Category Archives: Announcements


Former Detroit Tigers Pitcher Celebrates Grand Opening of Florida Baseball Heaven

Florida Baseball Heaven |

5101 Gateway Blvd.  #5  |   (863) 644-0500

Former Detroit Tigers Pitcher  Mark Persails opens up an instructional baseball facility off of County Line Rd.  in-between Publix Warehouse and the Auto Auction in the Ruthven Industrial warehouses on Gateway Blvd. to service kids from 6 to 18 years old with professional baseball instruction to help improve their skills to prepare them for high school, college baseball and possibly MLB.

Mark Persails, Demetrius Heath and Elly Hogue debuted a 12,000 square foot facility with indoor batting cages, 70×80 foot infield and work out area open to the public on January 2, 2010.  Services include lessons for pitching, catching, hitting, fielding and base running.   The group is also offering  clinics at various little league parks such as Carter Rd, Peterson Park, Duff Road and Mike Sansone in Plant City.  Mark hopes to capture the attention of children who want to improve their skills in baseball to move to the next level for success.  Mark also has competitive travel teams from ages 9 years old to 18 years old seasonally.  The 9u to 12u teams are called the Miracles and are based out of Plant City and travel within the surrounding area for the spring and fall season.  The players 15 years old and up are The Angels and tryout May 1st and 2nd and concentrate on high profile tournaments to be seen by college scouts in areas such as East Cobb Perfect Game tournaments.  Mark also will hold Scout Days at Henley Field on May 22nd and September 11th, 2010 with surrounding college scouts in Florida.  FBH is open to the public for lessons, clinics, team practices, softball, cage rentals, birthday parties, corporate gatherings and travel teams for all baseball lovers!!

Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 2pm to 9pm, Saturday 10am to 5pm and Sundays by appointment only.  For more information call Elly Hogue at 863-644-0500 or visit our website at


Polk Businesses for WorldClass Education Host Superintendent Search Luncheon

Get on the bus!

Wednesday, April 14, join Polk Businesses for WorldClass Education as they welcome Dr. Richard Greene of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates. This “Champions for Education” Community Luncheon will help to populate the “bus” of individuals and companies that are determined to drive Polk County forward in the search for the best Superintendent of Schools candidate.

Sponsored by Publix Super Markets Charities and Mosaic, this luncheon promises to be informative and hopeful. Purchase your ticket to day to be a part of Polk COunty’s educational future.

Details about the event are available from the Learning Resource Center, (863) 688-9477.


The Google Race Begins – Vote for Lakeland Today!

If you’re a regular reader – I know, I know, as if someone isn’t a regular – then you are aware of the Google Fiber movement taking place as a part of the ConnectLakeland inniative. If you’re confused, check these posts:

ConnectLakeland – Who is That on the Tricycle?

US Internet Speeds Lag at #18 Internationally

How High-Speed is Ultra-High Speed

At the end of March, the City of Lakeland submitted an application to be considered as a test site for ultra-high speed borabdband fiber access for our ENTIRE community. The possibilities for Lakeland are endless, especially as we sit on the edge of a major Polytechnic University, tourism destination and commuter rail line. Think epicenter.

Now, we need to show the community’s support. With your help, we can show Google that Lakeland understands the impact this project will have on the area chosen, and we are ready to move forward- everyone, together.

Click here to be taken to Google’s Fiber Blog.

You’ll have an opportunity to vote (of course, we have to ask you to type in Lakeland, FL for “other”). Then, Google is asking for comments to add additional “umph” to our votes. As you’re pondering your comment submission, think ConnectLakeland. What could crazy fast Internet and connectivity make possible in your school, your home, your neighborhood? How can we as a community ensure that everyone, regardless of income, can enjoy access to knowledge?

Each person can vote once a day… please do!


Leadership Lakeland Nomination Deadline Friday!

Nominations for the 2010-2011 Leadership Lakeland (Class 28) will close Friday, April 9 at 5:00p.m.

Click here to be taken to to complete and email your nomination form.

Submitting a form online requires an active email account- once your nomination form is complete, the form will automatically be inserted as an attachment to an email. Nominators must send the email to complete the process.

Nominees will be sent an application with instructions on completing process online.

Leadership Lakeland was created to identify and develop diverse future leadership for Lakeland and the Chamber of Commerce, and to motivate these potential leaders for community and chamber involvement and decision making. Each year, up to 80 community members apply for a chance to be selected into the program. 30 applicants are chosen to participate.

06Apr/10 Who is That on the Tricycle?

At one point, it was  Lakeland Mayor Gow Fields- that footage still exists somewhere, by the way. Thankfully, Steven Goodman of Neo Net Media volunteered to fill in.  Joining him are Shannon Lanier, Executive Director of Lakeland Vision on the scooter and Chuck Welch’s daughter Juliette (sort of) in one of Ford Heacock’s fastest cars. Why?

Great question!

The County’s School Video Awards are coming up on April 20. ConnectLakeland has offered a prize to the school that can best describe what students would do with 1 gigabit-  that’s ultra-high speed, folks. This video, and others like it  are something we hope will encourage students to get on board with the effort!

ConnectLakeland is a group of community leaders who have banded together with the purpose of- connecting Lakeland… seems simple, right? It all started with the City’s application to Google to be a beta site for crazy-fast Internet (our words, not Google’s). With the application period behind us, we’re on to educating our community about the benefits and opportunities that an ultra-high speed fiber network would bring to Lakeland homes, schools, businesses and more.

Over the next few months, you’ll be seeing a lot more of the ConnectLakeland crew- at events, ballgames, online, in print, on the radio – everywhere.

Short-term, we want Google.

We want Google to notice us; to recognize that Lakeland is the epicenter of everything that’s happening in Florida; and to bring ultra-high speed fiber to our community.

Long term, we want you.

We want you to love Lakeland like we do; to see Lakeland as the best place to live, work and play; and to feel connected -no- to be connected to your community.

Do you have questions about the ConnectLakeland movement? You can visit the Web site, or email me here at the Chamber.