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Directions to United Way - August 26, 2009

We are excited to have you all attend our EMERGE event this Thursday, August 25th at United Way. I understand Mapquest is sending you all to North Lakeland, but that is the wrong direction, so please refer to the following directions if you do not know where we are located. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all on Thursday!

Directions to UWCF
5605 U.S. Highway 98 South
Highland City, Florida 33846

Get on Polk Parkway (570 Toll Road) and get off on exit 10, which will take you to U.S. Highway 98 South. Go South on Highway 98 and go approximately 2 miles until you reach Highland City. There is one major intersection followed by a yellow blinking light. United Way of Central Florida is located in an one-story strip center on your right. The United Way sign is highly visible in front of the building.

If you have any difficulties finding us, please call 863.648.1500 and press 0 for the operator. Thank you!

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

The Girls Inc. Motto is “Inspiring All Girls to be Strong, Smart and Bold!” - March 10, 2009

Girls Inc. Annual “She Knows Where She’s Going” Award Luncheon is Thursday, May 21, 2009, from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Girls Inc. has recognized women throughout the community since 1990, with the belief – ‘It doesn’t matter where she’s been, just as long as she knows where she’s going.” Women are nominated that have overcome adversity in their lives, and their stories are amazing!!! This year’s emcee is Dr. Judith Ponticell, USF Polytechnic. For tickets please contact Girls Inc. 863/682-3002 or email Girls Inc. CEO Kay Fields at

Please consider attending this amazing and uplifting event.

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

The Alliance for Independence Presents The Wine Festival of Central Florida - February 26, 2009

When: Friday, March 27th from 6:30 - 9:30 PM

Where: Lake Mirror Promenade

What: Live band, over 100 different wines to sample and fare from over 20 local restaurants.

Cost: $50.00 in advance, $55.00 at the door
Buy 8 tickets and get 2 free!

For more information, please contact Joan Eby at 863.665.3846 ext. 222

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

The Polk Museum of Art presents Escape to the Exotic - February 25, 2009

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The Gala 2009 Special Offer:

Come after 9:00 PM for $250 per couple. That's a discount of $500!

Enjoy dessert, drinks, and dancing to music by DJ Timka from the Buddha Bar in New York City. You'll also have a chance to bid on silent auction items.

Reservations required by Friday, February 27th.

To take advantage of this special offer, call Pal Powell at 863.668.7743 ext. 240

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

Lakeland Senior High Football Game - October 26, 2007

EMERGE Lakeland Member Special Opportunity

Where: Lakeland High School Football (on Lakeland Hills Blvd.)

When: November 2, 2007
Check In 6:15-6:30pm
Pre-Game meal and reception starts at 6:30pm
Game starts at 7:30pm

What: November 2nd pits the #1 in 5A football Lakeland High School against the #2 Kissimmee Osceola. Last year the Kissimmee Kowboys almost pulled off an upset in a 7-0 Defensive battle. This year Kissimmee returns nearly 12 starters from last years team and is even more ready to upset the Dreadnaughts. In a game that has playoff implications, the excitement in the air will most definitely be heavy. Come join in the pageantry of Florida football at its finest. It will be an evening worth remembering, from one of the best high school stadiums in the nation to its state of the art jumbo tron. You will be entertained from the pregame interviews to the post game celebration. Come see why the Dreadnaughts are truly Nulli-Secundus (Second to None)!

Cost: $20 – includes ticket (1), parking (1 vehicle), and pre-game meal. If you are riding in a vehicle with another person the cost is $15 – includes ticket (1) and pre-game meal.

Payment: Cash is preferred, but checks are acceptable if made out to Lakeland Football Century Club.

RSVP: Contact Tony Longa at or 499-2910 ext 2440
Deadline for reservations is November 1 at 3pm.

Directions: Parking - Enter off Lakeland Hills Blvd., if you've RSVP'd your name will be on the list. Once parked walk towards the East Gate where there will be a check table and names will be on the list. You will pay at the check in table and get your ticket and be directed to proceed into the Henly Field for the pre-game food reception.

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Posted by Emerge Lakeland

Emerge Impact Project - July 17, 2007

Mark your calendar for Saturday, August 11 from 9:00 a.m. - noon to attend EMERGE Lakeland's first ever hands-on impact project!

EMERGE Lakeland members have the opportunity to participate in a community impact project at Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center, a United Way of Central Florida Agency. Members can test their gardening and landscaping skills with the beautification project. Central Florida Speech & Hearing Center staff representatives will be available to share information about what the center does and its importance in our community. This is an exciting opportunity for Emerge members to work together to improve Lakeland. Light refreshments will provided.

There is no cost to attend this event but RSVP’s are required so that we can plan appropriately. RSVP to Kristin Tripoli at or call 863.648.1500 ext 246 for more information

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Aprons Event Photos - June 18, 2007

The annual Aprons event, Pheast & Philanthropy, was another great evening! Hosted by the United Way of Central Florida Leadership Giving Association, members had the opportunity to network with each other while enjoying a sumptuous menu. Each course was expertly paired with wine and Mark Mitchell, U.S. Constellation Wines/Centerra Wines, described each selection. New to this year's event was the addition of three panel speakers (Colleen Burton, Tim Campbell, and Bill Dorman) who discussed the importance of getting involved in our community.

Special thanks to Chef Marc Positano, resident chef at the Publix Aprons Cooking School in Sarasota, Mark Mitchell and U.S. Constellation Wines for graciously donating the wine, Wayne Raath and the staff at Lone Palm Golf for their hard work in making the evening a success!

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Emerge Meets Submerge Re-Cap & Pictures - May 7, 2007

History happens and it happened again this past Tuesday, April 24th at The Club at Eaglebrooke. Two groups of people that many would think have nothing in common came together to learn that the long-standing divide serves only to weaken our community and that they do, in fact, have a lot in common. EMERGE Lakeland, an organization that nurtures the growth of young professionals in the Lakeland area, hosted the event with the hopes of initiating a dialogue between young professionals and established leaders in the community. What those in attendance learned is that the thread that ties them together is the desire to make Lakeland the best place in which to live and to work.

EMERGE invited a handful of Lakeland’s leaders to share their experiences and wisdom with a group of professionals who aspire to continue the improvement of the quality of life in Lakeland. In return, those leaders were exposed to the vibrant energy and enthusiasm that emerging professionals exude. Those leaders who agreed to offer their advice (who, incidentally, have been affectionately been referred to as “Submergers” – a playful nod at their submersion in the Lakeland community) were: Sylvia Blackmon-Roberts, Hunt Berryman, Ron Clark, Tony Delgado, Gow Fields, John Fitzwater, Anne Furr, Maggie Lazarre, Kathleen Munson, Bill Mutz, Maureen Shaw, and Terry Worthington. “I am excited about what many of the Emerge members were saying. Their perspectives are some I have not yet encountered and I am actually setting an appointment with one of the members to continue a conversation I may not have otherwise had.” said Anne Furr, Executive Director of the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority and “Submerger.” That became the theme of the evening. Submergers and Emergers embraced the opportunity to hear and learn from individuals that they don’t generally take the time to understand. This event has opened the door to more conversations from an untapped cross section of the community.

“This is an event that EMERGE has been looking forward to since our inception. We knew in our hearts that this would be a positive experience for all of the participants but did not predict the tremendous amount of positive feedback we have received.” stated Cauney Bamberg, Executive Director of the Watson Clinic Foundation and EMERGE Lakeland Chair. It is thanks to the supportive responses that EMERGE has decided to make “Emerge Meets Submerge” an annual event.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

January Luncheon with Dr. Clint Wright - January 10, 2007

The January 10th luncheon featured Dr. Clint Wright, Superintendent of the Lake Wales Charter Schools. As an active Polk County citizen, Dr. Wright has a diverse collection of experiences to draw inspiration from. At Wednesday's luncheon he spoke on diversity as it relates to members of Emerge Lakeland. This was an exciting opportunity to learn from an intrepid and enthusiastic member of our community.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

December Event LEDC Update - December 12, 2006

In December members and guests listened to an economic update on the Lakeland area from Steve Scruggs, Executive Director of the Lakeland Economic Development Council, while enjoying lunch catered by Fresh Choice Plus at Michael Holley Chevrolet. The Lakeland Economic Development Council is a private, non-profit division of the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce. The LEDC's primary role is to attract new industry to Lakeland and help facilitate existing industry expansion. For more information visit

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

November Luncheon and Book Drive Re-Cap - November 8, 2006

On November 8th, members are guests gathered for lunch at Grasslands Country Club. They were greeted by a choir ensemble from Kathleen High School, accompanied on the piano by Regina Register. During lunch we heard from Terry Worthington and Penny Borgia of the United Way of Central Florida. EMERGE also held a book drive to benefit Success by 6 and Family Fundamentals, programs coordinated by the United Way, and happily accepted 47 new and gently used childrens books from our members. Thank you for your contribution to this community endeavor!

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

EMERGE at Politics in the Park - October 9, 2006

EMERGE Lakeland members enjoying Politics in the Park.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Success By 6 and Family Fundamentals - September 25, 2006

At our November 8th luncheon event we will be holding a book drive to benefit Success By 6 and Family Fundamentals. We will be accepting new and gently used books for children ages 2-5 years.

United Way of Central Florida's Success By 6 is an effort to give all children the physical, emotional, social, and mental foundations by age 6 they need to succeed in school and life.

Just one-half of children entering kindergarten in Polk, Highlands, and Hardee Counties have the early literacy skills needed to enter kindergarten ready to learn.

Success By 6 is Helping Children and Families
In collaboration with a variety of agencies and organizations some of Success By 6 current initiatives are:

Parent Lending Libraries are in childcare centers and businesses to encourage parents to read to their children.

The Family Fundamentals parent resource center in Lakeland, at the corner of Memorial and Lakeland Hills Boulevard.

Family Fundamentals
Family Fundamentals is a warm and welcoming place where caretakers can come to access information, support services, and the tools they need to be the best parents they can be. More than 50 partner agencies offer services on site, and recurring activities include pre-school story and activity time, playgroups, and literacy parties. Classes currently offered include school readiness activities, GED, and parent education. There is a library, computer lab, learning kitchen, craft room, playroom, and meeting rooms. Stop by at 1021 Lakeland Hills Blvd. in Lakeland or call 863.686.1221 ext. 222.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Apron's Event at Lone Palm - April 21, 2006

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The Apron's Event held at Lone Palm was hugely successful. Big thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put this event together including, Melissa Inella and Rachel Cassidy. Also special thanks to Lone Palm Country Club, the United Way Young Leaders, Chef Bil Mitchell with Publix Aprons, and Mark Bailey sponsored by US Constellation Wines.

We had about 70 members and guests present at Lone Palm for good wine, good food and good conversation. Cauney Bamberg and Patrick Fagan (2006 co-chairs) welcomed the group and gave a brief re-cap of what's going on with EMERGE Lakeland. We hope everyone who attended enjoyed themselves as much as we did, and if you weren't able to attend we hope to see you at our next event in May, stay tuned for details.

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

USF-Lakeland Multicutural Fair - March 2, 2006

The 2nd Annual Multicutural Fair at USF-Lakeland. Click below to download the flyer for more information.

Download file

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Posted by Kristin Carlson

Adam Putnam at EMERGE - January 25, 2006

U.S. Congressman and Bartow native Adam Putnam spoke at today's EMERGE Lakeland event. Almost 80 EMERGE members and guests listened to Adam speak about the role for youth in government and issues that face the upcoming generations.

Adam Putnam at EMERGE Lakeland

Keep in context that Adam was speaking to a group of young professionals between the ages of 21 and 43. The notes below are mostly brief versions of his major themes. When I do have a direct quote it will be in "quotes".

He started off talking about the importance of the younger generation getting involved. He firmly believes that there is a place for young people in government, but many times the interest is lacking.

The War and the Global Population Trends

The majority of issues that are upcoming are not Democratic or Republican, they are generational. "We don't send old people to wars. The average soldier is 2 years out of high school"

Every major issue we're facing will impact this generation for a quite a while. He believes that the war on terrorism will take quite a few chapters in our history, much like the Cold War.

Another issue we need to keep in context is the demographic make-up of many foreign nations. In some Middle Eastern nations 50 percent of the population is under the age of 25. Think about the perceptions you had as a teenager. The global population is coming of age.

Healthcare and Social Security

Healthcare is another issue that the youth need to be aware of. We're paying for somebody elses retirement. At this point there are 3.5 people paying for each person's medicare/social security. When the program began it was 40 to 1. It will soon be 2 to 1. Something will need to be done.

The Power of the AARP

Who influences policy? How do they do it? The most powerful interest group is the AARP. Seniors vote, people under 30 don't vote. When he first ran for office he figured that the youth would vote for him and the seniors wouldn't because of his age. It was the exact opposite. The youth just don't vote. The seniors, however, were willing to accpet youth because when they were 17 and 18 they were changing the world, in World War II.

The Need for New Leaders

Adam referenced the recent death of George Harris. "People need to remember George Harris wasn't always 71. When he was our age he was building a bank, but, while he was doing that he was supporting the local community." Who represents the next generation of local leaders? Who will make sure organizations like the United Way and Lakeland Chamber will continue to help the community?

Growth in Polk County

For the longest time growth was not our problem, it was Tampa's or Orlando's. Now it is our problem. Yes growth does creates opportunities, but we need to plan accordingly. We're very quickly outgrowing our infrastructure in areas of the county, specifically the Four Corners area. The people that live in that area do not associate themselves with Polk County, but they live here and utilize our resources.

Technology Issues

It's a delicate balance, the same tool that can enhance the education of a child can also expose them to threats never though of before. (Adam is very involved on a number of technology related committees)

"Half the members of congress probaly couldn't turn on a laptop if their life depended on it. But everybody has their own skill-sets. Just because you can't use a computer doesn't mean you can't be a good leader."

The floor then opened up for questions:

Q. Where can people go to get unbiased information?

A. Media has become diverse, which he feels is a good thing. It's not necessarily bad when you have a conservative publication and a liberal publication, because you at least know where the bias it. Years ago you had many large cities with two newspapers, usually one conservative and one liberal. Contrast this with a decade or two ago when all you had was the three major networks.

Q. Who are you supporting for majority leader?

A. Adam is supporting Roy Blunt from Missouri.

Q. What about growth in the Four Corners?

A. The Posner development (formerly Circus World/Boardwalk & Baseball) is going to be huge, many people just don't realize how big it's going to be. We're talking a whole city. Adam thinks that US 27 in the Four Corners area is a tragedy. He longs for the days of orange groves along the corridor. In some Florida counties, such as Osceola, the local government is buying large tracts of land. Although the cost of the land is high now they realize it will be cheaper in the long run rather then having to build and support infrastructure on it.

Look at what is happening in Brandon. They're trying to create a 'Main Street' but it's just not happening.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Adam Putnam Event - January 6, 2006

We've been able to confirm a date with Adam Putnam! Adam will join us for lunch on Wednesday, Jan 18th at the Polk Museum of Art from 11:30 till 1:00.

You can register online.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

December Event Recap - December 7, 2005

On Wednesday, November 30, EMERGE Lakeland hosted their last membership meeting of the 2005 year. And what a jovial time it was! Members were entertained by local comedian Justin Fennell as they enjoyed fellowship and lunch at the Junior League Building in downtown Lakeland. Because of the overwhelming membership participation, EMERGE Lakeland is able to pay a $150 honorarium to Mission Of Mercy, a foundation serving to help homeless kids around the world, and founded by Mr. Fennell.

Enjoying the Show?

Angie Register, EMERGE Lakeland Co-Chair for 2005 reminded everyone of the wonderful time she's had over the past year. "It's been a fantastic year full of a lot of rewards and we're proud of the work done by everyone involved in EMERGE. We have had a great Steering Committee, energetic volunteers, wonderful sponsors and my co-chair Kim McKeel and I have been privileged to serve in a leadership capacity to this new, emerging group. United Way of Central Florida and the Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce should be proud of what they've started in Emerge Lakeland."

Michael and Angie

Angie introduced the incoming chairs for 2006, Patrick Fagan of RG Crown Bank and Cauney Boydston with the Watson Clinic Foundation. Both are excited about the many opportunities coming their way in 2006. Additionally, Angie thanked the 2005 Corporate Sponsors for their involvement and relationship to Emerge. Without ACS Geosciences, Inc., Clark, Campbell & Mawhinney, Gold's Gym, Heacock Insurance, Madden Corporation, Register Construction and Southside Cleaners, EMERGE members might not otherwise have the opportunities so affordably presented to them throughout the year.

EMERGE Steering Committe Members

EMERGE Lakeland would like to thank the Junior League for allowing use of their facility and Mitchell's Coffee House for the wonderful lunch served at the December membership meeting.

We hope everyone had a wonderful time through 2005 and at the December social. We look forward to seeing you back in 2006 - remember: RENEW RENEW RENEW!

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Meet the Candidates - November 17, 2005

The Lakeland Chamber of Commerce and BusinessVoice are hosting a "Meet the Candidates" Reception for the two candidates in the run-off election for the City Commission Southeast District seat. Michael Holley Chevrolet will host the reception in the Community Room at the new dealership on Bartow Hwy. on Wednesday, November 30th, from 5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.

The run-off election is Tuesday, December 6, 2005. If you are a registered voter living within the City limits, VOTE! All polling locations that were open during the Lakeland municipal election will be open for the Tuesday, December 6th election.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

High Flying Holidays at Sun 'n Fun - November 10, 2005

Santa gives up his tiny reindeer for a Biplane! Visit the Sun 'n Fun Campus for High Flying Holidays!

From Thursday, December 8th till Sunday the 11th from 5:00 - 9:00 P.M the campus comes alive with holiday lights and displays. The Twelve Planes of Christmas are the backdrop for music, food, entertainment, kid's activities and holiday shopping at Gifts of Flight. Santa arrives each evening on Stearman Wonderful Wendy, the Florida Air Museum's Airborne Ambassador!

Ages 1-15 $3.00 Ages 16 and up $5.00 Seniors and FAM Members $4.00

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Lakeland Farmers Curb Market - October 28, 2005

The Lakeland Farmers Curb Market kicks off this weekend in downtown Lakeland.

The market will be open every Saturday from 7:00 am - 12:30 pm and will feature: Fresh Produce, Plants, Art, Music and Fresh Cut Flowers. The market is located in the parking lot north of East Bay Street, south of East Oak Street between Tennessee and Kentucky.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Where Were You? - October 15, 2005

We had 56 members RSVP and perhaps 30 show. What's that they say about our generation??? Those EMERGE members that came to the Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival kick-off enjoyed a great early evening of fun. The temperature was warm, but not hot, with a little bit of a breeze.

EMERGE Check-In Table

EMERGE Member's Backs

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Posted by Josh Hallett

EMERGE Membership Survey - September 7, 2005

In an effort to help EMERGE Lakeland plan events for 2006 we have created a survey for our members to provide feedback. The online survey will only take a few minutes to complete and we thank you in advance for your participation.

Click here to complete the EMERGE Lakeland Event Survey.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - August 26, 2005

EMERGE Lakeland member Eunice Hutto would like to invite other members to join her on October 22nd, 2005 at Polk County's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. This walk will begin at the First Presbyterian Church on Lake Hollingsworth at 8:30am, and will take place around Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland.

Anyone interested in forming a team can contact her office at 688-2326. All funds raised through the Making Strides walk benefit breast cancer programs, research, and local breast cancer programs and initiatives in Polk County.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

EMERGE Tampa Event: Social Security for the Next Generation - August 21, 2005

On Tuesday, August 23rd, Emerge Tampa will host an event to discuss the future of Social Security. Starting at 6:00 p.m. in the Ybor Room at Hillsborough Community College's Ybor Campus, U.S. Reps. Jim Davis (D) and Adam Putnam (R) will explain their views on Social Security and what they believe can be done to protect it for our generation. Dr. Susan MacManus, an expert political commentator and distinguished professor at the University of South Florida, will be the moderator for the evening and will make sure our most important questions are answered. This event will be an excellent opportunity to interact with some of the key players in the Social Security debate and beyond.

Visit the Emerge Tampa site for more details and to register online.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Join EMERGE for Light the Night Walk - August 16, 2005

A message from Jenn Lyons of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society:

Light The Night Walk is a beautiful community event The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society holds each year during Leukemia, Lymphoma & Myeloma Awareness Month. Light the Night Walk will be held Tuesday, September 27th at Munn Park in downtown Lakeland.

This event combines the fun of an outdoor festival in the park with food, live bands, a rock climbing wall and much more, and an opportunity to honor those in Central Florida that have been touched by blood cancer. It also is an opportunity for us to raise much needed funding for research and patient service programs.

Did you know that leukemia is still the leading cause of disease related death in children under the age of 20? And every 5 minutes another person is diagnosed with leukemia, Hodgkin or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or myeloma. In this day and age, even with all the advances we have made in the last 20 years, those numbers are simply unacceptable!

The evening ends with a walk (less than 2 miles) in which everyone carries an illuminated balloon. Participants carry red balloons while patients carry a white balloon. It is truly a moving event that brings awareness to the community and makes a difference in the lives of our patients and their families.

We are looking for local organizations, business' and people who live in the community to come together and form teams that will commit to supporting our mission. We already have commitment from business' like Center for Cancer Care and Research, Webster University, YMCA of West Central Florida, and Geico to help us raise funds for a cure. Persons interested in more information or wanting to register for the Walk can contact Jenn Lyons at our office at 407-898-0733/1-800-785-0733 or by email at Or visit our website at With your help, for one night, hope won't just flicker, it will float!

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Victory Church's 2005 Community Festival and Auction - August 15, 2005

EMERGE Member Morgan Dobbs wanted to pass along some information about the upcoming Victory Church's 2005 Community Festival and Auction on Saturday, October 1, 2005. The event starts at 7 a.m. with the yard sale, the auction starts at 9 a.m.

In the last 2 festivals Victory Church has raised over $500,000, with ALL net proceeds going back into community charity organizations. The organizations benefiting this year are:

A.L.S. Association of Florida
American Red Cross of Polk County
Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Lakeland
First Tee
Florida Baptist Children's Home
Freedom Center of Lakeland
Lighthouse Ministries
Outreach Center of Polk County
Parker Street Ministries
Salvation Army
Talbot House Ministries
Teen Challenge of Lakeland
VISTE (Volunteers in Service to the Elderly)
Watson Clinic Cancer Center

Members of Emerge can help out in several ways:

1. Give money towards the event as an individual or through their place of employment.
2. Donate items of a $200 value for the auction and silent auction
3. Simply come to the festival on October 1st from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Checks can be made payable to "Community Foundation of Greater Lakeland" or "Victory Church." Designate: Judy Dobbs Community Festival & Auction

For more information, please call Emerge member, Morgan Dobbs, at 838-8478 or 802-1222.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Pack The Bar/ Relay for Life - July 19, 2005

We did a great job "packing the bar" which had an excellenet turn out. With food and drinks what more could Emerge members need? We saw a lot of new members turn out and sign up and some old members who had not made previous events. I know we even had 2 new members who moved here recently from Buffalo, New York and a group of new members from Florida Southern's Athletic Department.

EMERGE - Pack the Bar Social

Eunice, an Emerge member who works for the The American Cancer Society discussed the upcoming Relay for Life fundraiser to be held on March 25. Relay For Life is the national signature activity of the American Cancer Society. There are numerous ways to get involved with Relay. Putting a team together and serving as its captain; joining a team; walking the opening lap if you are a cancer survivor; working on the organizational committee; being a corporate sponsor; being a volunteer for a few hours during the event ... there is some way for everyone to take up the fight through Relay For Life.

EMERGE - Pack the Bar Social

To learn more contact Jennifer at the American Cancern Society at 688-2326 or email Many of our Emerge members have participated in the Relay previously. If you're interested in becoming part of an Emerge team post a Blog here or send an email to

More event photos can be found here.

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Posted by Michael Wiener

Ron White Coming to the Lakeland Center - July 7, 2005

Comedian Ron White is scheduled to appear at the Lakeland Center on Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7, 2005. The Friday show is already sold-out, so the Thursday night show has been added. Tickets go on sale this Friday (July 8th) at noon.

Ron 'Tater Salad' White was part of the famous Blue Collar Comedy Tour and is my favorite of the four 'blue collar boys'.

Anybody else planning on going?

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Friday Night with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays - June 21, 2005

This Friday June 24th is 'Young Professionals Night' at Tropicana Field. Enjoy a Tampa Bay Devil Rays game with members of EMERGE Tampa, Manatee Young Professionals and the Young Professionals Group of the Sarasota Chamber. This event is a great opportunity to meet other young professionals outside the Lakeland area.

Tickets are only $10 for the 'Beach' section. The game starts at 7:15pm at Tropicana Field and should last about 3 hours.

Now comes the important part: Contact Rays Representative Barry Jones at (727) 825-3123, or e-mail for the special ticket price. This offer is NOT available through Tropicana Field Box Offices, Devil Rays Dugout Store or Ticketmaster. No refunds or exchanges-- Subject to availability.

If you are interested in going contact Barry for tickets and leave a comment below.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Recap of Lake Mirror Tower Event - June 14, 2005

Last week we had a great crowd come out to see the new Lake Mirror Tower for our June event. The Tower graciously hosted over 80 EMERGE members and guests, which comprises our largest attendance at a monthly event to date.

EMERGE Lakeland at Lake Mirror Tower

The evening began with a networking game and then we heard from Jim Malless, President of Historic Lakeland (pictured below). He gave a great in depth presentation on the history of the project, as well as the adjacent Promenade, and also took us through a timeline of Historic Lakeland dating back from the 1920's to the present.

Lakeland Historic Society

Next, two of the Lake Mirror Tower hosts conducted tours of the building and then everyone gathered back in the common area for some raffle drawings.

The Tower has been restored back to its original grandeur and is certainly a prominent component in our downtown area. They are still leasing apartments so anyone who is looking to move to a great location and setting should definitely visit and check it out.

More photos can be found on Flickr.

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Posted by Angie Register

City of Lakeland 4th of July Plans - June 13, 2005

The City of Lakeland will host Red, White & Kaboom on July 1, 2005 as part of a weekend celebrating independence and freedom with a fireworks display over Lake Mirror as the highlight of the evening.

Red, White & Kaboom will take place at Lake Mirror and downtown Lakeland from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m. The evening will include entertainment from jazz saxophonist, Eric Darius and his quartet at the Lake Mirror Amphitheatre. Downtown streets will be filled with military vehicles, a car show and displays representing City of Lakeland Departments. A Karaoke contest in Munn Park and bucket truck rides are among the many attractions. Downtown shops and restaurants will remain open until 9:00 p.m. as part of First Friday.

Joker Marchant Stadium will also host a fireworks display on July 4th as part of an afternoon celebration that starts with a Lakeland Tigers baseball game and ends with fireworks at 9 p.m.

Eric "Smooth Breeze" Darius will take the stage at Lake Mirror on July 1st during Red, White & Kaboom at 6 p.m. His popular jazz quartet will play three sets of music ending at 9 p.m. to an awesome fireworks display over Lake Mirror.

Downtown shops and restaurants will remain open and downtown streets will be filled with activity including military vehicles, City displays, a classic car show and entertainment. Food and drink vendors will be located along Lake Mirror so family and friends are invited to arrive early for a complete evening of music, fireworks and more.

Any EMERGE members thinking about going?

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Agenda for June Event- Lake Mirror Tower - June 1, 2005

Below is the agenda for our next event at the new Lake Mirror Tower Apartment Complex. The Tower is located at 103 S. Massachusetts Ave. Lakeland, FL.

You may RSVP here.

5:30 p.m.- Arrival, Begin Networking Activity
6:00- Announcements, Presentation from Jim Malless, President of Historic Lakeland
6:15- Tour of Tower, conducted by Cheryl Meehan
6:45- Regroup for Raffle Drawings and Prizes
After the event, everyone is welcome to join the EMERGE steering committee at The Terrace for drinks, dinner, etc.

There is parking onsite at the Lake Mirror Tower garage. The lower level can be utilized. Once this is full, please park at the Main Street Downtown Lakeland garage and walk across Massachusetts Ave. to the Tower.

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Posted by Angie Register

ReCap of May Event- The Salvation Army - May 18, 2005

Last night, we had a nice group visit the Salvation Army Center of Hope facility. A tour of the facility was given and then EMERGE members participated in serving the clients of the Salvation Army dinner. There was great discussion and questions asked by our group and we learned some of the needs of the Salvation Army.

They include volunteers, the adoption of an aparment in their transitional living facility, and the donation of playground equipment that meets their safety requirements. With the adoption of a transitional living apartment, you would basically furnish it with linens, towels, kitchen utensils, pretty things to make it feel like home, and cooking “stuff” for the new families who come in. The families can live there for 2 years, and are able take everything with them when they leave to help them get set up on their own.

One of the highlights of the evening came when we had a personal testimony from one of our EMERGE members who has a cousin who is living in the Salvation Army’s transitional living center, and how the experience had really been a blessing. It was great to hear a firsthand account of the impact that the Salvation Army has had on our community.

I know the Salvation Army was very appreciative of our coming to learn more about their organization and interacting with their clients. Thanks to everyone who attended the event!

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Posted by Angie Register

Agenda for Salvation Army Meeting - May 4, 2005

Listed below is the agenda for the May 17th event at the Salvation Army Center for Hope Transitional Living Facility located at 830 N. Massachusetts Avenue. You may RSVP here.

5:00 - 5:10
Meet & Greet

5:15 - 5:30
Presentation of Salvation Army Staff
Susan Hurlburt, Business Administrator
Cauney Boydston, United Way of Central Florida Marketing Director

5:30 - 6:30
Serve dinner to residents


Due to limited parking we recommend car-pooling. Additional parking available on Kentucky Avenue/Plum Street & Michael Holley's KIA dealership on Massachusetts.

Please enter the facility thru the parking lot entrance, not the Massachusetts entrance.

Registration tables, sponsor tables, volunteer opportunity tables will be on site.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Structure of Emerge and the Steering Committee - April 19, 2005

Kim and I wanted to take an opportunity to explain to everyone the structure of our group and the steering committee. As you know, Emerge is a United Way and Lakeland Chamber partnership and Emerge began with various representation from each side. We joined together to create our steering committee early last year.

The Steering Committee includes Angie and Kim as Co-Chairs, Carolyn Jackson and Ileana San Martin are Chamber staff liasons, Cauney Boydston is the United Way staff liason, Brian Altman is the Board liason for United Way, Angie is the Chamber Board liason, and Patrick Fagan is in charge of Member Relations for Emerge. In 2006, Angie will roll off as Co-Chair and Patrick will come on board as a Chair. We will then select a new Member Relations representative and that person will roll on as a Chair the next year. All of us make up what we call our Core Committee.

Additionally, we have other members who round out the remainder of the Steering Committee and they represent a variety of backgrounds and professions. One of our main goals is diversity and inclusion on our committee and we have worked hard to assemble a group which represents all facets of the community. The steering committee terms are for two years and each year, there will be new ones joining as well as people rolling off, but at all times there will be old mixed with new so that we stay consistent.

As a Steering Committee, we meet monthly for an hour. In the beginning we met twice monthly and throughout our time together, the committee has been charged with selecting a name and logo for our group, creating our mission and laying out the basics of our structure, as well as event planning, communications, forming partnerships with our sponsors and community supporters, encouraging membership, and creating our website.

Each steering committee member has also selected a monthly event that they are in essence responsible for in terms of planning, etc. Stay tuned for the next installment of this post- I will discuss our Events and how our Emerge members can get involved in helping the Steering Committee! The third installment of this post will discuss our strategic planning and some ideas that we have for 2006, so please stay tuned to the blog for more information!

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Posted by Angie Register

Impromptu Events - April 18, 2005

As you can see by the events section, EMERGE has a regularly schedule event each month. In addition to these events we are going to start having some impromptu events. By this I mean get-togethers of EMERGE members in a variety of settings at other times during the month.

Later this month some of us are going to meet at Molly's in downtown Lakeland on Thursday, April 28th right after work. Now I know that planning this a few weeks in advance does not have an impromptu feel, but we need to start somewhere. Interested in coming? Post a comment below or e-mail me. As the date draws closer I will post more details.

If you and some other EMERGE members are planning on getting together sometime let us know and we can help get the word out. This could be planning a group dinner after an EMERGE event, or perhaps getting a group to run the Mayfaire 5K. All you need to do is e-mail:

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Posted by Josh Hallett

PMOA Recap - April 18, 2005

EMERGE Lakeland at the Polk Museum of ArtA big thanks to all the EMERGE Lakeland members who were able to attend the event last Thursday night at the Polk Museum of Art. I have post a few photos from the on Flickr. I was able to meet quite a few members that I had not talked to before.

In June our event will be a tour of the Lake Mirror Tower, but I found out at the PMOA event that we have an EMERGE member that is already living in in the Tower. She is one of the first dozen or so to live in downtown Lakeland.

Any issues with living downtown? Parking.

The next scheduled member event is Cocktails with the Commodore. Come join Lakeland Yacht & Country Club Commodore, Ron Clark, for a special evening. Ron Clark was one of the original community leaders who helped start EMERGE Lakeland. Ron was also our first 'Guest Blogger' and is an all-around nice guy.

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Posted by Josh Hallett

Polk Museum Event Today 5:30 p.m. - April 14, 2005

We are looking forward to seeing you tonight at the Polk Museum event. We are very excited about this one in terms of location, activities, and the music and food. It will be a great time, so please join us even if you have not RSVP'd!

Our next event, Cocktails with the Commodore, at the Lakeland Yacht and Country Club is free for members to attend, so we hope you can come to this one, too, on Tuesday April 26th at 5:30 p.m.

If you have any questions about any of our events, please e-mail anyone on the steering committee or post a comment. Thanks!

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Posted by Angie Register

Welcome to the Emerge Website - April 5, 2005

As the Co-Chairs of Emerge, we would like to welcome you to the Emerge website. We are very excited to have the website officially up and running. The creation of a website was a key area of concern for us when we initially formed Emerge. We wanted our members and guests to have quick access to information concerning Emerge as well as a forum to communicate online with other Emerge members and guests.

We encourage you to visit the site frequently and participate and post your comments in the blog. And, please send the URL address to your friends and spread the word about Emerge Lakeland!

Angie and Kim

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Posted by Angie Register

*All blog posts and comments are the opinions of the blog author or comment poster and do not necessarily represent the views of EMERGE Lakeland.

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