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Table of Contents

Volume 4 Issue 1 • June 2011





Winter Haven and the surrounding areas are such great communities where the residents seem to understand what is important in life - it is all about community. Find out about some events and local people that continue to make Winter Haven an amazing place to live.



This month we’re celebrating the 100 Year Anniversary of Winter Haven. Whether you’re new to the area or have lived here all your life, you’ll enjoy learning a little more about people and events that shaped “The Chain of Lakes City.”

on the cover Happy 100th Birthday Winter Haven!



spotlight interview

Enjoy some recollections and insights from four local folks who have helped to build our community and who are helping to shape its future. Just like you, they love this city and work for the benefit of all.


featured business

A family owned business, Burr Printing, knows exactly what it takes to build a loyal customer base. After all, the family has been doing just that for more than 70 years.


dining profile

For a refreshing take on the going green theme, be sure to visit Fred’s Southern Kitchen for some amazing down home cooking delights and a potential discount to boot. Be sure to read the dining profile this month to see what all the buzz is about.

Licensing Opportunity

Licensed territories are available. We are looking to expand the family and are looking for motivated individuals to join our award winning team. If you are interested in owning your own Focus Magazine contact Mike Floyd at 813.707.8783 ext 26.


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Online Features Include:

Full digital version of the current and past magazines Extended features, interviews, dining profiles and business profiles with extra content Community news updates New home of FOCUSTV





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1. Constant supervision around all bodies of water; pools, spas, lakes, etc. 2. Install Baby barrier fencing around pools and spas. 3. Swim Lessons (Swim-Float-Swim Method). 4. Take CPR class and refresher courses. 5. Install one of several types of door alarm systems available. 6. Develop a Safety Plan for the possibility of a missing child. 7. If a child is missing - Check the Pool FIRST!

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Letter From The Publisher Readers of Focus probably are already aware that my wife and sons are a very important part of my life. I, like you, want to build a great life for them - I want to leave a heritage they will value. Families and history are things to which we can all relate because we all have some. History ties us to our familial roots and in this town the traces of strong beginnings are everywhere. Whether you’re new to our community or have lived here all your life, you’ll enjoy this month’s feature on the history of Winter Haven. Families built this community and continue to ensure that we grow successfully into the future. Folks like Caroline Coon, Chip Tucker, Bill Roe, and the Burr Printing siblings, Dru, Drake, and Velvet Burr each share a part of their story in the spotlight. The younger generation definitely plays a role in the future of Winter Haven, Florida, and the world. We’re proud to focus on two teens who’ve just returned from competition in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles, where more than 1,600 young people from 60 countries gathered to learn even more about how inventiveness, research and applied logic can change the world. The neat thing is that Polk County Public Schools can take pride in the many students who are learning to enjoy science and the many who will ultimately make a difference right here in our own backyard. Winter Haven is a town also known for its charitable attitude - we’re a giving bunch. Don’t miss the article about the Splish Spash Golf Tournament that benefited two local nonprofit groups that enhance our lives: Main Street Winter Haven and the Ridge Art Association. Thanks, readers, for all you do in your own way to create solid families, a lasting heritage, and an even brighter tomorrow. Focus Magazine is proud to be a part of saluting your best.

Mike Floyd - Publisher Got a story idea? Looking to advertise in Focus? Contact us for more information.

Publisher Mike Floyd

Floyd Publications, Inc. 702 W. Dr. MLK Jr. Blvd. Plant City, FL 33563

Office Manager Dede Floyd

Office 813.707.8783 Fax 813.764.0990

Copy Editor Cheryl Johnston Credit Manager Angel Carter Standards of accuracy: The goal of the writers at FOCUS Magazine is to provide heart-warming stories that are accurate from the start. Being human, however, we sometimes make mistakes. Please forgive us. So if you notice anything that is incorrect, then please do not hesitate to contact the editorial department and inform it about the fact error. To do so, call (813) 707-8783 or e-mail The staff will fix the error in a timely manner. FOCUS Magazine is published monthly and is available through local Plant City businesses, restaurants and many local venues. Advertisers warrant and represent the descriptions of their products advertised are true in all respects. Focus Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by advertisers. All letters and their contents sent to Focus Magazine become the sole property of Floyd Publications, Inc and may be reproduced thereof. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of Floyd Publications, Inc. Use or duplication of material used in this publication is prohibited without approved written consent from Floyd Publications, Inc.


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Sales Sophia Hyde | Holly Farmer Julie Hasting | Erik Butler | Linda Simmons Brent Simmons | Bernadette Casey | Jane Waters-Thomas Sam Olivio Production Anthony Sassano Tony Cartagena FOCUS TV Shana Johnson Distribution Byron Spradlin Belva DeVane Photographers Billy Friend Lori Blaser | Jennifer Darnell Staff Writers Cheryl Johnston Brian West | Joe Bowles Derek Maul | Kelleigh Klein Heather Davis | Laura Estes | Dan Conrod | Kristi Linbaugh | Heather Davis Megan Braglin | Brittany Cerny Contributors Al Ruechel | Gil Gott Bruce Rodwell | Jo-An Lusk | Nate Davis

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Local » Focus Kirstie Tandberg, a sophomore at Lake Region High School, competed in the environmental sciences category at Intel. The Winter Haven resident’s project, “Cacti Mucilage And Reverse Osmosis Membranes: A Solution For Water’s Phosphate Problem” was developed under the advisory assistance of Lake Region teacher Lisa Weeks. This is the 3rd year in development, continuation, and competition with this particular project, which attracted much attention and offers of advice from scientists who hope to see it developed to fulfillment. Tandberg was also a state winner in 2010. Tandberg’s description of the Intel experience bears reading and repeating: “I love science, so it was an honor to have this chance to compete internationally. We made friends and exchanged souvenir pins symbolizing our states/countries with kids from all over the world. Many plan to stay in touch. To see how students from other countries interacted with each other was fascinating. One group of finalists from an island in the Pacific, I think, blew a conch shell and chanted before they went into judging! In L.A. we were treated like royalty when people found out we were IISEF finalists. The work and dedication of sponsors and volunteers was impressive. So many people were excited for us and said that we could change the world. So many brilliant people gave me tons of ideas and different directions

to take my project… Sometimes negative people comment on how this generation is incapable of leading the world progressively, but they should take some time to talk to these finalists and look at their projects. Students are spending time to find cancer cures or detect land mines because they want to make our world a better place.” The first step to Intel for both Monroe and Tandberg involved winning Best of Show Awards at the Polk Regional Science and Engineering Fair in January. Next, they won awards in March in Orlando at the 56th Annual State Science And Engineering Fair. For a complete list of winners, visit http:// htm. Obviously, Polk science teachers deserve more than a little credit. Of more than 850 sixth through twelfth graders in Florida competing at the 56th Annual State Science and Engineering Fair in Orlando, ten Polk public school students won awards. Statewide, more than 11,000 students enter projects in 37 regional events, hopeful of a chance to participate at the international level. Our kids and local educators did us proud.

Trevor Monroe at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Los Angeles with his award-winning science fair project. Photos courtesy of Polk Public Schools

Polk Public Schools Produce International Science Fair Competitors Written By: Cheryl Johnston


cience is thriving in Polk County Public Schools. Two local students have garnered special recognition in regional, state, and international competitions recently, which in turn has inspired potential entrants for the 2012 events. Trevor Monroe, a senior at Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School in Winter Haven, was a fourth place Grand Award winner at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, held May 8-13, 2011 in Los Angeles. His project, titled “Boosting Central HeatAir Conditioning Through Evaporative Cooling”, won 4th place and a $500 prize in the electrical and mechanical engineering competition. CLHS teacher Suzanne Halverson served as his advisor during project development.


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Bridget Fetter, director at Chain of Lakes, expressed appreciation for the accomplishments of Monroe and his advisor, saying, “At Polk State College’s Chain of Lakes Collegiate High School, we offer students an opportunity for rigorous academic study. Trevor’s commitment to his project and Dr. Halverson’s commitment to mentoring students are shining examples of what a commitment to excellence in education can produce.” Monroe, a Lakeland resident, was one of two Polk students to compete at this international event, where more than 1,600 high school students from nearly 60 countries gathered to showcase an amazing array of research for top prizes of $75,000 and $50,000.

Kirstie Tandberg Photos courtesy of Polk Public Schools

Adventure five Parasailing

Focus Takes Flight! Written By: shana johnson

At Focus, we set out to try 11 adventur es in 2011. So far, our trips have inclu ded a bouncy trip to Boing Jump Center, a speedy day of go kart racing at Ambassador Racing School in Wimauma, an exciting angling session of off shore fishing with Lyons Charters and a tacti cal day of pain at Action Paintball in Winter Haven. After all that excitement, we were all ready for a little relaxation. So we grabbed our shades, sunscreen and swim suits and set sail... Parasail that is! For our 5th adventure, the Focus team headed to Anna Maria Island and met up with YOLO Parasail for a day of fun in the sun. With their acronym motto, “You Only Live Onc e” we knew it would be an unforgettable trip. The drive to Anna Maria is a pleasant interstate drive, less than 90 minutes from Plant City. Although parasailing is a popular activity at near ly all beautiful Florida beaches, what sets it apart at Anna Maria is the breathtaking views of sparkling blue waters and bright white sandy shor es, colors that will make you feel as though you’ve traveled to the Caribbean. However, no passport is needed for travel to this Floridian paradise in our backyard. YOLO owner Ryan Davis never take s his dream job for granted. Sure, he makes a living soaking up the sunshine, but what he finds mos t fulfilling is the people. “Everyone is always happy, smiling, ready to have a great time.” The Focus Magazine fun-seekers are no different. We have been jumping, racing, fishing and shooting. Now we can cross another action verb off our bucket list: “flying.” Mike and DeDe Floyd, Julie Hasting, Angel Carter, Tony Cartagen a and I, Shana Johnson, took flight with the seagulls as a smiley face yellow parachute hoisted us in tand em pairs 500 feet in the air. Noticeab ly missing from the group was the king of kung fu and office IT guru, Anthony Sassano, who convenie ntly fell ill the morning of the high flying outing. Despite how it may seem, parasailin g is a delightfully tranquil activity. Ryan Davis explained that many of YOLO’s visitors have a com mon misconception. “Most people do not expect parasailing to be so relaxing. They think it will be a stom ach-dropping adrenaline rush like a roller coaster when actually, you feel weightless. You feel like you’r e flying like a bird.”

Angel and I were the first pair to take flight. Having done it before, I knew what to expect. Angel, on the other hand, had no clue. She had to psyche herself into it, so shor tly after boarding the boat she was eager to get up in the air befo re her resolve acquiescd into second thoughts. It didn’t take long before she was all smiles, as she gracefully soared into the sky. She said the ride was smooth and calming - not what she expected. Surp risingly, her favorite part was the mos t thrilling... being lowered down to dip her feet in the water. Julie Hasting also flew with a newbie. Having parasailed many times before, this seasoned pro helped to calm graphic designer Tony during the flight by singing. “I loved experienc ing it with Sweet T. He was a little anxious, but he overcame his fear!” As it was for Angel, the dip was also the highlight for DeDe Floyd. As Julie , Angel, Tony and I shouted, “Take them down. Soak them !” the boat captains followed orders and let Mike and DeDe dip a little more than just their feet. “I love d it!” said Mike. “If I didn’t have that head camera on I would have wanted to be in the water even more!” The head camera that caused a downpla y of DeDe’s dip is our innovative devi ce to capture amazing aerial views for the FOCUSTV vide o of the trip. Along with leg harnesses and life jackets, it is the perfect parasailing accessory. After chec king out our bird’s-eye shots online at category/focustv, grab your camera and capture your own memories at YOL O Parasail of Anna Maria Island! After all, “You Only Live Onc e!”

Go Online To Check Out THe full

Video at

FOCUS Magazine winter haven june 2011


Local » Focus Sponsors of the 2011 Golf Splash included TECO (Tampa Electric Company), ORC (Oakley, Rhienhart, Cassidy, LLC), Polk State College, and FTS (Florida Tire Supply Company. There were 17 teams of 4 golfers each and this event was created for THEM. On Friday night, Zack & Nikki Morgan’s home was host to the Golf Splash Pre-Party that was in and of itself a stand-alone evening complete with music by Band Haven, terrific food, a refreshment bar, and pre-golf excitement with lakeside putting practice. Breakfast was included for the Saturday morning golfers, along with a putting map for all 9 locations. At days’ end an awards ceremony and party was hosted by Old Man Frank’s. Winning teams this year included Most Team Spirit -“Rum Runners,” Best Golfer - “David Wedder,” Best Hole Location - “Board of Realtors,” and WINNING TEAM - “Plaza Café.” John Mahan of Team Plaza Café said, “I really like this event and it was a lot of fun. I look forward to doing it again next year.” John also added that he hoped the committee would consider starting golfers at different holes and ending at Old Man Frank’s for the awards ceremony. “It would make it a lot easier to get around the lakes without a long waiting time,” said John.

Winning Team - Team Plaza Cafe’



All in all this was an exciting new event that brought long time community leaders and fresh new faces to the same program for two great organizations. Planning is already underway for the 2012 Chain of Lakes Golf Splash. For details about how you can become involved, phone 863-295-9422.

Written By: Jane Waters-Thomas

he Chain of Lakes Golf Splash in Winter Haven was more than a lot of fun. It was a fresh change in approach to fundraising for two local nonprofit organizations as they teamed up to raise money and awareness for their efforts. Main Street Winter Haven (downtown Winter Haven’s promotions and marketing group) and the Ridge Art Association (Winter Haven’s Fine Arts organization and Gallery) worked together to bring Winter Haven what will easily be marked as a much anticipated annual summer kick-off on the city’s beautiful Chain of Lakes for years to come.

Karen Thompson of Main Street Winter Haven said, “We could not have done this without the support of our sponsors and directors. It took both organizations working together to make this event a success.”


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293-1900 FOCUS Magazine winter haven june 2011


100 Year a n n i v e r s a ry A Wild One Hundred Makes an Exciting Centennial

av e n






n i te W

Feature and Photos by Bob Gernert

Winter Haven was founded during the period when the railroad stimulated the development in Polk County. In 1883 tracks were extended through the county by the South Florida Railroad Company. The railroad later became part of the Plant System and the Atlantic Coastline, predecessor to the CSX system.

The year 1916 would see a county wide effort to pave roads leading Polk County to pave more miles of roads than any other county in Florida and leading to its claim as “Imperial Polk.”

The next year, 1917, would see the incorporation Florence Villa to the city’s north. Florence Villa was founded by Frederick Inman, M.D., who In 1884 Frederick Amasa Knowles (F.A.K.) moved here with his wife Florence in 1887. Dr. Harris and his wife Adele moved here from Inman was a co-founder of the Quaker Oats Kansas with their infant son. They purchased Company and had moved here from Akron, the first land in the newly platted community Ohio. The Inman’s small home on the northern of Winter Haven and in early 1885 built a two shore of Spring Lake was continually enlarged to Oldest known photo. Vantage point is looking west from Central Park. Wooden structure story wooden structure with a mercantile on the accommodate guests and ultimately became The on right is F.A.K. Harris store. Immediately to its left is a dirt Central Avenue and then first floor and living quarter on the second. It was Florence Villa Hotel - in its day one of Florida’s buildings on the block of what is now the downtown Bank of America site. during 1885 that discussions took place as to what finest. Dr. Inman was also a pioneering citrus the village should be named. Ultimately “Winter Haven” was suggested by P. D. Eycleshimer grower hiring African-American Dan Laramore to manage his operations. Due to the need -- his rationale -- the pleasant winter climate. Winter Haven would grow to several hundred for domestic work at the hotel and grove workers, Florence Villa attracted a large minority residents by the turn of the century. population that continues to the present. In June of 1911 residents incorporated the town of Winter Haven. Willis E. Smith and A.B. Coker served as pro tem chairman and clerk respectively. In a vote of thirty-five to one, residents created the municipal government. Smith was elected mayor and L.L. Barnes as clerk and tax collector. W.W. Mann, John A. Schneider, W.J. Smith, and F.W. Oren served as alderman. E.E. Waggoner held the post of marshal. (Note: A persistent rumor has it that Winter Haven and Lakeland’s names were supposed to be reversed and that the paperwork was confused in Tallahassee. Not true. Lakeland was incorporated in the 1880s - nearly three decades before Winter Haven formalized their status as a municipality.) From incorporation in 1911 to the present, history records a long list of events. Here are included just a few of the important Centennial milestones: The community opened its first K-12 high school on the site of the present downtown Post Office in 1915. Prior to that, students wanting to continue their education past grade eight had to go to other communities. This is also the same year the Winter Haven’s famous “Chain of Lakes” was begun by the Twenty Lakes Boat Club. That group would run out of money in less than two years and in 1919, an act of the legislature created the Lake Region Boats District that maintains the system today. There are 16 lakes in the southern chain and 9 in the northern chain.


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Agriculture -- especially citrus -- was at the forefront and as the community entered into the 1920s the industry was the dominant economic factor. In 1924 Roland Nichols, pastor at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, posed an idea for a grand agricultural exposition to herald the area’s citrus. The Chamber of Commerce, newly formed from a Board of Trade in 1923, embraced the idea and in January of 1924 the Polk County Orange Festival was born. The event evolved in short order to the Florida Orange Festival and during most of the 1920s was held around the Central Park area downtown. However, the first festival took place on what now is U.S 17 south of its intersection with Central Avenue. In 1923 Florence Villa residents voted to dissolve their incorporation and become a part or Winter Haven. Winter Haven, as most Florida cities, became caught up in the real estate frenzy of the Florida Land Boom and in 1927 the economy took a serious nosedive that would persist well into the 1930s. The town, by then touted as “The City of 100 Lakes” had expanded its city limits during the land boom and soon found itself in default. On September 6, 1930, a young entreprenuer named George Jenkins would open his first Publix Food Store on 4th Street NW (current site of Scores Restaurant). Later in 1936 a young promotional genius named Richard Downing “Dick” Pope and wife Julie would open

Central Avenue looking East about 1925

Central Avenue looking East about 1910

a small roadside attraction named Cypress Gardens. The park would become Florida’s #1 tourist destination prior to the opening of Disney World in 1971. During the 1930s the Florida Orange Festival would build a series of linear exposition halls running north and south on what is now the site of the City Annex and former Fire Department on Third St. NW. From that time until 1963 (interuppted only by WWII), the festival (later called the Citrus Exposition) would take place on that site. The midway ran from Avenue D, NW to Lake Silver on Third Street and to this day, that is why Third Street widens at Avenue D, NW. The Lake Silver Amphitheatre and the Florida Citrus Building containing Nora Mayo Hall are a direct result of the citrus celebration’s three decades on that site. (Note: In 1957 a nationwide audience of 50 million viewers watched America’s then #1 Garry Moore Show as it broadcast live from the stage of the amphitheatre.) In large part the 1940s were dominated by activities related to the war effort. The citrus festival buildings mentioned above became a Prisoner of War Camp for German soldiers. Nearby Bartow Air Base was used for extensive military flight training and many of those who trained throughout Florida would return after the war to the beauty of the area they fondly remembered. The 1950s ushered in a peacetime boom for Florida as new residents flocked to the land of opportunity. Winter Haven grew and Dick Pope brought the state of Florida, its citrus industry, and of course, Cypress Gardens to the world stage, culminating in the Hollywood musical, East to Love, which featured Esther Williams and a Cypress Gardens storyline. Pope’s publicity machine was in full gear. George Jenkin’s Publix Supermarket Company was growing rapidly and would open Northgate Shopping Center in 1957. As the decade grew to a close, the early beginnings of the “race to space” would focus worldwide attention on Florida.

Adele Harris

Frederick Amasa Knowles (F. A. K.) Harris and his wife Adele bought the first lot in the newly platted village of Winter Haven in 1884.

The decade of the 60s blew in with Hurricane Donna in September that year. The storm caused extensive damage throughout Florida. Dick Pope Jr., recalled that Donna blew so many trees down in the Cypress Gardens botanical garden that it took three days to open the entrance path. The 1960s had many notable developments, among those the development of the Chain of Lakes Complex property. The Florida Citrus Exposition decided to move from the increasingly cramped Third Street location and built the Orange Dome moving to that location in 1963 and changing its name to the Florida Citrus Showcase. City leaders also announced successful negotiations to bring the Boston Red Sox here for Spring Training and led them to build Chain of Lakes Stadium -- a partnership that lasted through 1991. City Hall relocated to its present location in the 1960s and a modern new U.S. Post Office opened on Central Avenue at First Street NW in 1967. The early 1960s would bring one of the most significant economic developments in Winter Haven’s history. State Farm Insurance company was looking to build a regional facility and had narrowed the potential sites to two. Ultimately, Winter Haven was selected. The company would bring thousands of jobs to this area and within 10 years the economic impact was apparent in a new multi-story hospital tower, new banking facilities, the opening of Southeast Plaza Shopping Center and the growth of the Garden Grove area in southeast Winter Haven. The City would also be successful in securing the new campus for Polk Junior College (now Polk State) that would open on the former City golf course in 1968. Shopping Malls were the rage as the 1970s came calling and the community welcomed the Winter Haven Mall. The combined effect of the mall and the shopping centers took its toll on downtown. The mall featured a twin screen cinema and Southeast Plaza had the Continental “Rocking Chair” twin screens. The opening of the Boulevard Triple near the end of the decade led downtown’s aging and parking-strapped Ritz to close its doors. Two

Florence Inman Namesake of Florence Villa

P. D. Eycleshimer named Winter Haven in 1885

FOCUS Magazine winter haven june 2011


Happy 100th Birthday Winter Haven! significant road projects occurred during the 1970s. First Street from Avenue T, NW to what was then Cypress Gardens Road was widened. At about the same time a major rerouting of Cypress Gardens Road from its current interstection to US 27 was undertaken. Upon completion, the multi-lane road was renamed Cypress Garden Boulevard and dedicated to Dick and Julie Pope. The railroad tracks that had originally brought settlers to Winter Haven were removed during the 1980s and the City embarked on the restoration and beautification of downtown’s three public parks. Through special arrangements a significant portion of the railbed was deeded to the city and today represents a “green belt” of recreational options from Downtown to Lake Alfred. A major portion of that distance is now the Chain of Lakes Trail and will soon be home to Trailhead Park, adjacent to the City Hall complex and the Garden Center. In 1985 Cypress Gardens was sold to Harcourt Brace Jovanavich. It would change hands twice more. Dick and Julie Pope died in 1987 but Pope, suffering from Alzhiemers had not been involved in the park for many years. The 1990s began with the ending of the city’s long-standing relationship with the Boston Red Sox. The team was lured to new facilities in Fort Myers after conducting their last Haven spring training in 1991. Hurricane Andrew devastated the Miami/Homestead area in Fall 1991 and seriously damaged a new spring training stadium that had been constructed for the Cleveland Indians. Due to the damage to homes and neighborhoods in the Homestead area, the Indians felt the economy of the area was severly compromised and decided to negotiate an agreement with Winter Haven for the use of Chain of Lakes Stadium. In 1995 Winter Haven became a Main Street City and formed Main Street Winter Haven to promote downtown activities and redevelopment. The last decade of the 20th Century would also see the demolition of the Winter Haven Mall to be replaced by Citi Centre. The open concept features retail stores facing south over a shared parking area that serves more retail facing north at the opposite end. One interesting note about the Citi Centre development: What was then the retailer Burdines (now Macy’s) moved their store footprint 15 feet east to accommodate the construction of the Belk’s location. The decision was attributed to two retailers offering more options and drawing a larger shopping audience. In 1999 a group of interested citizens and organizations brought together several hundred local residents to create a shared community vision. The effort, dubbed “Our Future By Design,” took two years to complete and produced a series of key goals and objectives dealing with a number of community sectors including economic development, educaiton, growth and redevelopment, lakes preservation and healthcare. The effort led to a common vision for the community that influenced the site and construction of new police and fire department facilities, a new public library located downtown on the park, a revitalized downtown with streetscaping and street pavers, lakefront land use standards and many other critical elements. The final document was used by City Administration as a roadmap for priorities throughout the first decade of 2000-2010. The first decade of the new century was not without its challenges. Cypress Gardens closed and then reopened only to struggle forward from 2003 to 2009. The Cleveland Indians relocated to Goodyear, Arizona for Spring Training 2009. On a positive note, the city relocated and opened a modern new Municipal Airport terminal and is poised to pursue airport business park. CSX Transportation has announced plans for an Integrated Logistics Center on city property to the south that could result in a $10 billion investment, 2000 direct jobs and 6,000 indirect. In January of 2010, Merlin Entertainments announced they will open LEGOLAND Florida on the former Cypress Gardens property. The $150 million initial investment will grow to more than $300 million and the park is on schedule to open in October 2011. Any community will have highs and lows through ten decades. As Winter Haven pauses to celebrate its first 100 years, it can celebrate its history and look forward to many bright opportunities for the second century.


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Winter Haven

Recollections and thoughts

Chip Tucker

Caroline Coon Crisp-Coon Funeral Home 201 1st Street South Winter Haven, FL 33880

Focus: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. I want to ask you about what it was like growing up in Winter Haven? Coon: It was a great place to grow up during the time I did. It was safer and we had a lot more freedom. On Saturdays we’d all ride our bicycles to the tennis courts and play tennis and then take a swim in Lake Silver. It was coed, but back then you didn’t have problems with promiscuity. Unlike today where kids can see anything on TV, we lived a sheltered life. Our mothers would pack us bag lunches and we would be gone all day. Everybody knew everybody and you knew you belonged. Focus: What about the present? Coon: I still think it is a great place to live. We have a great city and I’m excited about the work that has gone into the revitalization

of downtown. I was one of the first contributors to restore the Ritz. We used to go there as children because it was air-conditioned and you could watch a movie for just nine cents. That was a real treat. Focus: How do you see the future shaping up? Coon: Well, to be honest, I don’t think the city has ever done enough for young people, and I hope that the new emphasis on making Winter Haven child friendly in order to support Legoland will continue and that more is done for our young people. I’m also concerned that I don’t see as many young adults join community organizations. I’ve belonged to a club for over 50 years and our membership, like most clubs I know that are still active, is getting older. We don’t see as many young people interested in joining.

The Tucker Group 3535 Lake Alfred Road • Winter Haven, FL 33881 Focus: Chip thanks for taking time for us. We want to know what it was like to grow up in Winter Haven for you? Tucker: I love the outdoors. I hunt and fish, so growing up in Winter Haven was ideal for me. My grandfather Morgan Tucker worked for the city planting trees and taking care of cemeteries. My father and his brother started the construction business 50 years ago, so I got to spend a lot of time with my dad and he was the biggest influence on me. He taught me that it was important to give back to the community by his example. Winter Haven has been very good to my family and since he passed away a few years ago, and I have tried to follow his example of giving back to the community. My work with the Winter Haven Hospital Foundation is just one way, but I feel it is an important way to give back. Focus: Your thoughts on the present? Tucker: We are seeing an upswing in our business. We have started hiring again and making some capital investments in equipment. Legoland doesn’t open until October, but we are already experiencing an impact.

We are also excited about what Tony Binge is doing with The Landings project. All this means more jobs and that trickles down thru the whole economy. I also think the City of Winter Haven is doing a good job leading the way with the construction of new parks, the trailhead, and the Polk State Soccer complex. Focus: Any concerns or observation about the future? Tucker: Sure. I think it is important that we manage the growth of the future so that we maintain the quality of life we have here. This is a great place to raise a family, and we want to maintain that small town feeling. I would always like to see the different organizations in the area work together, and I hope we market to the strengths we have. I think tourism is going to be a big part, naturally, but I also think the work 610 corporations is doing is important to attract high tech industry, which will have a sustainable impact on Winter Haven. I also would like to see us buy more things locally, use local companies, and try to shop in local stores – it’s good for our community.

FOCUS Magazine winter haven june 2011


Winter Haven

Recollections and thoughts

Bill Roe

William G. Roe and Sons, Inc. Winter Haven, Florida Focus: Thanks for seeing us on a day when we know your going through a safety inspection. We’re here to ask you about Winter Haven Past, Present and Future. Roe: Growing up in Winter Haven was a wonderful experience. My great grandfather cut ice on the Hudson River, so when we think about living down here we appreciate the weather and all the outdoor activities. Sports were big for us as children, but my mother made sure we took pottery classes, even dance classes. She was determined that we had an education in the arts, and Winter Haven has always been a center for cultural arts. Maybe because of the early influence of tourism, but for whatever reason Winter Haven was unique and I feel blessed to have grown up here. Focus: The present? Roe: The present is a mixed story. I’m excited about the leadership of the city and their vision for the future. I think we have turned


june 2011

a corner in this regard. I’m concerned about the condition of our agriculture community. The freezes of the eighties did substantial damage to the citrus industry, and I believe that we need a strong agriculture industry if we want to minimize the impact of future economic problems. I’m also proud of our cultural community, and there is nothing but good to say about Legoland. Focus: The Future? Roe: I think Winter Haven has a great future, as long as we don’t just develop tourism. A table can’t stand on just one leg, and our economy would be better served with a balanced approach that includes tourism, high tech companies, a vibrant downtown, and a strong agricultural industry. I also hope we continue to support the arts, because I think that having a thriving cultural arts community is a mark of a great community. I would also like to see the different communities work together for what is good for all of us.

Dru, Drake, and Velvet Burr Burr Printing Company

Focus: You’re the youngest folks we have interviewed for this piece, but I wanted to get your perspective on Winter Havens’ Past, Present and Future. Burrs: Winter Haven is a great location to grow up. There are so many things to do. Growing up we all played sports and loved boating on the lakes. It is a small town with a lot to offer, but its location makes both coasts easily accessible. Growing up we spent a lot of time at the shop while mom and dad worked. We learned the value of hard work by watching them, so it didn’t seem like that much when we were all working one or two jobs, helping in the family business and going to school. It is the work ethic of a small town. Focus: How about the present? Burrs: We are proud to be a part of Winter Haven, and glad that it is growing. Legoland

is huge for our community, and there’s a lot more going on. This a great place to live no matter what your age, but for families raising kids you have great school choices both public and private. Polk State College is a great school. It is an active, moving community where young adults can stay busy. We know a lot of kids that moved away after college, but are coming home now. We never thought of living anywhere else. Focus: Any thoughts on the future? Burrs: We’d like to see more things done around for our age group. We’d like to be involved but a lot of the things that go on in downtown seem geared for people a little older. We’d like to see more people our age get involved in the community and give back. This is a great place to live but we can make it better if we all did a little.

business » business profile

Velvet, Dru, Teresa, Drake, and Duke Burr

Burr Printing Company, Inc.

Burr Printing Company, Inc. 4212 Hammond Dr Winter Haven, FL 33881 863-294-3166

Written By: Brent Simmons

In 1930 George L. Burr, Sr. bought a weekly newspaper and printing company in Winter Haven. Burr Printing may be the oldest printing company in Central Florida and is one of the oldest family owned businesses in Winter Haven, as well. The company recently moved from their downtown location of 26 years to the new facility on Hammond Drive off Dundee Road. The family business heritage may continue for another 70 years with the current generation. Duke and Teresa Burr remain involved and their adult children Derrick, Dru, Drake, and Velvet grew up in the business. Four grandchildren will learn it, too. What does it take to stay in business 70 years? Duke said, “It is going beyond what the customer expects. It’s doing little extra things, producing a dependable quality product, and being accessible to your clients.” Ron Tiller, an employee for over 20 years added, “We pay attention to details.” Dru, who is currently more involved in the business, continues the customer service

tradition his father began. When delivering a print job, Dru also places the documents on the shelf or in the rack instead of leaving it for the client to do. This is just one example of the commitment to provide more care than expected. Another involves client Debbie Brozio of Langs Sun Country. Every year she prepares a catalog of gift items they stock. For a week every year she uses a computer and the software at Burr Printing to put it all together. Teresa said, “One of the big differences between us and ordering online or going to most printers is that we let you sit right by us as we design your business cards or wedding invitation. We pride ourselves on providing one-on-one personal service.”

things better and in some cases do things the new machines can’t do.” Burr Printing Company can handle all your printing needs. From stationery to wedding invitations, they can do it all. The quality of the finished products is as great as the customer service.

grandmother, Josephine G. Burr, wrote The History of Winter Haven, Florida, which is now considered to be the definitive history of the town. Duke and his family are thankful for their rich heritage, for the good name passed on to them. and for the folks of Winter Haven who’ve allowed Burr Printing to serve them for over 70 years.

On an interesting side note, Duke’s

His brothers and sister help when needed, but have other jobs as well. Velvet is a licensed massage therapist and Drake is a certified fitness trainer. The shop is a mixture of new machines and some old ones. Duke explained, “We like to use the best equipment to do the job. Our computer hardware and software is the most current, but some of the older machines do FOCUS Magazine winter haven june 2011



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extra » al reuchel beaches. And where was the money going to come from? Enter New York into the mix. It does gall me a bit that even more of our money will be headed to the Big Apple. Still, trains are used there every day. They have the tracks, the population, the work centers, and the experience to take advantage of moving lots of folks. Heck, if you live there you don’t have much other choice. About 800-million will be used to upgrade trains speeds from 135 mph to 160 mph. The projects should also improve the reliability of the Long Island Railroad and improve a traffic jam for Amtrack’s Central New York routes. The same goes for California where planners have already designed a train that could travel 200 mph between San Francisco and Los Angeles. That’s one busy line that could help easy California’s disastrous highway system. Another 400-million will be used to upgrade existing train routes from St. Louis to Chicago to Detroit. And yes, those routes do carry a lot of people on existing lines, so there is a demand especially if the manufacturing sectors ever spring back to life. In making the announcement, Transportation Secretary Ray Lahood touted the number of jobs that would be created and how much time would be saved. He also noted that American companies would begin making the next generation rail cars and other technology improvements as a result of the government investment in rail.

Rail money heads north! I Written By: Al Reuchel

love trains. If we had gotten high speed rail to Orlando I would have been one of the first to jump on board. If we get light rail I’m one of those guys who would probably go out of my way to hitch a ride. Of course, I live in Pinellas so that’s not going to happen.


june 2011

Just for kicks, let’s drop the politics of high speed for argument’s sake. Our governor turned it down. So now 2-billion dollars is heading to New York, Wisconsin, California, and Illinois. And here’s the tough part to admit… the money is probably better placed in those areas than here in Florida. Did I say that? It’s not just my opinion but the thoughts of a lot of transportation think

tanks. It’s not that we can’t use the jobs in Florida, far from it. Our problem was we don’t have a long established history of folks using the trains to get around. We don’t have a track record that says people would use the trains if they were built. And in order for trains to pay for themselves in Florida we would have to make the eventual links to Miami, and yes, Pinellas County and the

On that point you can’t argue that high speed rail could have been a potential economic engine for Florida. Here’s the rub though. If all high speed could do was create jobs and not carry enough passengers to pay the bills it could have become an albatross. Potential rider surveys were pathetic at best. As proposed the rail in Florida would have only had three stops: Tampa, Lakeland, Orlando. We don’t have major industrials loops that could have immediately tied into the rail. We don’t have riders who already jump on board and could benefit from faster commute times. New York and California and Boston and DC already do. So take my money… I don’t want you to choke on it. But the next time we ask for your help developing a catastrophic hurricane fund, remember this gift we gave back to you in the name of rail road common sense.

FOCUS Magazine winter haven june 2011


extra » city of winter haven

City officials in the early years stand on the steps of the old City Hall for a picture.

city of winter haven O Written By: Joy Townsend

n June 22, 2011, we mark the actual centennial anniversary of the first organizational meeting of Winter Haven as a town. A fun lunchtime special City Commission event is being planned to mark the day. Everyone is invited to bring their own lunch and join us at noon in Central Park. We’ll bring the birthday cake and a group to reenact that first meeting that set Winter Haven on the path that has led us to today. Although City Commission meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of each month, to observe the historical date, this event will be held on a Wednesday. In the late 1880s families like those of FAK Harris, the Thornills, Eycleshimers, Sikes, Jackson, Inmans and others began to settle in what would become known as Winter Haven. And by 1911, men like Mayor W.E. Smith, who, along with John A. Schneider, W.W. Mann, F.P. Howard, W.J. Smith and F.W. Oren, stepped forward to serve on the first Winter Haven Town Council. Over a period of nine days, beginning June 22, 1911, the newly formed Winter Haven Town Council met five times. At the first meeting, the corporate city seal was chosen and is still used today. The following four meetings were actually adjourned sessions of the first meeting.


The Winter Haven Police Department has been around 100 years, too. At the June 28, 1911, meeting, the Town Marshal’s salary june 2011

was set at $50. That position would be the equivalent of the Police Chief today.

Taking a look back at some of the first ordinances, called “Rules of Decorum,” adopted in one motion on June 30, 1911, might bring us a chuckle today. Those original “Rules” provided that the Town Marshall would impound all livestock found running at large in the Town. He was to care for them and dispose of them, as prescribed by ordinance, which said the owner was to be notified and was responsible for the cost of care. If the owner failed to pick up the animals, they were to be sold at an auction scheduled each Wednesday.

Another “Rule” made it illegal for any person riding or driving a horse or other animal to travel the streets of Winter Haven “at a rate of speed exceeding 6 miles per hour.” The fine for breaking this law was up to $15 for each offense, and/or by imprisonment not to exceed 10 days in the Town jail. Those riding a bicycle, tricycle or motorcycle, velocipede or automobile who were staff must have a bell on their vehicle and could not ride on the Town sidewalks. All the above modes of transportation were not allowed on the streets one hour after sunset or before sunup. If you did choose to ride a horse, mule, ox or other animal, you weren’t allowed to hitch the animal to a lamppost, shade tree, or public enclosures. Violating this law could cost you up to $300.

Eat Better. Love Life. Live Longer.

FOCUS Magazine winter haven june 2011


dining & entertainment » dining profile

Fred’s Southern Kitchen A couple of months ago we took a trip to Fred’s Southern Kitchen in Lakeland and ate selections from the buffet like we would never be eating again (www. Then we immersed your senses in a detailed report on our experience, and we hope you afterwards got a chance to check out one of their locations. This month, we went to the Plant City restaurant and enjoyed another fulfilling meal. Once again, we talked about the food all the way back to the FOCUS mobile. This time, though, we didn’t just go for the food - what we were most interested to see was the innovative program Fred’s is experimenting with - it’s as fresh an idea as their food is Southern. Fred’s has just introduced the Waste Not, Want Not program. “Prices of gas have gone up so much, and as a result a lot of restaurants are trying to raise their prices,” said Lauren Elmhorst, Director of Marketing for Fred’s. “But we don’t really want to have to do that, so what we’re doing is providing discounts to people who don’t create an excessive amount of waste.” That’s


june 2011

right, the rest is what you think it is - simply don’t throw away a bunch of food, and you will actually see a discount on your bill. Sound like a good idea? It is - less waste equals less expense, which equals lower prices. And so far, people are glad to try the program. “We’re getting a positive response,” Elmhorst said.

How exactly is the program implemented? Fred’s wants patrons to know they are still free to do as they wish, since that’s why they pay to eat out. “We don’t want people to feel like they are being watched [in regards to the program]. People can make as many trips to the buffet as they like,” said Lauren. “If your waitress sees you didn’t pile up on food that wasn’t eaten (a large amount), the discount will automatically apply, and that’s it. We encourage our guests to enjoy as many dishes from our buffet as they desire, and we certainly don’t want people to feel like they have to finish every crumb. We are just helping them to be more conscious about the impact that food waste has on prices. We’re doing everything we can to not let our

Finds New Way to Keep Prices Low Written By: John Ross

customers feel the brunt of rising food costs. We find our guests really appreciate this.” Elmhorst thinks customers should be aware of a key principle that motivates the staff at all Johnson family restaurants: “At Fred’s we understand the importance and value of families eating together. We think about that in every decision we make. We see the Waste Not, Want Not program as a perfect way to partner with families to help their children learn to make healthy and responsible eating choices.” So, what kind of food will we be saving money on, exactly? Fred’s Southern Kitchen serves food you might expect at a Southern banquet. They stick with the basics and they do them right: Fried Chicken, seasoned and juicy; mashed potatoes with thick gravy; homemade macaroni and cheese which has just as much butter as it does cheese and many other major country staples like large warm buttered rolls, barbeque ribs, and corn bread. During our most recent trip, we tried, among a slew of other things, the Fried

Fred’s Southern Kitchen Lakeland: 2120 Harden Blvd. Lakeland, FL 33803 863-603-7080 Hours of Operation: Monday - Saturday 7 A.M. - 8:30 P.M. (6 A.M. in Plant City) Sunday 8:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M. Green Tomatoes. They are sprinkled with batter and give a hint of tart. Both butter and cheese fight for your attention in the macaroni and cheese. The Italian style green beans are tender and also buttery. Generally speaking, the food is rich, but not too much so. Fred’s knows exactly how to serve you hearty, delicious Southern Cooking - the kind you’ll crave and return for over and over again!

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entertainment » event calendar

winter haven

calendar of events

If you have an upcoming event and would like us to add it to our calendar of events please email the information to:

Saturday, June 04, 2011

» Trailering Your Boat - FREE Seminar 9:00am - 11:00am 4020 Bartow Rd The seminar will cover subjects such as choosing a tow vehicle, hitch and trailer, how to safely and securely tow your boat, and operation and maintenance of your trailering equipment. Also the seminar will include a demonstration of backing technique and an offer of guided “hands on” experience in backing a boat trailer for those persons wishing to bring their own rigs for that purpose. For more information, call 863-667-9047 or visit

Sunday, June 12, 2011

» Blend 2:30pm 210 Cypress Gardens Blvd Blend is the acapella group bringing back those fun-loving memories with music from the ‘50s &


june 2011

‘60s era all with a twist of fun! You’ll be amazed as these 4 young men take the stage to present non-stop family entertainment. You’ll never know who you will see in this show...Elvis...Duke of Earl...Dixie Cups...along with a mix of good ole’ Southern Gospel.

Monday, June 13, 2011

» Musical Camp Theatre 9:00am 210 Cypress Gardens Blvd Theatre Winter Haven Academy offers a Musical Summer Camp for children ages 8 -17. Tuition is $399 with a 10% discount for multiple siblings or by registering before May 27, 2011. Registration will include: Dance/Choreography Training, Music/Vocal Training, Theatre Etiquette, Staging instruction, Audition Training,Camp T-shirt, Music CD of the Camp show & 2 tickets to the performance of HOW TO EAT LIKE A CHILD. This show’s cast will include all campers.

» Polk State College Basketball Camp 9:00am - 1:00pm 999 Ave H NE The camps will give individuals the chance to learn more about the game of basketball, introduce individuals to drills for self-improvement, help players develop a positive attitude and confidence in themselves as a player and person.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

» 9th Annual Guest Bartender Bash 5:30pm 325 W. Central Ave Boys and Girls Club 9th Annual Guest Bartender Bash. New owners, same party! This fundraiser helps to support the summer program for over 425 kids and youth.$75.00 ticket covers food and open bar. Entire ticket price goes to the Club. Call Kristie for ticket or sponsorship information.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

» Centennial Celebration 12:00pm Central Avenue This lunch-hour event will commemorate the first Town Council meeting held on June 22, 1911. Activities will include historic displays, a reading of a Proclamation recognizing the City’s 100 year history, historic traveling reenactment vignettes,

historic music, and much more. This event is being planned by the Centennial Steering Committee.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

» Live at the Gardens! Summer Music Series: The Porchdogs 7:30pm 1151 Tower Boulevard Back by popular demand! The Porchdogs will perform Louisiana Cajun and Zydeco music that will make you want to tap your feet along to the beat! Rarely performed in Central Florida, both Cajun and Zydeco music are often sung in Cajun or Creole French, with the accordion and fiddle as the lead instruments. The Porchdogs are wellknown throughout Florida, regularly playing at Orlando’s theme parks and at festivals and fairs throughout the state. Get ready to Laissez les bons temps roulez! (Let the good times roll!) Individual concert tickets are $25 with a 10 percent discount for members. Early reservations are encouraged. An optional prepaid dinner will be served at the Blue Palmetto Café at 6 p.m. Tickets go on sale April 20. Purchase a season pass (NEW this year) or individual tickets online at www. or call 863-676-1408.

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Career Center 7700 S.R. 544, Winter Haven, FL 33881

863.419.3060 Financial and Veterans Assistance Is Available to Those Who Qualify.

FOCUS Magazine .net/ridge winter haven june 2011 27 http://schools.polk-fl

“ESCAPE FROM THE ORDINARY” Estate and Custom Jewelry


“I wanted to exceed her expectations And to set her apart.”

and Unique Gifts

Tiffany Lamp Designs

Unique Gifts Porcelain

Custom Knives Asian Accents

Alaskan & Yukon Adventures

Museum Quality Models

Oriental Rugs


FOCUS Winter Haven 04-01  

FOCUS Magazine Winter Haven Edition Issue 04-01