Monday, September 14, 2015

Polk County’s Only Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Fun Run Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Lake Mirror Promenade

Polk County’s Only Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Fun Run
Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Lake Mirror Promenade

Polk County, FL –Building on InnerAct Alliance’s successful 20+ years of momentum in presenting one of the largest Red Ribbon Campaigns in the state, the popular Red Ribbon tradition continues with Polk County’s Only Half Marathon, 5K & Fun Run on Saturday, November 7, 2015 in support of bullying and   substance abuse prevention, and in honor of our community’s many heroes.

The Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K & Fun Run, presented by Title Sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc. and event partner MidFlorida Credit Union, is a Family Weekend where parents can compete in the Half Marathon or 5K, and children can participate in the Kids Fun Run. The scenic run course will take place along picturesque Lake Mirror and Lakeland’s beautiful downtown and Lake to Lake area.  Early registration at is encouraged! Start time for the Half Marathon is 7:00 a.m., and the 5K begins at 7:30 a.m. Check-in will begin at 6:00 a.m. for both races.

A Kids Fun Run for students in grades K-8 begins at 8:00 a.m. Registration for the Fun Run is FREE and includes a commemorative Run t-shirt for pre-registered participants and free refreshments. Registration check-in will take place at the Lake Mirror Auditorium, at 7:00 a.m. The Fun Run will start and finish at Lake Mirror Promenade, 121 S. Lake Ave., in Lakeland, and follow a route that loops around Lake Mirror. Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place runners in gender categories, and to the top 3 elementary schools and top middle school with the largest percentage of participating students, based on school census.

New this year, we have added a Red Ribbon Virtual Race to track training efforts for the Half Marathon and 5K. Virtual race profiles can be created at and your Garmin, Runkeeper, or Fitbit can be connected to automate workouts. Cost is just $50 and participants receive a Red Ribbon Hero Nation t-shirt.

We are excited about a new partnership with the Polk County Veterans Council that includes the Annual Veterans Day Parade in event festivities. The parade will end at the Lake Mirror Promenade at the conclusion of the day’s races with lots of red, white and blue events to honor our heroes, including a fly over presented by Draken International! Visit (under race registration – race store tab) to preorder a delicious family lunch of a BBQ sandwich, chips and a drink for just $6 or 2 for $10, provided by Jimbo’s Pit BarBQ. Kids’ meals are also available.

For additional details and event info, please contact InnerAct Alliance’s executive director, Angie Ellison, at (863) 802-0777. Info is also available at the official event website at:, on Twitter at: and Facebook:

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day - Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Polk County, FL – StandUP Polk and local law enforcement agencies are proud to join The Drug Enforcement Administration and its national and community partners for National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 26, 2015, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, for citizens to dispose of all unwanted, unneeded, and expired medications in a safe manner.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a vital public safety and public health issue.  Many Americans are not aware that medicines in home cabinets are highly susceptible to misuse, and abuse. Studies show that many are obtained from the home medicine cabinet of family and friends. In addition, many people do not know how to properly dispose of unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

Our community’s Prescription Drug Take-Back Day will include 6 locations in Polk County for citizens to turn in unused, expired, or unwanted Human and Pet Medications, including over the counter medications, vitamins, and other medication in liquid and solid form, for safe and proper disposal. Medications should be placed in a clear, air-tight plastic bag.  

Drop-off locations from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm are:

Auburndale Police Department – 2 Bobby Green Plaza, Auburndale, FL
Haines City Police Department – 35400 Highway 27, Haines City, FL
Lake Alfred Police Department – 190 North Seminole Avenue, Lake Alfred, FL
Lake Wales Police Department
- 133 East Tillman Avenue, Lake Wales, FL
Lakeland Police Department – 219 N. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL
Winter Haven Police Department – 125 North Lake Silver Drive NW, Winter Haven, FL

Unwanted medications, excluding those in liquid form, may also be taken to the county’s permanent drop site locations at the Police Department locations in Auburndale, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Lakeland and Winter Haven. Additionally, medications may be safely disposed of at home by dissolving them in water, mixing with coffee grounds or cat litter, pouring into a zip lock bag, and disposing in the trash. To avoid harming lakes and ground water, please do not dump medications into the toilet.

Previous medication collections held in Polk County since 2010 have resulted in over 6,500 pounds of recovered pharmaceuticals safely disposed of via incineration.  For more information on the local Prescription Drug Take-Back event, please contact StandUP Polk at (863) 802-0777.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

UthMpact Business Etiquette Dinner Held on September 9, 2015

UthMpact Business Etiquette Dinner
September 9, 2015 

Polk County, FL - Students participating in the 2015-2016 UthMpact Leadership Class V attended a special Business Etiquette Dinner on Wednesday evening, September 9, 2015, at Grasslands Golf & Country Club.  The event was presented by UthMpact and sponsored by Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association.

The new UthMpact leaders, who represent almost every high school in the county, had an opportunity to network with representatives of the Leadership Lakeland Alumni, while practicing proper dinner and business etiquette and enjoying a delicious five-course meal. Special presentations during the evening were lead by Chrisanne Long, of Lakeland Business Leaders and Maximize Digital Media, and Jeanne Hebert, of Executives Etiquette.

UthMpact is the dynamic coalition of teen leaders committed to helping educate and deliver key substance abuse prevention messages to teens by their peers. The Leadership Program, spearheaded by InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk Coalition, UthMpact Coalition, and key business and community partners, is designed to help teens develop crucial leadership skills and entails a two-day summer retreat; six Leadership Days spent traveling throughout the community; as well as participation in dozens of events and volunteer opportunities throughout the year.

We are proud of the nearly 125 students representing almost every high school in the county who have been enriched by this program in its five years of existence. The group’s most prominent project has been its social-norms program that has impacted students in 8 area high schools with important messages about bullying, distracted driving, tobacco, marijuana, alcohol, and prescription drugs.

For additional information on the UthMpact Leadership Program, please call Emily Plank or Samantha Barwig at (863) 802-0777. We invite interested teens to attend UthMpact’s monthly meetings held on the first Wednesday of each month at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office on Jim Keene Blvd. in Winter Haven, FL. Please visit the UthMpact website at, on Facebook at, and on Twitter at