Local awards and fundraising


Randa Richter receives recognition from the sheriff

Director of Humanitarian Programs and Public Media, SPCA Florida Randa Richter was recognized by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office for her dedication and concern for Polk County animals, and for her support and commitment to Polk County Animal Control. SPCA Florida is committed to helping Polk County Animal Control reduce euthanasia, transfer animals to SPCA Florida for medical care and adopt them, and achieve the 2025 No Kill Polk County Initiative goal. Richter is an 11-year veteran with SPCA Florida. To learn more about SPCA Florida programs, animal adoption and the public medical hospital, visit www.spcaflorida.org or call 863-577-4600.

First Friday Children’s Support Group

the First Friday Children’s Support Group received a $5,000 grant from the GiveWell Community Foundation through an Impact Polk grant from the George W. Jenkins Fund to support the First Friday Kids Support Group weekend backpack program. Each school year, the group purchases and provides weekend food backpacks to qualified students at Davenport School of The Arts and CODE Academy. Since 2013, the First Friday Kids Support group has provided more than 13,000 weekend backpacks for children in Polk County. The organization raises funds through bingo events, raffles, coin drives, direct financial support, grants and in-kind donations from individuals and businesses. First Friday Kids Support Group is a 501-3C tax-deductible organization. Contact Vince Edlebeck at 407-873-1918 or [email protected]

The Garden Club awards scholarships

The Lakeland Garden Club held its annual awards luncheon at Grasslands Golf & Country Club on April 6, attended by 63 members and guests. The club presented three students from Malcolm Manners, Ph.D., from Florida Southern College with a scholarship of $500 each to help them further their education in the field of horticulture. The students were: Mollie Tew by Kathleen, Dylan Hacker from Punta Gorda and Abigail Lillibridge from Myaka.

Pictured is one of SouthState Bank's foursome team, left to right, Matthew Vegter, Bryan Klepper, Mike Stiles and David Dube.

Tournament of the Heart for Winter Haven

On April 4, 110 golfers gathered for the Seventh Annual Heart for Winter Haven Golf Tournament, presented by Southern State Bank, at the Winter Haven Country Club. This event is held each spring to benefit Heart for Winter Haven, a local 501(c)(3) that exists to build community among all sectors of the city (churches, businesses, nonprofits and community leaders). city) to reduce poverty in all its forms. Thanks to the support of many people, the goal of raising $50,000 was reached.

Nicole Sealey, Vice President of Education, Lake Wales Heritage;  Robert Connors, Chairman, Lake Wales Heritage;  David Dlugokecki, CEO of Dyer;  and Mary Walkup, Treasurer of Lake Wales Heritage, left to right.

Dyer Difference Award

On April 30, Olmsted Day in the Park will be held to commemorate what would have been the 200th birthday of architect Frederick Law Olmsted. At the end of 1929, Olmsted and Edward Bok designed a master plan for Lake Wales, with plans to include small parks, lots of trees and a place to walk around the town centre. Lake Wales Heritage is working to replant some of the thousands of trees included in Olmsted’s original plan for Lake Wales. The April Dyer Difference Prize will help fund the replanting of 34 Magnolia grandiflora trees on Lakeshore Boulevard. Each month, members of the Dyer family and the Dyer Kia and Dyer Chevrolet team select a non-profit organization to receive recognition of the month and a $3,000 prize. To nominate a Polk County nonprofit for the Dyer Difference Award, visit www.dyerdifference.org.

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