First Friday Art Stroll

Begins August 5

The shops of Central and Summerlin presents “First Friday Art Stroll,” with its debut on Friday, August 5, 2011, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., to be held in downtown Bartow on Central Avenue and Summerlin Street.

The stroll will feature arts, crafts, music and food; and local shops will be open late. The event is sponsored by Main Street Bartow; Peace River Center Thrift Store; Tay-cho, An Art Gallery; Parker Place; The Doggie Bag; and 5-star Skate Shop.

For more information, contact Main Street Bartow at (863) 519-0508.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hotrods & Hogs Poker Run

To Benefit Women’s Care Center

SAVE THE DATE for the Hotrods & Hogs Poker Run to benefit Bartow’s Women’s Care Center. Sponsorships are now for the benefit that will take place on November 5, starting and ending in Bartow.

The Hotrods & Hogs Benefit Poker Run is open to all motorcyclists and vintage car enthusiasts. The Rudolph Round-up, a toy drive for Heartland for Children’s foster care children will also be featured during the run, offering anyone who brings a new, unwrapped Christmas toy for a foster child a chance to win a fabulous prize in a drawing.

The types of sponsorships are as follows:

Corporate Sponsors will receive a “Platinum Sponsor” benefit package that includes the name of the business shown as “title” or “major” event sponsor at the events and a prominent full-color display banner to be shown at the check-points and hosted on the Women’s Care Center Facebook website. The $1,000 Platinum Sponsor will also receive advertising on “HotRods and Hogs Poker Run” display boards, a banner with the business nme and logo at check-points, advertising on the Facebook website, with a link to the company website.

A $500 Gold Sponsor will receive advertising on “HotRods and Hogs Poker Run” display boards, advertising on the Facebook website, with a link to the company website.

A $300 Silver Sponsor will receive advertising on the Women’s Care Center Facebook website with a link to the company website.

A $250 Bronze Sponsor will receive advertising the Women’s Care Center Facebook website with a link to the company website, and honorary mention at opening and closing ceremonies.

A $100 Booster Sponsor will receive a listing of the business on the Women’s Care Center Facebook website and honorary mention at opening and closing ceremonies.

Registration for the event is $25 and $15 for an extra hand or passenger. All proceeds go to benefit the Women’s Care Center, a non-profit organization that provides a transitional living center for homeless women and their children.

For more information on becoming a sponsor for this worthwhile event, please contact WCC board members Pam Renew at (863) 534-1591; or Lauren Hinton, (321) 436-1169.

Monday, July 18, 2011

‘Stogie For A Bogey’

‘Stogie For A Bogey’ Golf Tourney
Benefits Bartow Cigar Factory

Two of Bartow's claims to fame - great golf and historical treasures - are combined in the inaugural “Stogie For A Bogey” golf scramble set for August 26 at Bartow Golf Course.

Proceeds from the four-person scramble will help fund preservation of Bartow's Thompson Cigar Factory.

One of just two remaining Mission Revival style commercial buildings in the state, Bartow's cigar factory was recently named as one of the 11 most endangered buildings in Florida by the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation. Built in the mid-1920s, the factory manufactured cigars until the 1960s. In the 1970s the building was purchased by the county and was used for food commodities and surplus storage. Empty for several years, it now suffers the effects of termites, animals and especially water damage following the 2004 hurricanes.

A group of citizens formed The Cigar Factory Redevelopment Project Team to help the City of Bartow preserve this historic building and aid in its redevelopment that can provide a hub for cultural, historical and economic growth.

All funds from Stogie for a Bogey will go to the Cigar Factory Redevelopment Project.

Tee time on Friday, Aug. 26, is 1:00 p.m. Registration deadline is Aug. 24.

Prizes, fun, food and valuable hole-in-one prizes await golfers, including a 2011 GMC Terrain, from Kelley GMC of Bartow, and of course, stogies. Other hole-in-one prizes on designated holes are an Escort Radar package worth $2,500, a set of Callaway woods, and a set of Callaway irons.

Individual entry fee is $75 for cart, greens fees and dinner.

A number of sponsorship opportunities are available:

Legacy Sponsors: $1,500, includes two teams (eight golfers), eight dinner tickets, corporate signage at event, recognition in promotional material.

Landmark Sponsor: $1,000, one team, four dinner tickets, corporate signage at event, recognition in promotional material.

Cornerstone Sponsor: $500, one team, four dinner tickets, hole sign.

Prize Sponsor: $200, signage and two dinner tickets.

Hole Sponsor: $100, signage and two dinner tickets.

Checks should be made payable to Bartow Area Chamber Foundation - Cigar Factory, and mailed to 510 North Broadway, Bartow, FL 33830.
For more information or to register by phone, call Trish Pfeiffer at (863) 640-1024.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Annual Diversity Award Applications Available

Do you know of a business or organization that promotes inclusion in the City of Bartow? If so, please be sure to nominate it for the annual Bartow Diversity Award to be presented during the Bartow Community Relations Committee’s Diversity Luncheon.
Applications for nomination of a business or organization are available at the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce or at the Chamber website:
Criteria for the award includes:
1. Recipients will have demonstrated a commitment to diversity in the City of Bartow, or in the surrounding communities through mentoring, outreach initiatives, or other activities that advance the goal of inclusion.
2. Recipients will have demonstrated a thorough understanding of, appreciation for, and advocacy toward promoting diversity issues. By example, recipients instill in their peer businesses or organizations these same values and inspire similar commitment to inclusion.
3. Nominations will be accepted for a business or organization, and one award presented for the current year, it will not be carried forward to the next year. Award recipients are not eligible to receive it again for two subsequent years.

Bartow’s Community Relations Committee will deliberate and make a selection and the winner announced at the Committee’s Diversity Luncheon to be held September 21, 2011 at the Bartow Civic Center. Nominations must be received in the Chamber no later than Friday, September 2.

For more information, or to obtain a nomination form, please come by the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce, 510 N. Broadway Avenue in Bartow. You may also call the Chamber at (863) 533-7125.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Traffic Catcher Site

Imagine having access to a powerful search database system on the internet, where your information is first to pop up in a search.
That's one of the specific goals of Chamber Director Jeff Clark, who had the vision that every Chamber member could have access to a powerfull online presence.
Clark contracted Chamber Nation, a website and database company that specifically deals with Chambers of Commerce, and had them create a database and website tool streamlined especially for the Bartow Chamber.
"I was looking for a powerful marketing tool that was user-friendly, so all of our members could access it and feel comfortable using it to increase customer traffic - to their sites online and to their business locations," Clark said. "Even if some members don't have a website, we can help them by providing a free domain name, and giving them a tool to design their own sites."
For those businesses already possessing a website, the system will direct a higher volume of online traffic to their sites. The Bartow Chamber will promote each participating business through various places on the internet and within the community.
Through the search functions within the new Traffic Catcher Site (TCS) system, memebers may extend their web presences by way of a member page contected to the Chamber's site. The TCS member page will contain a link to the business' own website and it's social media sites.
The TCS members pages are easy to set up. Creation of the member page allows choices of multiple marketing options, such as:

- Member-to-member marketing
- Advanced appointment system link activation
- Take-out and reservations activation
- Lodging reservations link activation
- WIFI availability button
- Links and multipost to social networks and blogs
- Coupon creator for local directory and search engine
- Mobile phone site activation
- Business tour photo display
- Going "green" initiatives
- News article and press release postings
- Business events postings on member page and the Chamber's events page
- Video and/or audio commercial uploads
- Members you would recommend listing
- Catelog shopping link activation
- Detailed search and online traffic reports

"We also offer online and personal support for our members. And, if a business prefers, we'll design the TCS member page for a nominal fee," Clark said.
The Bartow Chamber carries a long history of organizing and facilitating member and community initiatives that contribute positively to the area's quality of life and its marketability as a place to conduct business. For more information, contact the Chamber, (863) 533-7125.

What is TCS?

The Traffic Catcher Site is a website page that is linked directly to the Chamber. It increases online traffic for members who currently have websites and provides an online presence to members without one.
The TCS member page is free to all Chamber membeers. It has a walk-thru set up that can be completeed in minutes.
The Chamber can design the member page for a nominal fee. THe Chamber-Designed page includes a photo session for a photo tour on the member page;and a month of free online advertising.

When will it start?

Chamber members will receive an email around July 15 with information on how to access this new marketing tool. Anyone wishing to get a head start may call the Chamber. Virginia Condello or Mark Kendrick will help you get started.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Bartow Toastmasters Offers Meetings on 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of Each Month

Going on job interviews? Giving a business presentation? Leading a seminar? Need confidence?

The Toastmasters Program will help you to:

- Develop better speaking and presentation skills

- Learn to think quickly and clearly on your feet

- Build strong leadership abilities

- Hone your listening skills

You will learn these skills and more in a supportive, self-paced, fun atmosphere. Visit a club today and begin to discover your confidence.

Bartow Toastmasters meets on the 2nd & 4th Tuesdays of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Bartow Civic Center, 2250 South Floral Avenue

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Thursday, June 30, 2011