Wednesday, June 13, 2018

School’s Out – Make It A Safe & Enjoyable Summer!

School’s Out – Make It A Safe & Enjoyable Summer!

Everyone loves summer – especially teens as they celebrate their accomplishments during the school year and look forward to enjoying relaxing days and fun activities with friends and family. But since teens also tend to spend more time unsupervised during the summer months, it is an especially important time for parents to set clear expectations about behavior and help teens make smart decisions to stay safe and avoid risky situations.
 Did you know that…

On an average summer day, over 11,000 adolescents between ages 12-17 try alcohol for the first time and about 5,000 teens report first time cigarette use. More than 4,500 teens start using marijuana during June and July.
An average of 10 teens between ages 16-19 die in car accidents each day between Memorial Day and Labor Day, a period known as the 100 Deadliest Days for teens on the road.
Teens who drink and use drugs are more inclined to have unprotected sex and are more susceptible to addiction when they begin using before age 21.
Good News is that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports 80% of children credit their parents as the biggest influence in their decisions about drinking and drugs. Open family communication helps teens understand the dangers of alcohol and substance abuse and reassures them that they can still have fun while staying out of harm’s way.
How Can Parents Help Teens Stay Healthy & Positive During Summer?
Talk About Alcohol/Substance Abuse Early and Often – An average child may try alcohol for the first time by age 11, so start conversations early in your child’s life to establish ongoing communication as they grow older. Short, frequent talks are often more effective than having one big talk.
Set Reasonable Limits – Establishing boundaries is important especially during the summer when teens have more time on their hands. This may include agreed-upon limits on curfew, technology use, chores, use of the car, rules on having friends over, etc. 
Check-In and Be Aware – Know what your kids are doing and who they will be spending time with. Have teens check in often about where they will be and what their plans are.
Spend Time Together as a Family – Planned vacations are great, but so are day trips together to a local pool, waterpark, or museum.
Summer is a great time to re-connect with your children and strengthen family bonds after the busy routine of the school year. Please stay safe and have a wonderful summer!

New Changes for the 2018 RED RIBBON HALF MARATHON, 5K & KIDS RUN Saturday, November 10th

New Changes for the
2018 RED
Saturday, November 10

The countdown to race day is on! Register now for the Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K & Kids Fun Run on Saturday, November 10, 2018 around the picturesque Lake Mirror and Lakeland’s beautiful downtown and lake to lake area!  

Start Time
  6:30 am for Half Marathon
  7:00 am for 5K
8:00 am for Kids Fun Run

Lake Mirror Promenade at 121 S. Lake Avenue, Lakeland

Early Registration is Encouraged at

The Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K & Fun Run, presented by Title Sponsor Publix Super Markets, Inc., InnerAct Alliance, and Kids Run partner MidFlorida Credit Union, is a Family Event where adults can compete in the Half Marathon or 5K, and K-8 students can participate in the Kids Fun Run, all in support of bullying and substance abuse prevention. See information on the following page about our exciting new Course Route!

The Kids Fun Run begins at 8:00 a.m. with check-in at 7:00 a.m. at the Lake Mirror Auditorium. The Fun Run is FREE for K-8 students who pre-register before November 1st ($5 fee after 11/1/18) and includes a commemorative Run t-shirt and free refreshments. The Kids Run will start and finish at Lake Mirror Promenade and follow a route 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. The private school with the highest percentage of participation will receive a trophy. Registration and info are available at

2018 Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Fun Run News

2018 Red Ribbon Half Marathon, 5K and Kids Fun Run News

This Year’s New & Improved Course!

The Half Marathon will begin at the Lake Mirror Complex just east of downtown Lakeland.  Along the course you will encounter some of Lakeland’s beautiful lakes.  Twice you will pass Florida Southern College, home to the World's largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.  Just south of Lake Hollingsworth, you will run along the palm tree lined Cleveland Heights Blvd.  The southern portion of the course offers rolling hills through some of Lakeland’s scenic neighborhoods.  On the last portion of the course, you will pass three lakes before a quick jaunt through downtown to the finish line at Lake Mirror.

The Red Ribbon Half Marathon Course and Distance has been officially certified by the Road Running Technical Council – USA Track & Field. Certification Code #FL16038TY.

For more info visit:

Congratulations to 2018-2019 InnerAct Alliance Board Members

Congratulations to 2018-2019 InnerAct Alliance Board Members

InnerAct Alliance held its Annual Board of Directors Planning Retreat on Monday, June 11th at The Village Inn’s Community Room in Lakeland to accomplish long-range planning for the agency’s programs and services.  

Congratulations to 2018-2019 Board Members:  

Executive Committee - Hazel Sellers, Past President; Jeanette Crowley, President; Lesley Corban, Vice President; Willie Mincey, 2nd Vice President; Ginny Wolfe, Treasurer; Lori Edwards, Secretary; Dub Palmore, Member At Large. 

Board of Directors - Sgt. Sean Finney, Brandon Flynn, Captain Ken Hall, Karen King, Misty Peacock, LuAnne Sadowsky, Catherine Simon, Danielle Springfels, Lori Winstead.


Exciting Community News Coming Soon!

InnerAct Alliance and our coalition partner, StandUP Polk, are excited about a new substance abuse prevention education project designed to help parents of teens recognize clues that could signal potential involvement in drugs and other risky behaviors visible in plain sight or easily concealed in everyday items in their teen’s room. 

Even though most of our kids are doing the right thing, there are signs to watch for to know that they may be headed in the wrong direction. Correcting risky behaviors early is the key to successful Prevention!

Own The Upside is a campaign formed by the Coalition Partnership of Hardee, Highlands, and Polk Counties to help prevent harm and promote health, especially for our youth. We hope to be able to share this exciting new resource with parents of teens in our community very soon!

Exciting Plans Ahead for the 2018-2019 UthMpact Leadership Class VIII

Exciting Plans Ahead for 2018-2019UthMpact Leadership Class VIII

Students from Polk County high schools have been nominated by their school principals and community members to participate in the 2018-2019 UthMpact Leadership Class VIII. This unique program, spearheaded by InnerAct Alliance, StandUP Polk, UthMpact, business and community partners, helps teens develop crucial leadership skills.

On June 4-6, 2018, the UthMpact Executive Board headed down to Anna Maria Island for a fun and intensive training retreat. Students learned how to run a professional meeting, perfect their public speaking skills, and began planning UthMpact Leadership Class VIII activities for the coming year.

Students will attend a DiSC Profile Training and Etiquette Dinner this summer. Beginning in September, the youth leaders will travel throughout the county once a month to experience the inner workings of local business, government, healthcare, education, and law enforcement. The teens will meet with influential leaders to discuss challenges faced in the community and suggest proactive solutions. Good luck to our new UthMpact Student Leaders!    

All the Best to 2017-2018 UthMpact Leadership Class VII Graduates

All the Best to 2017-2018 UthMpact Leadership Class VII Graduates

InnerAct Alliance was proud to graduate 30 student participants who completed the year-long UthMpact Leadership Class VII Program in 2017-2018. We are proud of our UthMpact students for being outstanding leaders at their respective schools. We wish you good luck and thank you for your service.

Makenna Adamson from McKeel Academy High School  
Jack Aranda from George Jenkins High School     
Mackenzie Aranda from Harrison School for the Arts       
Kaitlyn Brown from Lakeland High School             
Kasandra Correa from Haines City High IB           
Alexander Cortez from Haines City High School  
Magelee Delgado from Discovery High School    
Lane Edelson from Bartow IB     
Kelsey Elmhorst from McKeel Academy High School       
Jeremiah Feddeler from Harrison School for the Arts       
William Garcia from All Saints Academy
Chayil Garnett from Lake Wales High School        
Soteria Garnett from Lake Wales High School     
Cameron Glenn from Central Florida Aerospace Academy       
Chloe Heminger from Winter Haven High School
Peter Hussey from Polk Collegiate
Shanaya Jaitly from Bartow IB
Craig Massey from Summerlin Academy
Emma Massey from Homeschool
Julia Norman from Lakeland High School
Gabriela Olivera from Lakeland High School
Joey Penas from Bartow IB
Megan Pieske from Harrison School for the ArtsOlivia Schneider from Haines City High IBDonnia Skipper from Lake Region High School
J'Ann Sorhaindo from Lake Gibson High School
Ruben Suarez from Fort Meade High School
Isabella Wallace from Summerlin Academy
Wyatt Wilkinson from Winter Haven High School
Joshua Wingo from Polk Collegiate