Category Archives: Member Announcements


Florida Baseball Heaven Hosts 1st Annual Haunted Halloween House

Florida Baseball Heaven invites everyone to join us at the 1st Annual Haunted Halloween House.

5101 Gateway Boulevard (off of County Line Road between the Publix Warehouse and Auto Auction)

Open to the Public October 28, 29, 30 and 31. 6:00 – 9:00 p.m.

$5 for Children 5 yrs old and under

$10 for Children 6yrs old and older

$1 Off Printable Coupon at

$1 Off if in costume at the door

For more information call (863) 644-0500.

All proceeds benefit FBH/Angels Baseball


Lakeland Electric Launches Consumer Solar Hot Water Service in Partnership With Regenesis Power

With the launch of Lakeland’s Solar Hot Water Service there is finally a solar energy option that can start saving most families money from day one. The new service, through Lakeland Electric, offers Lakeland homeowners the choice to use solar thermal energy systems to heat water in their homes.

With equipment and installation costs typically being the primary obstacle to widespread use of solar energy, a new, innovative approach has been needed to make the proven technology of solar hot water systems accessible to the general public. The new service, with no upfront costs for equipment or installation, represents perhaps the easiest and most economically viable option for families to adopt a form of clean and sustainable energy.

The monthly fee for the Solar Hot Water Service is $34.95 (which replaces the cost of electricity used for conventional water heating). Families of four or more with average hot water usage will likely start saving money right away. There are no other fees beyond the flat monthly fee, which is locked-in for 20 years. As energy costs are likely to increase over the next 20 years, subscribers will undoubtedly save money over the term of the agreement.

While customers do not own the equipment, if they sell their home they can pass on the rate they are paying to future occupants. Additional information on the service is available at

“We are very pleased that Lakeland Electric is leading the way in mass-distributed renewable energy generation”, said Jim Stanfield, General Manager of Lakeland Electric. “In addition to having an impact on long-term electricity demand, the new service will generate jobs and support our regional economy”, he said

Solar water heating has been around for about a century and is widely used in other countries. While there have been spikes of interest through U.S. history, only about 1.0% of our nation’s households currently use a solar system for water heating..

“Lakeland’s new Solar Hot Water service originally started as a pilot program 11 years ago”, said Jeff Curry, Lakeland Electric’s alternative energy coordinator. “We are pleased that the new expanded service will provide Lakeland families with the opportunity to benefit from solar energy easily and affordably.” Lakeland Electric was the first electric utility in the country to offer a renewable energy service to customers based on a fixed monthly charge. “Purchasing a solar system can certainly make sense for some customers but this program makes it affordable for just about anyone. We believe that Lakeland’s new Solar Hot Water Service will increase the awareness of sustainable energy across all areas”, he said.

“Enabling utility companies and municipal organizations to offer a clear choice for clean energy that delivers value to the customer, benefits regional job creation and increases our energy independence, is right on target for Florida”, said Regenesis Power’s John Pinholster, Chief Operating Officer – Solar Thermal. “We are pleased to be working together with Lakeland Electric on the first of these solar service programs. If they expand across the state and the country, like we think they can, Lakeland would surely secure a strong position among the forerunners of America’s emerging green economy,” he said.

The new service is available to Lakeland Electric customers who own their home and have suitable, south facing roof space available for the solar collector. Additionally, a new 80 gallon hot water tank will be installed as part of the service.


USF Poly invites public to hear Sen. Bill Nelson speak on health care and the elderly

The University of South Florida Polytechnic will present Journey Through Aging, a regional conference for medical professionals Oct. 29-30. The public is also invited to the opening reception and keynote address on healthcare and the elderly by U.S. Senator Bill Nelson on Oct. 29. The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. and Nelson speaks at 7 p.m. Internationally known artists Robert Butler and Rick Powers will speak at 8 p.m.

Journey Through Aging unites the current research in geriatric health and wellness. It will include presentations of state-of-the-art robotic surgical interventions, non-operative and surgical treatment options and new technologies for arthritis, treatments for advanced heart failure, least invasive procedures in gastroenterology allowing for accurate diagnosis and treatment and prevention of medical errors. Break-out sessions will address topics related to community intervention and information about age-related issues. These include Alzheimer’s and dementia related diseases, rehabilitation and physical therapy, long-term care, legal issues, and palliative and hospice care. Exhibits will include providers of health related services and information throughout the community.

Journey Through Aging is sponsored by USF Polytechnic, USF Health and the Coalition on Aging Transitions and Technology. For more information contact the USF Polytechnic Rath Senior ConNEXTions and Education Center at (863) 533-5925 or


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 or

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), or visit:  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).


Grammy Award Nominee to Perform at PMoA Red, White & The Blues

On Friday, October 22, Polk Museum of Art will transform into a concert hall with voodoo lounge theme for this year’s Red, White & The Blues. 2009 Grammy nominated blues artist Ruthie Foster will perform during the event, which is a benefit for Polk Museum of Art

“This year at Red, White & The Blues, we want to get you in the mood for Halloween at our Voodoo Lounge,” said Jonn Hoppe, Chair of the Red, White & The Blues committee. “No doubt, the evening’s events will invoke spirits and spells.  If that doesn’t raise the hair on your arm, Ruthie Foster’s soulful voice will.”

Ruthie Foster is a singer, songwriter from Texas who effortlessly blends blues, folk, and gospel. After gaining a degree in commercial music, she spent four years touring with the US Navy band, “Pride.” She moved to New York and played the club circuit for several years. Her first two albums were well received, but it wasn’t until 2002’s “Runaway Soul” that she began to achieve more of a national profile. Her album, “The Truth According to Ruthie Foster,” was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2009.

The event has two ticket levels. The VIP tickets are $75 per person. Doors open at 7:00pm for VIP ticket holders so that they can enjoy a wine tasting, heavy hors d’oeuvres by Texas Cattle Company, and an open bar all evening. General admission tickets are limited in number and are $30 per person. Doors will open to them at 9:00pm for Ruthie Foster’s performance, and ticket holders will also have access to a cash bar. For an additional $25 donation, guests at the event will also receive a signed copy of Ruthie Foster’s newest album, “The Truth According to Ruthie Foster.”

Besides the concert, the Museum will also hold a drawing for several packages. For $25 per ticket, interested parties can enter to win the “Witch Doctor Package” which will give the winner and 3 friends a special table close to the stage at the event, personal butler service, and special “off menu” heavy hors d’ouevres. For $10 per ticket, or 3 tickets for $25, guests can enter to win one of five other packages including tickets to see the Bucs vs. the Falcons on December 5th; two nights in a Fairfield Inn & Suites in St. Augustine and two nights at a Fairfield Inn & Suites in Jacksonville; a day of pampering, dinner, and an overnight stay at The Terrace; a children’s birthday party for 15 at Polk Museum of Art; and a beach getaway in a private location.

The Gourmet Sponsor is BB&T. Blue Sponsors are BCI Engineers & Sciences, Inc., Keller Williams Realty, Peterson & Myers, P.A., Publix Super Markets Charities, Texas Cattle Company, and The Ledger. White Sponsors are GrayRobinson Attorneys at Law, Jonn and Elizabeth Hoppe, Gap and Karen Kovach, Lindsay Raley and Michelle Chandler-Raley, and Ross Vecchio, Attorneys at Law. Red Sponsors are Comanco, Community Southern Bank, Lazy Dazy RV Retreat, Tom and Lynda Mack, TECO Energy, and Wiley & Malless. In-Kind Sponsors are Holiday Inn – Lakeland South, Terri Lobb Catering, The Red Door, Vintage, WMNF 88.5FM, and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott.