SPCA Florida is one of the many animal shelters working to continue to care for dogs and cats as more and more people are staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19.
COVID-19 could mean shelters, like SPCA Florida, might close to the public and operate with reduced staff. If so, here’s how you can help a shelter cat or dog in need.
SPCA Florida plans to move as many animals as possible off premises and into foster homes. This will help while we have staffing shortages as employees and volunteers are requesting to self-quarantine. The virus is unpredictable and could change at any given time, therefore, we are not sure how long these animals will need to be in foster homes.
We are asking potential fosters to go online today and apply to take a dog, cat, kittens or mom and kittens. Who better to ride out the coronavirus crisis with, but a shelter animal! Fostering is a great opportunity for those practicing social distancing or being told to work from home.
Our cats will start leaving this Saturday, March 28. A drive-up system is being implemented so you will not need to get out of your car or go into the building. We will have your cat or kittens ready, along with supplies. This arrangement will be discussed with you prior to Saturday. The same process will take place Sunday, March 29 for the pickup of dogs.
If you are interested and able to foster an animal from the shelter, please fill out the application.
An SPCA Florida representative will reach out to you with information about how you can help. Thank you for supporting our local homeless dogs and cats and helping them safely live through this pandemic.
SPCA Florida is asking for financial, foster, and adoption support. To help, go online at www.spcaflorida.org and donate, foster or check out our adoptable dogs and cats.
Six Polk County Municipalities to Hold Elections on April 7th
Polk County Supervisor of Elections Lori Edwards announced today that six Polk County municipalities will hold elections on April 7th - Polk County’s Municipal Election Day. “Residents in the cities of Bartow, Davenport, Haines City, Lake Hamilton, Lake Wales and Mulberry will head to the polls on Tuesday, April 7th to cast their ballots,” said Ms. Edwards.
Residents of these cities who are not yet registered to vote must do so by Monday, March 9th. Applications to register to vote are available at the elections offices, banks, libraries, and other public service agencies, as well as online at PolkElections.com.
For more information visit PolkElections.com, or call the Elections Office at (863) 534-5888.
Free and open to the public! Join us for the annual family, kid & dog friendly Walk for Animals event on Saturday, April 18 from 9am to Noon!
Group walk around Lake Mirror
Games and fun for the kids and fur-kids
Dog Costume Contest
Food and specialty vendors
The festivities take place at the Frances Langford Promenade at Lake Mirror which is situated by the Barnett Family Park entrance and near Hollis Garden. (bring towels and extra clothes for the splash pad near the park!)
The Walk for Animals is an annual fundraising event to benefit SPCA Florida's mission of saving the homeless dogs & cats of Polk County. Participants spread the word to their friends, neighbors, co-workers, and more to bring the entire community together to raise funds to help the animals.
Ways you can help:
Attend for free- no registration required to attend the event or walk with us. Just come out, have fun & support our vendors with your purchases!
Register as a participant- your $35 registration fee ($25 for ages 10 and under) includes event t-shirt, doggie bandana, Bow-Wow Breakfast and day of contests. Plus, your $35 will help us care for the animals.
Want to spread the word and help raise funds to help the animals?
Get registered as a participant and then start sharing! Invite your friends, family, co-workers and everyone you know to get involved!
You can even create a team for some friendly competition while helping the animals. Get cool prizes based on how much you raise. Top fundraising individuals and teams can win the grand prizes!
More Ways to Help:
Make a donation of any amount to help our mission
Register as a vendor and have a space at the event to promote your business and products.
Become a sponsor and showcase your goodwill to our animal loving supporters.
100% of the proceeds will help SPCA Florida care for more than 4,300 homeless cats and dogs who come through our doors each year.
We couldn’t do it without you!
Come out and enjoy Lake Alfred's Spring-Fling Cruise-In on Saturday, April 18, 2020 from 10 AM to 2 PM. You'll find Beautiful Vintage, Classic, and Antique Cars, as well as some good old Rock 'n Roll, Raffles, Contests, and Discounts offered by local businesses. Biggar Antiques is sponsoring a Crazy Spring Hat Contest and (1) lucky winner will receive a $100 Gift Certificate . . So get creative and join in the fun!!
This show is PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY and is OPEN to ALL Years/Makes/Models from 1920 -- 1999. Those who wish to register should contact Event Coordinator, Judy Schelfo, at JSchelfo@mylakealfred.com. Registration will close when capacity is reached or April 15th, whichever comes first. There will be "Best of Show" prizes awarded in (2) categories. Show Sponsors are Sigman Earthscape Store and Polk Training Center. The show will be located on the City Parking Lot on S Seminole Ave, across from First Baptist Church of Lake Alfred. We hope to see you there!!
Save the date for April 18, 2020! And, Join us at your 6th Ann 863 Art Fest in Central Park downtown Winter Haven, FL. from 10am-4pm.
FREE Community event/ pet-friendly! Lots of free parking, too!
More than 100 vendors offering beautiful one of a kind arts, crafts, clothing design, jewelry, soaps, candles, wood works, fair trade, vintage, plants, delicious home baked goods, cottage food, local authors, face painting, food trucks, live music, and lots more!
NO COMMERCIAL PRODUCTS. ONE OF A KIND ONLY.
Request vendor application TODAY at email@example.com
Sponsorships available! Request yours at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information go to www.CentralFloridaEventVendors.com
Saturday, April 25 at 8 AM – 2 PM
Lake Shipp Park
1600 S Lake Shipp Drive, Winter Haven
Join us for the annual Chain of Lakes & Shoreline Clean Up! Help keep Florida's public lands and waters beautiful. Perfect community event for individuals, couples, families and groups to participate. Grab a friend and come on out to help!
**Clean-up Supplies, Lunch and Event T-Shirt provided to all Pre-Registered Volunteers**
Event also includes: Environmental Exhibits * Face Painting * Kid's Bounce House * Rock Painting * Live Music with the Josh Blevins Band
Call Tracy Mercer (863) 206-4113 or email@example.com for volunteer and/or sponsorship opportunities.
Road race at Lakeland Linder International Airport (LAL) during the 46th annual SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo.
The race will begin on the Terminal Ramp as the start line is flanked by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds. During the run you will be able to witness the launching of over twenty (20) hot air balloons.
Come join us for one of the most unique 5K race course in Florida!
Register at: https://www.athlinks.com/event/lakeland-airport-sun-n-run-5k-308359
One of the fastest egg-hunts in the south is BACK and this time with over 6000 eggs! This year will also feature food trucks and more fun, don't miss it!
Guy Harvey Outpost Academy presents Bobby Lane's Kids Fishing & Conservation Clinic on May 23rd at Lake Kissimmee State Park. Bring the kids for a fun day of fishing learning how to be a better angler. Major League Fishing Pro, Bobby Lane, and his team of instructors will be on hand to teach junior anglers knot tying, basic tackle, cast netting, boating safety, conservation & more! After completing the activities at the respective station anglers are free to fish for the duration of the event. Registration will include a rod and reel kit, welcome bag, certificate of completion from the IGFA and lunch at Camp Mack, a Guy Harvey Lodge Marina & RV Resort. Space is limited so register today!
Saturday May 23, 2020
Class: Bobby Lane Kids Fishing & Conservation Clinic
Cost: $10 / Angler.
All proceeds will be donated to Captains For Clean Water
to help protect the water quality on Lake Kissimmee
Check In: 8:30am at Camp Mack Marina & RV Resort
Class Begins: 9:00 am– 11:00 am Stations Include:
Basic Knot Tying by IGFA
Basic Tackle by IGFA
Boating Safety by Yamaha
Casting Demo’s & Fishing by Berkley
Conservation by IGFA & Captains For Clean Waters
Fishing Time: 11:00 – 12:00 pm. Junior anglers can enjoy trying out what they learned to fish after the class.
Food & Fun: Lunch starts at 12:00 pm at Camp Mack, a Guy Harvey Lodge, Marina & RV Resort. All junior anglers will receive a free lunch at the Camp Mack Riverfront.
Anglers: Anglers please remember to bring sunscreen and hat since we will be outside. The course is designed for ages 15 or under. If your junior angler needs special assistance, please let us know when registering and we will make sure they have a great fishing experience!
Junior anglers will receive a welcome bag, their own rod and reel from Pure Fishing, a Certificate of Completion, and Lunch when registering.
***Rescheduled for Friday, May 29***On May 29, 2020, the Polk State College Foundation will once again present a sporting clays event, previously known as Clays for Courts, and re-named in 2019 as the John R. Alexander Memorial Clays Classic. This event, presented by Regal Lakeland in partnership with The A.D. Morgan Corporation, benefits the Polk State athletics program.
John R. Alexander (1936 - 2018) served on the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors from 2008-2012. He recommended a sporting clays fundraiser to secure new donors and assist students. Since 2012, Clays for Courts has raised more than $100,000 and introduced hundreds of new supporters to the Foundation. We are thankful to his family for allowing us to pay tribute to him by continuing to help students through the renaming of Clays for Courts to the John R. Alexander Memorial Clays Classic.
Please join us at Polk Sporting Clays, located at 5000 Firetower Road in Haines City.
The event begins at 9:00 a.m. with a breakfast, followed by a 50-target sporting clays shoot. Immediately following the shoot is a steak luncheon and the awards presentation. Ammunition, meals, and gifts are provided as part of individual and team sponsorship.
For additional information, please contact the Polk State College Foundation at 863.297.1071 or email Kristie Peneguy.
Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 10 AM – 11 AM
Polk County History Center
100 East Main Street, Bartow
Presenter: Drew Smith, genealogy librarian from USF and vice president of Aha! Seminars, Inc!
City of Bartow Customers Urged to Sign Up for Emergency Notification System
Bartow citizens are urged to sign up for a new notification service from the city to keep citizens informed in emergencies.
The new phone and email service will provide customers with important information in a timely manner. Customers can sign up through the city’s website www.cityofbartow.net or by calling the city’s customers service department at 863-534-0188.
The system will be used for emergency alerts, community alerts and other urgent communication. For example, it is expected to be used to share information on major power outages or significant weather events. The messages will be important information that needs to be communicated quickly and widely for public safety.
Frank Canovaca, the city’s director of information technology, said customers need to opt in to the system by providing their contact information. “If your phone number is not in the database, we will not be able to contact you,” he said.
All individuals and businesses are urged to log on to www.cityofbartow.net and follow the link to the “SmartNotice Community Notification Enrollment” page. Each customer will want to enter their first and last name, street address (physical address, no P.O. boxes), city, state, zip code, primary phone number and any additional phone numbers.
The easy way to sign up is with a text. Just text BartowAlerts as one word to the number 99411. Again, text BartowAlerts as one word to 99411.
“SmartNotice allows geographically based message delivery,” Canovaca said, “which means street addresses are required to ensure notification calls are received by the proper individuals in a given situation. The system works for cell phones, but we need to have an associated street address to provide geographic-relevant messages.”
SmartNotice gives those who want to be included an easy and secure method for inputting information. The data collected will only be used for notification purposes.
Questions about the new emergency notification system should be directed to Bartow Customer Service at 863-534-0188.
Monitor and protect your personal information by registering for Property Alert.
Once you register for the free service, you’ll receive email alerts when documents are filed in our office using your name and/or property information. Find out more at Polk County Property Alert.
Meals on Wheels Volunteers
Meals on Wheels needs drivers to deliver hot meals to seniors throughout Polk County. Kitchen volunteers are also needed to help package the meals.
The Meals on Wheels program delivers hot meals to approximately 315 homebound residents.
Service areas include Winter Haven, Lakeland, Auburndale, Haines City and Davenport. Volunteers may choose to work from one to five days a week. For information call 863-299-1616 or visit www.mealsonwheelspolk.com or facebook.com/mealsonwheelspolk.
Volunteers in Service to the Elderly is a community-based non-profit organization that was started Lakeland since 1983.
VISTE’s primary goal is to help frail senior citizens continue living independently and safely in their own home. VISTE is a United Way agency.
VISTE, which is a United Way agency, works with schools, churches, civic groups, local corporations and individuals.
To volunteer, attend one of VISTE’s monthly orientations. A volunteer application can be found at http://viste.org/become-a-viste-volunteer.
For more information, call 863-284-0828 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
L.E.A.P - Emergency Notification Program for Residents Age 55 and up
Do you have a loved one, age 55 or older, living independently in Lakeland? Encourage them to sign up for Lakeland’s Elderly Assistance Program (LEAP) to ensure you are notified in case of an emergency that involves first responders. This voluntary program is designed to provide a quick resource to public safety entities so they can easily contact family members in case of an emergency.
How Does the Program Work?
First, complete a registration form. Forms are available online at http://www.lakelandgov.net/lpd/special-svcs/community-services-section/leap-lakeland-elderly-assistance-program or you can call the number below and request a form be mailed to you. Registration will include requests for emergency contact information. A member from the Lakeland Police Department will enter the information into the LEAP database, making the information accessible only to first responders. Once the resident is registered they will receive a small sticker to be placed in a visible location on the front window or door with a unique identification number. The sticker will immediately notify first responders to check the LEAP database for additional information should an emergency situation occur.
If you have additional questions regarding the LEAP program, call 863.834.6912.
SPCA of Lakeland
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 spcaflorida.org 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.
New Hazardous Waste Collection Program Available for Small Businesses
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 www.polk-county.net or Contact Andrea at (863) 284-4319 ext.203, email@example.com.
The North Central Landfill is located at 5 Environmental Loop South in Winter Haven.
Viewing of Adoptable Pets
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 www.polksheriff.org. 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.
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.
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.
Household Hazardous Waste Collection
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.