Category Archives: Announcements

05Nov/10

Lakeland Veterans Day Celebration Tomorrow

The annual Veterans Day Celebration organized by the Polk County Veterans Council is scheduled for Saturday, November 6, 2010.  This year’s program will focus special recognition on the contributions female military members have made to national security.

Events will commence at 10:00 AM with a Memorial Ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park near the Lakeland Center.  Following this ceremony the Veterans Parade will step off at 11:00 AM from the West Parking Lot of the Lakeland Center.  The Parade will conclude at Munn Park in downtown Lakeland with a Patriotic Festival.

Parade participants will begin forming in the Lakeland Center parking lot at 9:30 AM.  Anyone wishing to participate in the parade can contact Gary Clark at GARY@CPALLIANCE.COM.

The Patriotic Festival will feature food, music, displays and activities.  Community and veteran service organizations will be present.  Activities for children are planned.  This will be a family oriented event which will carry the theme of patriotism based on duty and honor.  Individuals and organizations wishing to participate in this festival are invited to contact Melissa Sanchez at IAVPC@hotmail.com.

As part of the US Marine Corp “Toys For Tots” Program, toys for our local military families are being collected.  Anyone wishing to help may bring an unwrapped toy to the Munn Park collection booth at the Patriotic Festival.  Any donation will be greatly appreciated.

27Oct/10

PGTV & Webber International University to Host Live Election Night Webcast

Webber International University has partnered with Polk Government Television (PGTV) to develop a live election night interactive webcast. Students from WIU Political Sciences, under the direction of Deming Cowles, have developed an internet-based community discussion on government and politics. Torrie McRiff and Barbara Mendes will host the live studio conversation, and Christopher Durham will moderate the live online chat to create a truly interactive experience.

“This is a great opportunity for people to stay home and watch political coverage on their favorite news channels, and at the same time, they can get on their computers and interact with youth, maybe even be influential about government involvement,” said Cowles, who has participated on local committees and serves as an adjunct instructor at WIU. “You can definitely gain a better understanding of how our youth really feel about such issues as government trust and connection.”

The program takes place on Tuesday, November 2, from 7:00-8:30 p.m., and will include Polk County election results directly from the Supervisor of Elections office.

Participation in the online chat is easy, free, and requires no pre-registration. Cable television viewers can watch the program on Bright House 622, Verizon 20 and Comcast 5.

Additional information about PGTV and the county’s sponsored interactive webcasts is available at polk-county.net.

22Oct/10

Florida High Speed Rail Forum November 8-10

[The Blackmon Roberts Group provides assistance to small and minority businesses seeking public involvement projects. The following information is provided by Sylvia Blackmon-Roberts, Chamber board member and President/CEO of Blackmon Roberts Group.]

On November 8th and 9th, 2010 the Florida Department of Transportation will host a Tampa-Orlando High Speed Rail industry forum to bring together business groups, economic development organizations, and federal, state and local officials for a major networking session.  This forum will provide information and opportunities to enable you to identify and better target at what phase of the High Speed Rail project your opportunity may be found.

Representatives from teams that have expressed interest in submitting a proposal for the High Speed Rail have been invited to discuss opportunities with you from 9am – 1pm on November 8th.  You are encouraged to bring your business cards and portfolios to share and exchange during the day and half meeting. Please join us to learn more about the Tampa-Orlando high speed rail project at the Orange County Convention Center (Chapin Theater, West Concourse) in Orlando, Florida.

Attached please find the invitation to the industry forum.  If you have questions, need additional information or would like to register for the industry forum, visit http://www.floridahighspeedrail.org/nov-2010-forum.

19Oct/10

Polk’s Try Transit Day Offers Free Service October 27

In an effort to raise awareness of public transit and healthier lifestyles in Polk County, Polk County Transit Services, Citrus Connection, Winter Haven Area Transit (W.H.A.T.), and the Florida Department of Transportation District One’s Commuter Services Program, have joined together to host Polk County “Try Transit ” Day Wednesday, Oct. 27.

There will be free bus service all day, giving participants a no-cost opportunity to learn about Polk County’s bus systems and try out public transit to various destinations in the county. Citrus Connection services the Lakeland area, with connections to Bartow, Winter Haven, Pinedale, Bradley and Pierce; Winter Haven Area Transit (W.H.A.T.) services the Winter Haven area, with connections in Lake Alfred, Haines City, Bartow, Auburndale, Fort Meade, Frostproof, and Lakeland.

In an effort to support public transportation and recognize Try Transit Day participants, Commuter Services will be encouraging riders to track transit trips using its new program called “Trip Track.”  This online system will calculate individual savings in dollars, pounds of pollutants, miles on the roadway and other features. A competition has been initiated among Polk businesses and colleges. Two Try Transit trophies will be awarded to a business and a college with the most participants who log a trip using Trip Track on Try Transit Day. Individuals that track trips will be entered in random prize drawings.

“On behalf of the Polk County Board of County Commissioners, I encourage residents, visitors, and employees alike to use this day to try our county’s bus systems, Citrus Connection and W.H.A.T.,” said Polk County Commission and Commuter Services Ambassador Jean Reed. “Try-Transit Day is a great opportunity for all to see the many benefits of public transportation – healthier lifestyles, less traffic congestion, improved air quality, increased mobility and a better sense of community. This is a chance for everyone to be proactive,” said Reed.

“Changes in travel behavior, as well as changes in some worksite operations can help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce a worksite’s overall carbon footprint,” said FDOT District One’s Commuter Services Program Director Christine Diaz.  “Considering that one gallon of gas produces 20 pounds of carbon dioxide, even small changes in commuting behavior and fuel usage can have a positive impact on the environment,” Diaz said.

“The goal of the Try-It Day is to encourage people to try other options besides driving their cars for local trips,” said Dave Walters, Polk County Transit Services Communications Specialist. “In these economic times we all need to think outside the car and think about our environment.”

Citrus Connection and W.H.A.T. route maps are available at area libraries, employment agencies, government office buildings, hospitals, Chamber of Commerce locations and various area businesses and shopping centers. Route and fare information can also be obtained at http://www.ridecitrus.com or www.polk-county.net/transit.

Bicycle racks are available on the front of the Citrus Connection and W.H.A.T. buses so anyone wishing to ride a bike to the bus stop can then take it along and continue riding to his/her destination.

Members of the Board of County Commissioners may be present during this event.

For more information on the “Transit Try-It Day” event or the Commuter Services program, call Commuter Services Program Director Christine Diaz at 1-866-585-RIDE (7433), CustomerService@CommuterServicesFL.com or visit: www.CommuterServicesFL.com.  For more information about Polk County Transit Services, call 534-5500. to learn more about Citrus Connection or W.H.A.T. call 688-RIDE (7433).

18Oct/10

Florida KidCare: Insuring Children Benefits Business

It is estimated that 18,000 children in Polk County do not have health insurance.

How Does that Affect You?

Children with no health insurance could be costing your business money in lost  productivity of workers.

  • Parents are more likely to be absent from work and take more sick days when their children are      uninsured.
  • Uninsured children do not have a regular source of health care and are less likely to get well-child check-ups and have preventable diseases.

Families with health insurance coverage through programs like Florida KidCare increase their spending on “other consumer goods,” which is good for businesses.

How Can You Help?

Florida KidCare provides affordable, comprehensive health insurance to children from birth up to the day of their 19th birthday.

  • Tell your employees, families, friends about the program
  • www.floridakidcare.org
  • 1-888-540-KIDS
  • Provide pamphlets
  • Provide Internet Access and/or help navigating the website at your location.

Call us and we can provide you or your employees with information about KidCare health insurance for children and how to apply. We can also schedule a time to come and talk to you and your employees about the program.

Call (863) 519-7900 Ext. 11055 or 11065 for more information or to schedule a meeting.