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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.


PCSO Seeking Volunteer Sheriff's Service Officers

Polk County Sheriff Office Have you ever wanted to truly make a difference in your community? Would you like to work alongside Polk County Sheriff’s deputies helping residents? If so, we’ve got a job for you!

The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is seeking volunteers to join the Volunteer Sheriff’s Service Office program. Participants will receive over 80 hours of classroom training and will receive another 80 hours of field training.

VSSO training includes:
  • PCSO orientation training, rules, regulations, responsibilities, etc.
  • Proactive policing principles (PROCAP)
  • Polk County demographic and geographic familiarization
  • PCSO customer service philosophy
  • Crisis Intervention Training
  • Bloodborne Pathogens
  • Ethics and Code of Conduct
  • Use of chemical agent
  • Defensive driving
  • Civil vs. criminal law
  • Report writing
  • High visibility neighborhood patrols / theory / crime observation
  • Traffic and pedestrian direction/control
  • Neighborhood follow-up/canvassing after property crimes
  • CPR & AED certification
To learn how you can become a PCSO VSSO, please mark your calendar for these upcoming information sessions:

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Friday, February 27, 2015, at the Sheriff’s Operation Center, 1891 Jim Keene Boulevard, Winter Haven. The training session will be held in the multi-media training room located on the first floor.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Monday, March 2, 2015, at the Sheriff’s Operation Center, 1891 Jim Keene Boulevard, Winter Haven. The training session will be held in the multi-media training room located on the first floor.

6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, Tuesday, March 3, 2015, at the Sheriff’s Operation Center, 1891 Jim Keene Boulevard, Winter Haven. The training session will be held in the multi-media training room located on the first floor.

Volunteer Sheriff’s Service Officer duties will include:
  • House checks (vacation, foreclosed, and vacant properties)
  • After-hours business and commercial checks and patrols
  • Statistically-based neighborhood patrol
  • Crime prevention programs and special events
  • Administrative duties
  • School zone safety initiatives
  • Directed traffic monitoring & patrol assignments (radar surveys)
  • Traffic and pedestrian direction/control for traffic accidents and special events
  • Animal control assistance
  • Assisting Child Protection Referral detectives
  • Stranded motorist assistance
  • Report excess liter, graffiti, and suspicious activity
  • Neighborhood follow-up after property crimes
  • Assist with passed occurred property crimes investigations
  • Crime Scene Section assistance
  • Documenting civil and criminal complaints
  • And other non-hazardous duties
All PCSO volunteers receive criminal background checks and must maintain compliance with all PCSO general orders and procedures. VSSOs do not have arrest powers, will not take any enforcement actions, and will not write traffic tickets. Some VSSOs will patrol within the five PCSO districts, while others will work in office settings.

To reserve a space at the upcoming information sessions, please contact Deputy Allen Barber at 863.297.1176


Movies on the Lawn, February 27

Follow up your February 21 SyFy Saturday experience by going “Back to the Future II” at the next Movies on the Lawn on Friday, February 27, with this second of the three films in the popular comic science fiction film series. In this 1989 classic, Marty McFly and Doc Brown travel to 2015 to prevent Marty’s future son from ending up in jail. However, their presence allows Biff Tannen to steal Doc’s DeLorean time machine and travel back to 1955 where he alters history by making his younger self wealthy, leaving Marty and Doc to again save the day. “Back to the Future II” will begin at dark, on the northwest corner of Wilson Avenue and Main Street. Concessions will be provided by the Bartow High School Travel Club.

The event is free and suitable for the entire family. Those attending are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets.

Movies on the Lawn takes place the fourth Friday of each month and is presented by Main Street Bartow. For further information, call 863-519-0508.


Ribs on the Ridge, February 27-28

On February 27-28, 2015, in affiliation with the Florida Bar-B-Que Association, the Haines City Leisure Services Department will host the seventh annual Ribs on the Ridge at Lake Eva Park. This event will draw barbecue teams from across Florida and other states. Professional and amateur teams will compete for cash prizes, trophies and “bragging rights.” This is also an opportunity to expose local residents to the art of outdoor barbecue cooking. This competition sanctioned by the Florida Bar-B-Que Association, is a qualifier for:
  • The Jack Daniels Invitational, the super bowl of BBQ world championships
  • The American Royal in Kansas City, MO which is the largest and oldest contest world championship
  • The Florida Bar-B-Que Associations new invitational – Sonny’s Smokin’ Showdown Invitational.


In addition to the professional and amateur barbecue divisions, other competitions planned are a sauce competition and a dessert contest on Friday evening and Kid’s-Q division, on Saturday. These are open to the public. Scheduled activities that include live outdoor entertainment featuring local bands will round out the festivities.

New this year is the VIP Beach Party on Friday, February 27th from 9-11 PM, on the beach, featuring Coastal Acoustic Barefoot Music playing all your favorites. Tickets, which include Hors d’ oeuvres and beer are $20.00 per person when purchased in advance.

The event is open to everyone to attend and/or compete. To enter a team, download an application from the City’s website at hainescity.com. Please contact us at 863-421-3700 for more information.

Whether you are a backyard cook, a professional or would just like to enjoy good barbecue, we invite you to join us in the fun.


Ridge Career Center Hosts Career Fair, Open House, March 12th

Ridge Career Center will be hosting a career fair and open house on Thursday, March 12, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Numerous employers will be on site, including Brighthouse Networks, the City of Lakeland, and MidFlorida Credit Union.

Ridge Career Center’s open house will feature door prizes, tours, and program demonstrations from most of the 43 programs the Center offers. There will be staff members available from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. to discuss financial assistance with interested students.

Ridge Career Center is a nationally accredited postsecondary education center that provides instruction to both adults and high school students in occupational disciplines. The Center offers over 43 programs and is accredited by the Commission of the Council on Occupational Education.

Visitors can bring their questions and resumes to Ridge Career Center at 7700 S.R. 544, Winter Haven, FL 33881. For additional information, call 863.419.3060 or visit www.ridge.edu.


Webber International University Athletic Department 6th Annual Golf Outing, April 25

The Webber International University Athletic Department will be hosting their 2015 golf fundraiser at Oakwood Golf Club, in Lake Wales, on Saturday, April 25th. The shotgun start is set for 9:00 a.m. The format is a 4-person scramble over the 18 hole event. Oakwood is located at 3301 Old Wales Road, off of Highway 60.

The entry fee is $60.00 per person. This includes cart, driving range, 18 holes of golf, lunch, drinks, and prizes. There will be fun games: Adidas Closest to the Pin, Long Drive, Straightest Drive Contest, mulligans, raffle prizes, live auction and more. A putting contest will be held to win a flat screen T.V. Hole-in-one prizes include an Ireland Golf Trip, $10,000, a Vegas Vacation Trip, and golf lessons.

For more information on the tournament, whether you are interested in playing or being involved as a sponsor, please contact the Event Coordinator and Chair, Steve Rassel. He can be reached at 386-867-0803 or at rasselse@webber.edu. All proceeds will benefit the Webber International University Athletic Department.


Polk County Relay For Life Events

Several communities throughout Polk County will host Relay For Life events to raise money for the American Cancer Society and the fight against cancer.

Please find enclosed the dates, places and times for the American Cancer Society’s Polk County Relay For Life Events.
    POLK COUNTY RELAY FOR LIFE EVENTS:
  • Winter Haven: April 18, 2015, Lake Region High School
  • Lakeland: May 2, 2015, Lakeland High School
  • Haines City and Davenport: March 2, 2015, Lake Eva Park
  • Bartow and Lake Wales: April 17, 2015, Bartow High School
  • Auburndale: TBD, Auburndale High School
  • Florida Southern College: February 20, 2015, Florida Southern College
  • Fort Meade and Frostproof: March 21, 2015, Fort Meade Middle Senior High School
  • Mulberry: April 24, 2015, Mulberry High School
For more information about the American Cancer Society, visit www.cancer.org or call 1-800-ACS-2345.

For more information about Relay For Life of Winter Haven, visit www.relayforlife.org/winterhavenfl.

For more information about the Relay For Life of Lakeland, visit www.relayforlife.org/lakelandfl.

For more information about the Relay For Life of Haines City and Davenport, visit www.relayforlife.org/hainescityfl.

For more information about the Relay For Life of Bartow and Lake Wales, visit www.relayforlife.org/bartowlakewalesfl.

For more information regarding the Relay For Life of Auburndale, visit www.relayforlife.org/auburndalefl.

For more information regarding the Relay For Life of Florida Southern College, visit www.relayforlife.org/fscfl.

For more information regarding the Relay For Life of Fort Meade and Frostproof, visit www.relayforlife.org/ftmeadefrostprooffl.

For more information regarding the Relay For Life of Mulberry, visit www.relayforlife.org/mulberryfl.

To search for other Relay For Life events throughout Polk and neighboring counties, visit www.relayforlife.org.

Celebrate .Remember. Fight Back.

The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a life-changing event that gives everyone in communities across the globe a chance to Celebrate the lives of people who have battled cancer, Remember loved ones lost, and Fight Backagainst the disease.

Each year, more than 4 million people in over 20 countries take part in this global phenomenon and raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer.

For more information, please contact: Patricia Wright, Specialist, Relay for Life Florida Division/American Cancer Society, Inc. 1920 South Florida Avenue Lakeland, FL 33803 863-688-2326


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 www.polk-county.net/directory. 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 watermatters.org. 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? www.barbershop.org 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 www.sentimentaljourneymen.com 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 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.


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 www.citruslakeschorus.com.

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 www.polk-county.net or Contact Andrea at (863) 284-4319 ext.203, andreastermer@polk-county.net.

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 
E-mail: Polk274@verizon.net 
or 
1 Lt Robert-Gregory Gibson,CAP 
Telephone Number 863-632-7081 
E-mail: Gibsonserfl274@aol.com 
For more information on Civil Air Patrol, visit the CAP website: www.cap.gov


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 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.


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.