Weekly good news roundup from around Polk County.

Martinez awarded Leadership Lakeland scholarship


The Leadership Lakeland Alumni Association recently honored Francheska Martinez, a graduate of Polk State Collegiate High School, with the Leadership Lakeland Legacy Scholarship. The organization gives this $1,500 scholarship annually to a deserving high school student through the Polk Education Foundation. Francheska's outstanding academics, leadership and service to her community earned her this award. She will attend the University of South Florida in the fall majoring in psychology and biological sciences.


Zeta Phi Sorority names executive board


The Zeta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Phi Zeta Chapter Polk County Executive Board for 2020-2021 includes far left, Jacquelyn Bobb, president; top left to right, Priscilla Copeland, first vice president; Erica Gardner, second vice president; Brandy Davis, third vice president; Cateka Brown, treasurer; bottom left to right, Jatericka Connelly, secretary; Denise Simon, financial secretary; Samelia Davis, parliamentarian; Martha Holley, chaplain; and Valda Davis, historian. Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated, founded Jan. 16, 1920, began as an idea conceived by five coeds at Howard University in Washington D.C.: Arizona Cleaver Stemons, Pearl Anna Neal, Myrtle Tyler Faithful, Viola Tyler Goings and Fannie Pettie Watts. These five women, also known as our Five Pearls, dared to depart from the traditional coalitions for black women and sought to establish a new organization predicated on the precepts of scholarship, service, sisterhood and finer womanhood. A community-conscious, action-oriented organization, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated was founded on the simple belief that sorority elitism and socializing should not overshadow the real mission for progressive organizations - to address societal mores, ills, prejudices, poverty and health concerns of the day. Zeta Phi Sorority, Incorporated, Gamma Phi Zeta Chapter is the first black Greek letter organization in Polk County chartered in 1948 and has carried out the goals set by Sorority as the Graduate Chapter. The members assist by providing scholarships to graduating high school seniors for more than 30 years; serving the community through the initiative "Zetas Helping Other Excel" (ZHOPE) with Adopt A School, Elder Care, Prematurity Awareness, Breast Cancer Awareness, March for Babies and Wigs for Awareness; honoring Women of Excellence as Finer Womanhood focus and by demonstrating sisterly love for the Sisterhood. For more information, contact: gpzpresident@gmail.com, P.O. Box 8204, Lakeland, FL 33802, 863-521-5206.


SPCA Florida receives COVID-19 grant


SPCA Florida was awarded $15,000 from PetSmart Charities for the COVID-19 pandemic impact in Polk County. With this grant, SPCA Florida will help preserve the bond between pets and their families by providing support to at-risk pets in Polk County communities impacted by COVID-19. Funds will be used for supplies, food, sheltering, transport and medical treatment. 863-577-4600.


SPCA Florida Tri-Mega adoption event a success


SPCA Florida's Tri-Mega Adoption Event on July 18 at SPCA Florida, Polk County Animal Control, and Humane Society of Polk County was a huge success. Two hundred sixteen animals found their forever homes. With an adoption fee of $20, many families were able to give a pet a new home and a new life. All animals were spayed/neutered, microchipped, and up to date on vaccinations. SPCA Florida partnered with Polk County Animal Control and Humane Society of Polk County to bring Polk County’s homeless animals together for this event. Animals were available for adoption at each shelter. Sponsors were Geico Philanthropic Foundation, Publix Super Markets Charities, Dan Fling and Cat Depot. Ala-Cart Golf Carts, Stadium Pizza, Claudia Kersey, Chappy’s Dog House, Mobile Mini also participated. 863-577-4600.


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