Our next Chamber Travel Opportunity -


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CANYON COUNTRY featuring Arizona & Utah

May 15-23, 2017

BOOK NOW AND SAVE $120 per person

For bookings made after Nov. 15, 2016, call for rates: Ruthelise Anderson, Cruise Planners, (863) 644-1014.







      To reaffirm its commitment to racial and ethnic equality, the City of Bartow’s Community Relations Committee (CRC) will hold a Diversity Luncheon on September 21, 2016, at noon, at the Bartow Civic Center in conjunction with Bartow’s Race Equality Week, the week of September 19-25, 2016.

     The week is set aside by Bartow’s City Commission to spotlight racial and ethnic equality and justice issues that confront people every day.

523889956      “There are daily reminders to us all of how important this issue still is in America, and that promoting racial and ethnic equality and ending racism and discrimination requires awareness, commitment, and action,” said Gloria Washington, Chairman of the CRC. “This is an opportunity for Bartow to stand up and be counted in an ongoing effort to make sure our community fosters racial and ethnic equality and harmony.”

     Special speaker for the luncheon is nationally-known attorney, Willie E. Gary. Gary’s remarkable legal career has been documented on “60 Minutes,” “CBS Evening News,” and ABC’s “World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.” He’s made special guest appearances on Oprah, and CBS “The Early Show with Bryant Gumbel.” He is well known as the “Giant Killer” by taking down some of America’s most well-known corporate giants on behalf of his clients. In addition to being a lawyer, philanthropist and motivational speaker, Gary continues to serve on numerous boards and has received dozens of honorary doctorates from colleges and universities all across America.

     The annual Diversity Award will be presented to a business or organization and an individual at the luncheon. Nominations are being accepted for the award until September 9, 2016.

     Tickets for the Diversity Luncheon are $12 each and may be purchased at the Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce. For more information, please call the Chamber at (863) 533-7125.




The Greater Bartow Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 is proud to announce its 7th Annual Champions Cup Business & Industry Awards, with special guest speaker, Congressman Tom Rooney.


Tom Rooney was raised in Palm Beach Gardens, FL. Following high school, he went on to play college football at Syracuse University and Washington and Jefferson College. After receiving his BA in English Literature, Tom worked for Senator Connie Mack in Washington, DC. Rooney Headshot

TomRooneysmTom returned home to Florida to attend the University of Florida where he received a Masters Degree and the University of Miami, School of Law where he earned his J.D. and met his wife Tara.

After graduation, Tom and Tara spent over four years in the United States Army JAG Corps. Most notably he served as Special Assistant U.S. Attorney on Fort Hood, TX prosecuting all civilian crimes on post. In 2002, Tom was selected to teach Constitutional and Criminal Law at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

In 2004, Tom returned to Florida and went to work as an Assistant Attorney General. After leaving the Attorney General's office, he became CEO of "The Children's Place at Home Safe," a home for abused and neglected children. He was later appointed by Governor Bush to the Children's Services Council of Palm Beach County Board of Directors. In 2006, Tom entered private practice and joined a Stuart law firm.

On November 4th 2008, Tom was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. He represents Florida's 17th district. He sits on the House Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee's on Agriculture, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and State and Foreign Operations. He is a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and serves as Chairman of the Intelligence Subcommittee on Emerging Threats. He also serves as a Deputy Whip for the Majority.

Tom and Tara live in Okeechobee with their three young sons: Tommy Jr., Sean, and Seamus.

Business & Industry Awards
The purpose of this program is to recognize and honor businesses/organizations that have championed exemplary best practices, and have had a positive influence on the economic well-being of the Bartow area business community.

Spirit of Bartow Awards
Nominees for this award should be individuals or groups that have significantly contributed to the Bartow community and their accomplishments/contributions made a positive impact on the area’s quality of life.

Click on the heading above for the online nomination/application form for you to fill out in order to enter your business/organization, or to nominate one of your fellow Bartow area businesses/organizations. You will also find a nomination form for the Spirit of Bartow Awards. All nominations are confidential to the selection committee only. FOR A PDF VERSION OF THE FORMS, CLICK HERE.

Awards will be presented on October 20 at the Committee of 100’s Champions Cup Dinner at the Bartow Civic Center. Each nominated company/organization and Spirit of Bartow nominee will receive two free tickets to the event.

I hope that you will take this opportunity to share your successes, or those of a business/organization or individual you admire, by participating in the program.

The Committee of 100 is proud to offer this program that honors excellence and contributions to our community and the local economy.

If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber at 863-533-7125.


Follow these links for more information:

Main Street Bartow, Inc.

City of Bartow Parks and Recreation Dept.

Polk County History Center

Lots to do on Bartow’s Main Street every month

Movies on the Lawn
Come watch a free movie on the lawn on the last Friday of every month. The movie begins shortly after dark on the corner of Main and Wilson at the grassy lot. Bring lawn chairs, blankets, and bug spray and enjoy a popular movie outdoors with the family – there’s nothing like it! Usually one of the service clubs will have snacks available for purchase, or bring your own. See you at dark-thirty!

Farmer’s Market
Each Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., come to Fort Blount Park and find fresh vegetables plus other great item at the Main Street Farmer’s Market.

Friday, Friday, Friday
Friday Fest Street Party fun continues on August 19th! Live entertainment is featured.

Saturday, Saturday, Saturday
Every second Saturday, find collectibles and treasures at the Downtown Antique Fair on East Main Street from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Main Street Bartow’s Uptown Community Yard Sale is on the third Saturday of each month on the corner of Wilson and Main. Look for bargains or sell your treasures from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

For more information on any Main Street Bartow events, call the office at (863) 519-0508. If you know someone who would like to receive the newsletter call or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Main Street Bartow is located at 180 South Central Ave.