YOUR GOOD NEWS
Happy birthday late to Lloyd Van Horn who turned 103 on June 25. Happy birthday to Dotridge “Doc” Fisher who will be 73 on June 30.
Girl Scouts take care of the ‘McButterfly Garden’
For a year, the Polk Pollinator Protectors of West Central Florida Girl Scout Troop 75115 took charge of the project to take care of “The McButterfly Garden” located at McDonalds on Pope Avenue in Winter Haven. This group of girls and parents come together every month to plant flowers, weed, water, and learn about Polk’s pollinators. On the second Saturday morning of each month, the girls begin their butterfly time by taking a moment to write in their nature journals to record the weather conditions, the water gauge reading and what they see, hear, smell and feel. The Girl Scouts also made stepping stones which are now part of a walking path through the garden.
Three recognized as Legends of the Kiwanis Club
the Lakeland Kiwanis Club recognized David Bunch, Jacques Verplanck and GF Sunny Zimmermann III as Kiwanis Legends on June 18 at a luncheon at the Lakeland Country Club. The three have all been members for over 50 years and have made an impact in the club and the community. Bunch has been a Kiwanian for 56 years, joining March 9, 1965. He has spent much of his career in real estate and development, specializing in land assembly. Bunch has served on several boards of directors of community service organizations including the Salvation Army, First United Methodist Church, Day Without Disabilities, and often hosts the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s Ball at his ranch. He currently serves on the board of directors of Bonnet Springs Park and oversees the development of the park, which is slated to open in the fall.
Verplanck has been a Kiwanian for 51 years, he joined on February 10, 1970. He is a Distinguished Past President of Kiwanis. He spent 30 years as the Director of Community Development for the Town of Lakeland, starting in 1970. He then served as the Town of Lakeland Commissioner from 2000 to 2009. His community service includes the Presidency of Lakeland Sister Cities International, board member for Sun-N-Fun Fly-In, Central Florida Speech and Hearing and Harrison School for the Arts.
Zimmermann has also been a board member for 51 years, joining on January 13, 1970, and is a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Lakeland. He is President of Zimmerman Associates and is a Certified General Contractor, Interior Designer and Space Architect and Certified Real Estate Broker. Her community service includes working with First United Methodist. He has also been a member of Central Florida Speech and Hearing, Volunteers in Service to the Elderly, Habitat for Humanity, Civil Service Board, Polk Theater Restoration, and The Salvation Army.
Betsye Kay Finch Foundation for the Performing Arts
Rachael Renée Gomez, singer, dancer, musician and 2021 graduate of the Harrison School for the Arts, received the second annual scholarship of $ 1,500 from the Betsye Kay Finch Foundation for the Performing Arts. More than 40 friends, relatives and foundation members attended the awards ceremony on June 10 at Hollis Garden in Lakeland. In his scholarship essay, Gomez, 18, of Plant City, said his passion for music was sparked early on by his music-loving family. At Harrison’s, she has appeared in many musicals including “Oklahoma!” and also in “Hairspray” and “Ring of Fire” by the Lakeland Community Theater. Gomez will begin at Belmont University in Nashville this fall to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater. The Betsye Kay Finch Performing Arts Foundation offers scholarships to high school students in Polk County who dream of a career in musical theater and / or dance. Betsye Kay Finch, the Foundation’s namesake, was a jazz, tap and ballet dancer. Alexis Rocker, Finch’s daughter, started the foundation in 2019.
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