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Polk County

Community Calendar

This Community Calendar Page was designed to post announcements of events around the Polk County area. The announcements are listed according to the date of the event.

Click here, If your club or organization would like to post an announcement on this page.

Women's Care Center in Bartow

Bartow's Women's Care Center The Women's Care Center is finding their pantry food supplies dwindling down very low and they are in real need for toiletry items such as toilet paper, soap, shampoo, toothpaste, etc.

The Women's Care Center of Bartow is a non-profit organization. It provides a transitional living center for homeless women and their children.

For more information please call 863-534-3844. Donations can be drop off at the Care Center, located at 490 E Boulevard Street in Bartow.

If you would prefer to make a monetary donation, please mail your contributions to:
Women's Care Center
P.O. Box 1041
Bartow, Florida 33831 
Thank You, and for more information please visit,

Emergency Home Energy Assistance Available for Elderly

Polk County Government Polk County Elderly Services seeks eligible applicants for limited emergency home energy assistance for low-income, elderly residents with overdue utility bills.

At least one household member must be at least 60 years old and a Polk County resident. Applications must include proof of identity, age and residence for all household members, household income, and over-due utility bill.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 863.534.5320.

Free Diabetic Classes offered by the Polk Healthcare Plan

Polk County Government The Polk Healthcare Plan has announced additional free Diabetic Classes for Polk County residents. To reserve seats, residents should call 863-519-2041 or 863-519-2066.

“With diabetes becoming a serious problem in Polk County, the Polk Healthcare Plan felt it was important to offer these free classes to residents,” said Marilyn Sylvia, a community nurse for the county. “We strongly believe the best way to mitigate the damage diabetes has caused our residents is to arm them with the knowledge they need to combat the disease.”

Diabetic Classes include a general overview of the disease process, highlighting ways to prevent, detect and treat the complications of diabetes. Educators will also discuss the importance of nutrition, physical activity and weight management in dealing with the disease. Discussion will also highlight blood glucose monitoring, cover the different medications available and look at ways to schedule diabetic check-ups.

Classes are scheduled for:
  • Monday, Sept. 22 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at Medulla Community Center, 1049 Parker Rd., Lakeland.
  • Friday, Oct. 3 from 12:30-3:30pm at Lake Wales Free Clinic, 210 Dr. J. A. Wiltshire Ave., Lake Wales.
To reserve seats for either of these free classes, call 863-519-2041 or 863-519-2066. Transportation is available for Polk HealthCare members through Transit Services by calling 863-534-5500 x 4.

Safe Boating Class, September 21

The Lakeland Sail and Power Squadron, Inc., a unit of the United States Power Squadrons, will conduct "America's Boating Course", in one day, on Sunday, September 21, 2014, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Class will be held at Old Salt Marine, 1916 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland, FL. The cost of the class is $37.00 and includes material. Seating is limited, and pre-registration is required by September 6, 2014. Graduates will receive their Florida Boater ID card, which is required for boat operators born on or after January 1, 1988, and may also qualify for a discount on boat insurance.

To pre- register for this class, please call 863-667-9047.

2nd Annual Latino Fest, September 27

City of Haines City Haines City Leisure Services present the second annual Latino Fest on Saturday, September 27th from 3:00 – 9:00 PM at Lake Eva Park. The park is located at 555 Ledwith Avenue in Haines City. This year’s event will share Latino traditions as we come together to celebrate the tremendous sounds, sights and tastes of Latino culture. Attendees can dance to live music, taste authentic foods, and shop the marketplace for great arts and crafts.

For additional information or to become a food or merchandise vendor contact the Haines City Leisure Services Department at 863-421-3700 or log onto the City’s web site:

YouthBuild Open House, September 30

Youth Build Lakeland is having an Open House at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, September 30 at the Youth Build Center in the Westlake Apartments on Hartsell Avenue in Lakeland. YouthBuild is a non-profit, grant funded, Department of Labor Education and Training Administration program housed at the Lakeland Housing Authority.

We offer 18-24 year olds from Polk County, without a high school diploma, or with a certificate of completion, the opportunity to earn their GED, and other industry recognized career certifications. We are partners with Habitat for Humanity, and participants in our program work to build a home for a deserving family while attending. Another benefit of our program is that participants will receive a stipend. That’s right, our participants earn approximately $500 per month.

For more information please call 863-687-2911 ext. 282.

Winter Haven Farmers Market is now City Market, October 2

The Winter Haven Farmers Market is more than 10 years old and ready to be refreshed and transformed in partnership with Main Street Winter Haven. Part of the revisions will include changing its name to CITY MARKET. A location shift will also occur October 2 from its current position at Downtown Trailhead Park to Joyce B. Davis Park at the intersection of Ave. D and 4th St. NW. It will continue to be held every Thursday from 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.

The new name is easy to remember and provides a fresh outlook for this community mainstay. New types of vendors will be encouraged to participate with products that have a homemade/homegrown appeal. The new location will provide a shady and inviting area with more visibility. Located closer to the downtown business core, it is hoped people will take advantage of Winter Haven’s warm-weather and walkable streets to visit the market regularly during breaks and lunch hours.

Interested in learning more, or even becoming a vendor at the market? Give Main Street Winter Haven a call at 295-9422.

October Happenings at the History Center

Polk County Government Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are open to the public and free of charge:
October 4, 11 a.m.: Cemetery Tour - A walking tour of the historic Oak Hill Cemetery starts at the History Center in Bartow. Many pioneer families are buried in this cemetery, including Civil War veterans Jacob Summerlin and Gen. Evander M. Law. The cemetery tour is offered the first Saturday of every month.

October 7 and 14, 12:15 - 1 p.m.: Book Club - Bring your lunch and join the History Center for Book Club. In October, we will explore the book, “Gods and Generals,” by Jeff Shaara. In this brilliantly written epic novel, Jeff Shaara traces the lives, passions and careers of the great military leaders from the first gathering clouds of the Civil War. Featured leaders include Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, a hopelessly by-the-book military instructor and devout Christian who becomes the greatest commander of the Civil War; Winfield Scott Hancock, a captain of quartermasters who quickly establishes himself as one of the finest leaders of the Union army; Joshua Chamberlain, who gives up his promising academic career and goes on to become one of the most heroic soldiers in American history; and Robert E. Lee, never believing until too late that a civil war would ever truly come to pass. The book club meets at the History Center the first two Tuesdays every month.

October 11, 10 a.m. to noon: Family Fun Day - Help us bring the courthouse alive with characters from Polk County history. Bring your own costume, borrow one or together we will make a hat. Join us as we explore the museum in a living history parade. From cattlemen to statesmen, law enforcement to pioneers….you will learn about some of Polk County’s favorite historical figures. Family Fun Day activities take place the second Saturday of every month.

October 18, 11 a.m.: Architectural Tour - Join us for a family friendly architectural tour of the History Center and learn more about Neo-Classical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. The architectural tour is on the third Saturday of each month at 11 a.m.

October 21, 12:15 - 1 p.m.: Lunch and Learn - Charlie Carlson will present, “Weird Florida.” Join Charlie Carlson and hear about the unusual history, legends and unique places of Florida. Born and raised in Seminole County, Florida, Charlie Carlson is an historian and author of a dozen books related to Florida’s past and, “downright weird folklore.” He is a past president of the Seminole County Historical Society and currently serves on the Advisory Board for the City Museum of Sanford, Florida. Mr. Carlson has been widely featured in television programs, documentaries and independent movies related to unexplained phenomena. He was host of the PBS show, “Weird Florida: Roads Less Traveled,” which won a Telly Award and was nominated for a regional Emmy as well as five categories for the Florida Motion Picture and Television Association’s Crystal Reel Award. The Lunch and Learn lecture series occurs the third Tuesday of every month, January through November.

About the Polk County History Center: The Polk County History Center is located at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow and is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Visit or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming.

Help of Fort Meade 5K For HealthCare, October 11

Help of Fort Meade is sponsoring its First Annual 5K for HealthCare Race on Saturday, October 11, at 8:00 am. The race will take place at the Gause Riverside Adult School on Sixth Street North East in Fort Meade.

The cost is $30.00 for Day of race or $25.00 for pre-registration Thru Sept. 26, 2014; $5.00 for kids under the age of 12(T-shirt not included).

Runners will receive a goody bag and a T-shirt. Registration will begin at 7:00am, the day of the race, at the Gause Riverside Adult School, 1002 6th St NE Fort Meade Fl. 33841. Please contact Andreina Garcia at the Help of Fort Meade for pre- registration forms or more information. All processed go to the Help of Fort Meade.

Help your community by Racing for HealthCare. For more information please call 863-285-6600, ext: 3.

Shine a Light Events, October 24-26

On October 24-25, Florida Baptist Children’s Homes will host Shine a Light, The Porch Light weekend in Lakeland. The weekend-long affair will include a Friday night 5k, Saturday morning family festival and Saturday night formal gala featuring former American Idol contestant, Jason Castro. The events will take place to raise critical funding for The Porch Light, FBCH’s program to help rescue and restore child victims of domestic sex trafficking.

Shine a Light 5k – Friday, October 24 at 6:30 p.m. The Shine a Light 5k will take place October 24 at 6:30 p.m. beginning at First Presbyterian Church located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland. The evening run will bring light to the darkness that surrounds sex trafficking. The cost is $25 for those who register by October 3 and $30 for those who register after. Competitiverunners, as well as walkers, will find this chip-timed 5k to be an event toremember. Participants who sign up before October 3 will be guaranteed an event dri-fit t-shirt. Awards will be given in standard age divisions, and there will be food truck vendors after the race.

Shine a Light Family Festival – Saturday, October 25 at 10 a.m. On Saturday, October 25, from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., there will be a free family festival on the grounds of First Presbyterian Church at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland. A festival for all ages, there will be free food, a pumpkin patch area for family photos, a bounce house and live music. There will also be a “kids’ fun run” at 10 a.m.

Shine a Light Gala presented by Advanced Drying Systems – Saturday, October 25 at 6 p.m. The finale black tie optional event will take place at Florida Southern College’s Branscomb auditorium at 6 p.m. Ticket price is $50 and will include a performance by internationally-known recording artist Jason Castro, a former American Idol contestant. It will be an evening of hope as FBCH shines a light on the issue of sex trafficking and how the Lakeland community can join together to take a stand for innocent victims. The entertainment-filled gala will include words from Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and FBCH and Orphan’s Heart president Jerry Haag, Ph.D., CFP®.

FBCH is seeking additional corporate sponsors for the Shine a Light events, which will benefit The Porch Light. Thank you to these sponsors who are coming alongside us to impact child victims of domestic sex trafficking: Advanced Drying Systems, Rooms to Go and Regal Automotive Group.

The Porch Light program was launched in 2013, and in August of 2014, the first home will open in Central Florida where child victims can begin a new life. It also includes advocacy and prevention efforts that will help stop sex trafficking before it begins for the next child.

To register for the 5k, purchase tickets for the gala, become a corporate sponsor and more, visit

Bartow Craft Fair, November 8

Applications are being accepted for the 23nd annual Downtown Bartow Craft Fair planned for Saturday, November 8, 9:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M., in downtown Bartow. The event is sponsored by Main Street Bartow, Inc. and the City of Bartow.

The fair will feature handmade, all-season crafts. Space size is 12 feet by 12 feet, and there is a $50.00 entry fee.

An area with children’s activities will be included, and food will be available for purchase from local organizations as well as Bartow’s downtown restaurants. A classic car show and an antique fair will also be part of the event.

For an application or further information, call Main Street Bartow, Inc. at 863-519-0508, or email

Winter Haven Nautical Club

WINTER HAVEN NAUTICAL CLUB meets the 1st Wednesday of every month -We are a group of people that own boats or love to associate with boaters that cruise out Florida water ways.

New people that would like to explore membership, please call Bill at 863-965-7915 or join us at a meeting. New meeting location is at the rear Room 2 Winter Haven Complex with the pool, corner of US 17 and Cypress Gardens Blvd. Meeting begins at 7 PM.

Updated Polk County Directory of Services Now Available

Polk County Government The latest update of the Polk County Directory of Services is now available. The county Directory of Services is a biennial publication produced for the residents of Polk County to provide easily accessible information on county services. The booklet features a guide to county government, contact information for congressional and state representatives, a directory of county services, details for the recorded information line, and other features on government services. Hard copies of the directories are most commonly available at local government centers, public libraries and area chambers of commerce. A web and mobile-friendly directory is available at For more information or if your organization would like to receive directories, contact the Polk County Communications Division at 863-534-6020.

New Restrictions Allow For Two Days of Watering a Week

Polk County Government As part of the Southwest Florida Water Management District’s extended watering restrictions, Polk County Utilities water customers and those in unincorporated Polk County are allowed lawn and landscape watering from groundwater sources two days a week. These restrictions apply to everyone receiving water from Polk County Utilities, private wells, surface water sources or reclaimed water, and are effective through July 31, 2013.

Homes and businesses with even addresses are allowed to water on Thursdays and Sundays. Odd addresses are allowed to water on Wednesdays and Saturdays. All common areas and properties where no address can be determined are allowed to water on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Watering is allowed between midnight and 10 a.m. or between 4 p.m. and midnight. Hand watering or micro-irrigation of landscaping (not including actual lawn areas) is allowed at all times.

Further information about watering restrictions is available online at Residents with questions or concerns should contact the Polk County Utilities Water Resource Enforcement Office at 863-298-4211.

Barbershop Singers- The Sentimental Journeymen, Thursdays

Did you know that the Winter Haven area has a men’s Barbershop Chorus which is licensed through the Barbershop Harmony Society? We are the Winter Haven chapter and are known as the “Sentimental Journeymen” Chorus.

Our desire is to attract men of all ages but with an emphasis on younger singers who may fear being associated with the stereotypical handlebar mustaches, straw hats and bow ties. We in-fact have several members in their 20's and have worked hard to "modernize" the barbershop image.

The chorus, and quartets which are formed from within the group, are available for performances and we welcome all male singers who would like to participate in our four part, a cappella style of singing.

We meet and rehearse every Thursday evening at the Saint Matthew Catholic Church, 1991 Overlook Dr. Winter Haven, Fl. at 7pm.

For more information, please visit or call 863-661-2235.

SPCA of Lakeland

SPCA of Polk County Each month SPCA Florida provides over 200 pets in the community with supplemental pet food and supplies through its Ani-meals program. Due to increasing community need, SPCA Florida is asking the community for donations of cat food and litter. Donations can be dropped off at 5850 Brannen Road South in Lakeland, Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit or call (863) 646-SPCA for more information.

The SPCA, Inc. in Lakeland is in desperate need of cat litter. Any type of cat litter is welcome. Donations can be dropped off from 11am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday. For more information, call the SPCA at 863-646-7722.

Citrus Lake Chorus of Polk County

The Citrus Lakes Chorus of Polk County, invities all men in the area who have a desire to lift their voices with other men who enjoy singing in barbershop fashion, please come and be with us... any Monday at 7:00pm at the Lakeland First Methodist Church on Lake Morton Drive in Lakeland. We meet in the adult choir room.

For more information please call President Al Smith at 863-815-9783 or visit our website at

Auditions not required, but provided by trained directors, if desired, for your voice placement.

New Hazardous Waste Collection Program Available for Small Businesses

Polk County Polk County businesses that produce less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste per month can properly dispose/recycle it the third Wednesday of each month by appointment-only at the North Central Landfill’s Household Hazardous Waste Facility. The first collection day will take place February 16.

Quotes will be based on the quantity and types of waste materials to be disposed/recycled. Participants must complete a registration form and inventory sheet and may need an onsite inspection prior to participating. Waste materials being collected include: paint, solvents, waste ink, fluorescent lamps, used oil, antifreeze and other hazardous waste.

For more information, paperwork and appointment schduling, visit or Contact Andrea at (863) 284-4319 ext.203,

The North Central Landfill is located at 5 Environmental Loop South in Winter Haven.

PCSO and Florida Refuse Partner Together to Fight Crime Through Waste-Watch

pull over to the CyberStation Waste-Watch is a partnership between the Polk County Sheriff's Office and Florida Refuse Service workers in which employees of Florida Refuse assist law enforcement by observing and reporting suspicious activity while out in neighborhoods during the normal course of their duties collecting refuse.

The idea for this partnership grew from Operation Bright Eyes, a partnership between law enforcement and Bright House networks technicians. The goal of partnerships like these is to enhance the safety of our communities by training those workers who spend their entire workday in our neighborhoods to be alert to their surroundings and anything that would be considered a crime or suspicious in nature. In a county as large as Polk, it is difficult for law enforcement to be everywhere they need to be. Programs such as Bright Eyes and Waste-Watch expand our public safety resources, resulting in increased safety for those who live, work, and play in Polk County.

So far, 185 Florida Refuse workers have been trained by PCSO to observe and report suspicious activity, through Waste-Watch.

For more information about Waste-Watch, please call the PCSO Crime Prevention Unit at 863.534.6677.

Civil Air Patrol

The Polk County Composite Squadron SER-FL. 274 of the Civil Air Patrol, Auxiliary of the United States Air Force will meet at the Summerlin Academy JROTC Class Rooms located at Bartow High School, Tuesday Nights starting at 6:30 PM till 9:00 PM.

Both Cadets (must be at least 12 years and no older then 18) and Seniors (Starting at 18) are invited to attend from throughout the Polk County Area.
For more information contact either: 
Captain Jon R. Petersen, CAP 
SER-FL 274 Squadron Commander 
Telephone Number: 863-221-4231 
1 Lt Robert-Gregory Gibson,CAP 
Telephone Number 863-632-7081 
For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit the CAP website:

Alzheimer's Support

The Lake Wales Alzheimer's Support Group meets the fourth Thursday of each month, from 1 to 2 pm , at the Lake Wales Care Center, 140 East Park Avenue. This group formerly met at the Holy Spirit Catholic Church. Family, friends, and caregivers of Alzheimer's or dementia sufferers are welcome.

KnitWits Monday Meetings

The Polk County Chapter of The Knitting Guild of America, the KnitWits, meet each Monday from 10am to Noon at the First Presbyterian Church located at 175 Lake Hollingsworth Drive in Lakeland.

Knitters of all ages and levels, beginner to advanced, are welcome to join the group. For further information, call 863-944-2806.

Viewing of Adoptable Pets

pull over to the CyberStation The Polk County Sheriff's Office, in an effort to help adopt out as many eligible animals as possible, has added a new feature to their website The link, located at the bottom of the home page, is titled "Animal Services Section".

The "Pet Harbor" is a brand-new feature offering viewers a searchable database of adoptable pets, in and out of Polk County. Customers can select whether they are looking for a dog or a cat, an age range, a gender and even a size. Photos of the animals are available at the click of a button, and are updated on a routine and timely basis.

The section also has a wealth of information such as laws, rabies, spaying/neutering and is very user-friendly.

Winter Haven Optimist Club

The Winter Haven Optimist Club invites everyone to attend there club meetings at Perkins Resturant on Cypress Gardens Blvd. in Winter Haven each Monday night at 6:30pm. Come enjoy great speekers on Community events. Service to youth has been the foremost principle of the Optimist Club for more than 70 years. Our motto " Freind of Youth" is exemplified by the various projects our club sponsors every year. Some of our projects include Essay Contest, Youth Appreciation, Oratorical Contest, Youth Sports as well as Scholarships to graduating Seniors to Winter Haven, Lake Region and Auburndale High Schools. Fund rasing events include our Christmas Tree Sale which we have done since 1972 at the Orange Dome in Winter Haven. For further information please call (863) 293-7972.

American Red Cross

American Red Cross The Polk County Chapter of the American Red Cross is offering Community Disaster Education presentations to the community, free of charge. The Community Disaster Education program teaches people how to prepare themselves, their families and their property for disasters, such as hurricanes or tornadoes.

For more information about the program, or to schedule a presentation, call the Polk County Chapter at 863-294-5941.

Girl Scouts

Girl Scouts Adult volunteers can have just as much fun as the Girl Scouts they serve. Adults can volunteer as troop leaders and advisors so that they work with the same girls all year. Volunteer opportunitites also exist for guest speakers, teachers for specific skills and projects, advisory committee members, and a wide range of other volunteer services to girls and Girl Scouting.

To find out more about becoming a Girl Scout volunteer, contact the Lakeland office at 863.688.7648.

Bartow's VFW Post 2405

Bartow's VFW Post 2405 is known throughout the State of Florida as a Christian post. Our post is involved in many veteran and community activities. If you are a Veteran of Foreign War, we need you as a member. Please contact one of the following men for more information: James Slaughter, Commander 863-533-9381, J. B. Sellers, Quartermaster 853-533-6267, or Andrew L. Ford, Chaplain 863-533-3445.

Household Hazardous Waste Collection

Polk County The Polk County Board of County Commissioners' Hazardous Waste Section collects household hazardous waste Monday through Friday 7:45a to 3:45p, and Saturday 8a to 5p at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. The facility is located on SR 540 at the North Central Landfill, four miles east of highway 98.

At the facility, the county accepts household paints. aerosol cans, motor oil, gasoline, antifreeze, kerosene, diesel fuel, pool chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, cleaners, polishes, paint strippers, paint thinner, fluorescent tubes, mercury containing devices, household and auto batteries.

All household items are accepted during these times except biohazardous materials, i.e. hypodermic needles or lancets. No explosives or radioactive wastes will be accepted at this location. No waster generated by businesses will be accepted for disposal. For more information call the Polk County Household Hazardous Waste Section at 863-499-2771 or 863-499-2689.