Press Release Provided By: LEGOLAND® Florida
Celebrate Independence Day during the return of Red, White & BOOM! at LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park! On July 2, 3, and 4, the skies above Lake Eloise will come to life at 9 p.m., with a brand-new firework spectacular, “Touch the Sky”. Complimentary fireworks glasses will be available to transform the vibrant show into bursting LEGO® bricks! Before the sun goes down, families can also enjoy patriotic LEGO® build activities, all included in general admission.
Bond Clinic Neurologist Dr. Shailesh Rajguru Elected Chairman of American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry (AOBNP)
Press Release Provided By: Bond Clinic
Members of the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry gathered virtually for their Annual Election. The members, comprised of Neurology and Psychiatry Physicians across the country, voted to elect Shailesh Rajguru, DO, FACN as their 2022-2025 Chairman.
Dr. Rajguru has been involved with the Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists (BOS) since 2016 and has served on different committees such as Standards Review Committee, Certification Compliance Review Committee, and the Conjoint Certification Oversight Committee. In addition, he has been a member of the AOBNP since August 2013 and the Secretary of the Board since August 2016.
When asked about being elected, Dr. Rajguru stated, “I am extremely honored, humbled, privileged to have been elected as the new Chairman. If I can improve the lives of our neurology and psychiatry diplomates through a clear understanding and importance of Osteopathic Board certification and other programs over my term, then I have done my job.”
Blog Provided by: Tampa Electric
Our plan for a net-zero carbon future involves upping our use of renewable, zero/low-carbon technologies. We’re happy to report that in 2022, we’re on a roll – a solar roll. We’ve completed the first phase of our solar expansion with four new solar plants powered up and four more coming soon.
In early 2020, we committed to doubling our investment in solar by the end 2023. Since then,we’ve added 235 megawatts (MW) of electricity generated purely from the sun at these locations:
- Magnolia Solar in south Hillsborough County
- Big Bend Solar II in Hillsborough County
- Mountain View in Pasco County
- Jamison Solar in Polk County
To date, our solar projects can produce 893 MW, enough to power more than 140,000 homes.
What’s on our sunny horizon? We have another 200 MW of solar under construction at four more sites, so by the end of 2022, we’ll have more than 1,000 MW of solar. Three other projects will be complete at the end of 2023, when we’ll have 1,255 MW, or enough solar energy to power 200,000 homes. That bright future will reduce carbon emissions by 1.8 million tons.
When the near-term projects are complete, about 14 percent of our energy will come from the Florida sunshine – the highest percentage of solar generation of any utility in the state.
“Thanks to our strategic investment in solar power, Tampa Electric customers are expected to save about $100 million in fuel costs this year alone,” said Archie Collins, president and chief executive officer of Tampa Electric. “At a time when fuel costs are escalating, we know how important these savings are for customers.”
Press Release Provided by: Citizens Bank & Trust
Citizens Bank & Trust has received full regulatory approval to open a new office in Plant City. The new office will be the second Bank location in Hillsborough County. The Bank currently operates in 16 locations, including 14 offices in Polk County, and offices in Valrico and Dade City which opened in November 2021.
“We are excited to add a new office in the Plant City market,” said Greg Littleton, President and CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust. “Embracing the Future, While Preserving the Past serves as Plant City’s theme, and it also represents the values we hold close at Citizens Bank & Trust. We look forward to joining this community as we build new relationships and welcome customers.”
Construction on the new building, which will be located on James L. Redman Parkway near Johnson Road, is set to begin later this year. A temporary office will open June 21 at 1803A James L. Redman Parkway.
Press Release Provided By: Polk State College
Polk State outfielder and first baseman Jack Duffy has wrapped up a season of individual accolades by being named an NJCAA All-American.
Duffy was named to the NJCAA Division I second team on Monday. Duffy led the state of Florida this past season with a .442 batting average. He also led the Eagles with 10 home runs to go with 44 RBIs.
A University of Houston commitment, Duffy was previously selected to the FCSAA/NJCAA All Region 8 first team. He was also named the 2022 Suncoast Conference Player of the Year and a first-team All-Conference selection.
Duffy is currently playing his summer ball with the Bourne Braves of the prestigious Cape Cod League. He is Polk State’s first All-American since pitcher Jordan Spicer won honorable mention honors in 2017.
To view the complete All-America team, visit https://stats.njcaa.org/landing/index
Greg Littleton, President and CEO of Citizens Bank & Trust, has been named 2022 Banker of the Year by the Florida Bankers Association (FBA). The award is given to an individual who demonstrates the highest level of commitment to both the banking industry and service to his or her community. Littleton was recognized at the FBA’s annual meeting, held in Orlando.
Littleton currently serves as immediate past chair for the BancServ, Inc. Board of Directors and is beginning his second term on the government relations council. BancServ is a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of the Florida Bankers Association. He previously served a two-year term as board chair for BancServ, which included a concurrent term on the FBA Board of Directors. Prior to being named board chair in 2019, Littleton served on the BankServ board for six years.
Polk State College celebrated a successful end to the 2022 Legislative Session with Governor Ron DeSantis' signing of the budget on Thursday which resulted in the largest appropriation in the College’s history.
Thanks to the members of the Polk County Legislative Delegation, and the leadership of Senator Kelli Stargel in the position of Chair of Senate Appropriations, the College achieved its 2022 legislative priorities and estimates it will receive $53.1 million in the upcoming fiscal year, which will begin on July 1.
The "Fab Five” are back for more adventure and fun during LEGO® Friends Weekends at LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park. Weekends this June, families can join Stephanie, Olivia, Andrea, Emma and Mia for interactive activities including LEGO ® Robot Builds, dance parties and more, as they help save Heartlake City from their evil rivals, Dr. Alvah and Carter.
LEGO Friends Weekends is just one feature of LEGOLAND Florida Resort’s Awe-Summer celebration. This year will be the biggest summer celebration EVER with ten weeks of family fun-packed activities, exclusive character meet and greets, tasty new treats, and special weekend events including festive Fourth of July LEGO fireworks! Awe-Summer runs June 4 through August 7 and is all included with regular park admission!
Annually, the Winter Haven Chamber Foundation partners with State Farm Insurance to offer college and vocational training scholarships to public high school seniors in the Winter Haven area. Last week, State Farm announced Tayler Wright as the winner of the $1,000 scholarship.
Tayler Wright will be graduating from Winter Haven High School with a 3.9 GPA and exceptional grades. During her time at Winter Haven High School, Tayler was a part of the Pride of Winter Haven band, the soccer team and the lacrosse team.
With the State Farm scholarship, Tayler plans to attend Florida Southern College to pursue Criminology, along with her interests in band and athletics. In her application, she expresses her sadness upon leaving high school but explains her excitement for what the future holds in this new chapter of life.
Press Release Provided by: Bright Smiles of Winter Haven
We're excited to announce that our Dr. Tran (Dr. Tranchau Hoang) is now Bright Smiles of Winter Haven’s new owner.
“We were really looking for a pediatric dentist with one very important quality above all else--a passion for children-- and we found it in Dr. Tran,” said Dr. Ken Rogers. “I’ll be staying on with Dr. Tran in a limited capacity as she navigates her new role as owner. With over 30 years of combined experience and a spectacular team, we are excited to begin our next chapter serving this community’s children.”
Dr. Tran purchased the practice from Dr. Jose Cruz, husband of our late beloved Dr. Chen. Dr. Chen’s family will stay memorialized in our waiting room spaceship wall graphic.
Dr. Tran looks forward to continuing the Bright Smiles legacy of being the town’s ‘haven’ for pediatric dentistry since 1964. Today, Dr. Rogers and Dr. Tran are a dynamic duo, making smiles shine brightly across Polk County, where Bright Smiles is a thriving and growing practice. Please congratulate Dr. Tran as she shares her enthusiasm and love for her patients.
Press Release Provided By: Polk State College
Polk State College is launching two opportunities for individuals seeking education and training in Human Resources Management – a concentration within the Bachelor of Applied Science in Supervision and Management and an advanced certificate option.
Both prepare students for Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) certification and careers or promotions as HR managers and specialists.
“At Polk State, we follow the industry needs in the community closely,” explained Maria Lehoczky, Director of Business Programs. “HR managers and specialists continue to make the regional demand lists within Polk County and within the state. We also heard from many industry partners and advisory boards that this was a critical need.”
“The students will benefit because Polk State will provide them with the quality curriculum and support services to prepare for the SHRM certification, a revered professional designation within the industry, and ultimately a rewarding career in human resources as HR specialists and managers,” she added.
Press release provided by: Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County
Fort Meade, Florida (May, 18th, 2022) — The Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk
County (BGCPolk) is proud to announce the grand opening of their 9th Polk County Unit. The new club will be housed at the Fort Meade Community Center
located at 10 3rd St SW, Fort Meade, FL 33841. The grand opening is scheduled
for Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at 4pm.
Members of the community are invited to attend and learn about the impact
BGCPolk will have by providing enriching programming for Polk County
children, particularly those who need us the most, during the non-school hours.
The unit is scheduled to open on June 1st for the summer and will begin serving
the children of historic Fort Meade. BGCPolk’s summer program will provide
members with high-quality, high-yield academic programming aimed at combatting the summer slide.
Press Release Provided By: Visit Central Florida
Visit Central Florida’s Welcome Center (VCFWC) will host Hurricane Expo 2022 on Saturday, June 11. This free event will take place from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. The first 300 families will receive a free case of water (one per family). Hurricane shelter maps will be available as well as list of resources to help prepare for a hurricane.
WPCV 97.5 will be broadcasting live at the event from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and local vendors will be on site including Polk County Emergency Management and Duke Energy. For more information, or to inquire about being a vendor, call 863-420-2586.
In addition to assisting visitors and residents (by providing tourism information about Polk County), VCFWC also sells discounted attraction tickets for many Central Florida attractions (including LEGOLAND Florida Resort). The welcome center is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week (excluding major holidays), and is located at 101 Adventure Court, Davenport, FL 33837 (along U.S. Highway 27), a half-mile south of I-4 at Exit 55.
Press Release Provided By: Polk State College
Open enrollment for Fall 2022 Semester classes at Polk State College will begin on June 6.
Currently enrolled students can register now for fall classes in Passport. Prospective students must submit a free online application to Polk State at www.polk.edu/admission-aid/admissionsteps.
LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park is gearing up for the most awesome summer ever with the return of Awe-Summer. This year will be the biggest summer celebration EVER with ten weeks of family fun-packed activities, exclusive character meet and greets, tasty new treats, and special weekend events including the return of LEGO® Friends Weekends and festive Fourth of July LEGO fireworks! The celebration runs all summer, June 4 through August 7, and is all included with regular park admission!
Polk County Tourism, Polk County Emergency Management and Publix Partner to Distribute 2022 Polk County Public Shelters Maps
In preparation for hurricane season, which begins on June 1, Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing and Polk County Emergency Management have partnered with Publix Super Markets to produce and distribute the "Polk County Public Shelters" maps for 2022. The map is designed to assist both resident and tourist evacuees in finding shelter during an impending storm.
Polk County Commemorates 100th Anniversary of Water Skiing at First Friday Event on June 3 in Lakeland
Article Provided By: Visit Central Florida
Polk County Tourism and Sports Marketing (PCTSM) is sponsoring the First Friday event in downtown Lakeland’s Munn Park on Friday, June 3, from 6 to 9 p.m., to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the invention of Water Skiing, a sport made popular in Polk County at Cypress Gardens. This free evening of family fun is a keystone event in a year-long calendar of events created and recruited by PCTSM to celebrate the centennial anniversary.
Two Polk State Baseball players were recognized as first-team All-State selections on Wednesday while another took home the honor of being the state’s top defensive player. Outfielder/first baseman Jack Duffy and designated hitter Nick Collins were each named to the FCSAA All-State/NJCAA All-Region 8 first team. Infielder Dakota Harris has been named the FCSAA All-State/NJCAA All-Region 8 Defensive Player of the Year.
The Low Payment Kings, powered by the Mahalak Auto Group, Are Offering an Opportunity to Win a Guitar Signed by Keith Urban, Four tickets to a Keith Urban Concert
During the month of May, The Low Payment Kings are going to be giving away a guitar, signed by a Grammy winning country singer, Keith Urban, four tickets to a Keith Urban concert of their choice and $777 spending money.
“We wanted to do something special for our customers during the month of May” said Ralph Mahalak, the Low Payment King,” We also wanted to make it easy to enter to win this exciting country music package.” We have one prize package that will be chosen on May 31 st .The giveaway is open to all legal residents 18 years of age or older. Individuals are allowed up to 7 entries. There is no purchase necessary. They can enter by visiting LowPaymentKings.com and completing the form.”
Keith Urban is an award winning Australian-American country music musician and songwriter. He has Five Grammy Awards and nine Academy of Country Music Awards.
About the Mahalak Auto Group:
Ralph Mahalak Sr. opened his auto dealership in Monroe, Michigan in 1966. He was dedicated to providing reliable products and services to his community. In 1991, he handed over his business skills and motivation to his four sons, Ralph Jr, Mike, JP, and Alex. Now, the four brothers run seven different family owned and operated dealerships committed to their communities. Four of which are in Florida. Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and Ram of Winter Haven, Alfa Romeo Fiat of Winter Haven, Posner Park Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, and Fiat in Davenport and Lake Wales Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram. In Monroe MI, the Monroe Superstore, carries Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, and RAM. The Buckeye Superstore in Shelby OH, carries Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, RAM, and Fiat. The newest family dealership is LPK Defiance which carries Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, RAM.
Ten Polk State Baseball players were named to the All-Suncoast Conference team on Monday, including the conference’s Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. The Suncoast Conference Player of the Year, first baseman and outfielder Jack Duffy, leads the state this season with a .452 batting average, which ranks in the top 10 nationally. The Houston commitment also leads the Eagles with 10 home runs and a .532 on-base percentage.
Press Release Written by: LEGOLAND Florida
Unlock the ninja within at the highly anticipated return of LEGO® NINJAGO® Days at LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park. This limited-time event will feature exclusive LEGO NINJAGO character meet and greets, ninja-approved treats, LEGO brick building activities and a NEW, special interactive experience to master the elements in Ceremony of the Elements. Plus, it is all included in general admission at the Theme Park built for kids.
WHAT: LEGO® NINJAGO® DaysWHERE: LEGOLAND® Florida Theme Park
WHEN: Saturdays and Sundays, April 30 - May 1, 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Press Release Written by: LEGOLAND Florida
LEGOLAND® Florida Resort becomes the first theme park resort to become a Certified Autism Center™(CAC). This Resort-wide CAC designation includes LEGOLAND® Theme Park, LEGOLAND® Water Park, LEGOLAND® Hotel, LEGOLAND® Pirate Island Hotel, LEGOLAND® Beach Retreat and Peppa Pig Theme Park, which opened in February just steps away from LEGOLAND. The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) awards the CAC certification to organizations that complete guest-facing staff training and certification, as well as other requirements including offering accommodations for visitors with cognitive differences.
The athletics season is coming to an end, but a pair of Polk State College coaches will hold camps this summer to bolster fundamentals and give young players new insights into their sports. Polk State’s coaches host summer camps to engage the local community and foster young athletes’ interest in sports and higher education. While the summer camps are hosted by the individual coaches rather than the College because they are on campus, students are introduced to the idea of higher education.
Polk State College will host its 126th commencement with two ceremonies on Thursday, May 5, at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, where members of the Spring 2022 Graduating Class will celebrate with their families, friends, and supporters.
“Our College is incredibly proud of the Spring 2022 Graduating Class,” Polk State President Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “With 70% of Polk State’s graduates remaining in Polk County to work and continue their education, we not only celebrate the achievements of our students, but also their future success and impact on our community as they soar to new heights with their Polk State degrees and certifications.”
GiveWell Community Foundation (GWCF) has hired Callie Neslund as its Chief Operating Officer, reporting directly to President and CEO John Attaway. Neslund will work with Attaway and the GWCF team on future initiatives stemming from the United Community Needs Assessment currently underway, strategic planning, and day-to-day operations for the organization.
“Having worked with the community foundation in numerous capacities over the last decade, I’m inspired by their mission and unwavering dedication to help donors give in strategic ways that have lasting impact,” said Neslund. “I’m honored to support and foster our community’s long-standing tradition of generosity while working with the many great nonprofits who are on the front lines meeting the changing needs of our region.”