Category Archives: Announcements


Peace River Center and USFP Students Raise Awareness

From a Peace River Center press release:

This year on World Suicide Prevention Day Peace River Center and Kim Garrity, a University of South Florida Polytechnic Student, are taking strides to raise awareness in our community. Programming will include the DVD entitled the TRUTH about Suicide presented by Marie Dudek of the Central Florida Chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention. Following the DVD presentation, a panel of suicide survivors and Peace River Center’s own suicide expert, Kirk Fasshauer, will answer questions. Panelists will share their stories and field questions about their experiences, how to create awareness, to find help, and to connect with local programs.

Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among 15 to 24 year olds. It is imperative as a community we become aware of the signs and stop the prevalence of this type of death.

FREE EVENT | September 10, 2009

LTB Auditorium, University of South Florida Polytechnic

6:00pm – 7:30pm.

For more information contact Lauren Lengyel at 863-519-0575 x-1114 or or Kim Garrity at

Peace River Center (PRC) is a private not-for-profit community mental health organization serving the residents of Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties for over 60 years. PRC also provides two domestic violence shelters, a Rape Recovery and Resource Center, and Substance Abuse Treatment Program to the communities it serves.


Catalyst Campaign Breaks $200,000!

Today, the Catalyst Campaign reached $201,028 leaving us just 43% remaining to our goal! This summer-long initiative provides the Chamber with means to produce a confident budget in 2010 and secures the calendar as well! The Chamber offers many outstanding marketing and advertising opportunities to businesses of all sizes, and the Catalyst Campaign is the best way to be sure that your place is secured for 2010.

Volunteers from 17 Chamber Member companies have been working since July 23 to secure sponsors and advertisers for 2010 events and publications. Top producers to date are:

Catalyst Vice Chair Phil Wegman (Furr & Wegman Architects, PA) $30,075
Victor Rodriguez (Lakeland Regional Medical Center) $24,853
Catalyst Chair Nancy Cattarius (WONN/WPCV/WLKF/WWRZ Radio) $19,015
Catalyst Vice Chair Kathy Wallen (The NCT Group, CPA’s LLP) $15,545
Catalyst Vice Chair Mary McQueen (McQueen Marketing LLC) $13,845

There are still a limited number of host sponsorship available, several positions in the 2010 Buyer’s Guide, as well as opportunities to support the CarBQ, Chamber Scramble and the Chamber’s “Growing Green” efforts.

To learn more about how the Chamber’s marketing products can benefit your company brand, visit or contact the Campaign Office at 863-688-8551 Ext. 229.


Service Industry Summer at Fantasy of Flight

Now through September 30, 2009, Fantasy of Flight in Polk City is offering a special deal to those who work in Polk County’s hospitality industries. The attraction is surprising- and not just fun for airplane enthusiasts! From the simulators to the hands-on multi-media exhibits, you certainly won’t be bored! And, by taking advantage of the “Service Industry Summer” special pricing, you’ll be able to share the news about area attractions with our visitors.


The “Service Industry Summer” offer is a buy one get one free admission, and you must have proof of employment. Visit the Fantasy of Flight web site for more details


First Friday Debuts on FOCUS TV!

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share this video with our members! FOCUS Magazine (available here at the Chamber & in stands around town) has been producing FOCUS TV in the Plant City market for quite some time, and have made the leap to producing a monthly episode for the Lakeland area!

Now, some of you will read this post and think I’m just bragging since for a split second I’m in the video (with my adorable dog Forey)… Forey and I were downtown for the EMERGE Lakeland “Pound the Pavement” event sharing green tips for home & office as well as introducing the community to EMERGE and it’s mission. Not familiar with EMERGE Lakeland? We’re a young professionals organization that was created in partnership with the United Way of Central Florida & the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. You can visit the Web site for more information on mission, events, etc.

OK, EMERGE tangent aside, let’s set the record straight: I am not bragging or sharing the video because I’d like some kudos for my literal 2 seconds of fame, but because it is too cool that we have a video magazine to showcase Lakeland! FOCUS Magazine is one of the few all-positive news sources out there, and we can’t appreciate them enough!


It’s about a five minute video- full of our friends and neighbors. See who you can spot and share it around! If there’s enough support from our community, FOCUS TV might just develop a weekly episode for Lakeland!