-Benz on display

The Europa Band

The Europa Band

Beer Tent by Budweiser

Beer Tent by Budweiser


Winners of Mustache (& Beard) Competition

Winners of Mustache (& Beard) Competition

Beautiful downtown Lakeland

Beautiful downtown Lakeland



28th Annual Chamber Golf Scramble presented by Spherion on Dec. 3

The 28th Annual Lakeland Chamber Golf Scramble will take place on December 3 at Grasslands Golf and Country Club, one of the finest designed private courses in central Florida.  The Chamber Scramble offers Chamber members time to re-connect, network and entertain clients during that time of year when celebrations are important and the weather is spectacular!

Location:  Grasslands Golf and Country Club, 1600 Grasslands Blvd, Lakeland, FL 33803
Contact Information:  (863) 688-8551 Ext. 223 or 224 or email
Fees/Admission:  $200 per person; $1,200 per team of 6 players
Registration here!
Event Sponsors:
True Builders
Clark, Campbell, Lancaster & Munson, P.A.
CenterState Bank
Radiology & Imaging Specialists
Bank of Central Florida
Boring Business Systems
CPS Investment Advisors
Wall Titus
Watson Clinic LLP
Regal Acura Lakeland
Dixie Signs
Coca-Cola Beverages Florida

Prizes & Refreshments at Suncoast Credit Union South Lakeland Service Center Nov. 1 – 7!

Join Suncoast Credit Union South Lakeland Service Center throughout the week (Nov. 1 – 7) for refreshments, plus a ribbon cutting ceremony and special entertainment on Wednesday, November. 7!

Win big!  Suncoast Credit Union South Lakeland Service Center is giving away $50 Visa gift cards!* Starting November 1, stop in and enter to win before Wednesday, November 7 at noon.

Say hello!  Meet the friendly staff and see how Suncoast can help you save more for life!

Enjoy!  Activities on Wednesday, November 7, begin at 11:30 a.m. and end at 1:00 p.m.

*Prizes will be drawn on November 7, 2018 between 12 noon and 1 pm. Limit one prize per member. Need not be present to win. Must be 18 years or older to be eligible to win. Deadline to enter raffle is Wednesday, November 7, 2018 at noon.

Location:  Suncoast Credit Union South Lakeland Service Center, 6405 S Florida Ave, Lakeland, FL   33813