Applause News - Fall - Winter 2014

Fall/Winter 2014
Lakeland Campus
716 E. Bella Vista Street
Lakeland, FL 33805
Fax: 863-688-9292
Lasting Impacts: Savanna’s Story
Bartow Campus
695 E. Summerlin Street
Bartow, FL 33830
Fax: 863-534-0798
Inside this issue:
Winter Haven Campus
2211 28th Street NW
Winter Haven, FL 33880
Fax: 863-968-5016
Lasting Impacts ........................................ 1
Board Member Spotlight........................... 1
Upcoming Events ..................................... 2
Phone (All Campuses):
GiveWell Community Foundation ............. 2
2014 Big CUP Golf Tournament ............... 2
Spotlight: Maria Lewis .............................. 3
John Burton, Executive Director
Annual Board Meeting Highlights ............. 3
Cindi Parker-Pearson, Principal
Thank You ............................................... 4
Dates to Remember ................................. 4
2014-2015 Board Members
Janice Jones
To the following donors and
community partners . . . .
1st Vice President
Sam Houghton
The George W. Jenkins Fund within the
GiveWell Community Foundation
2nd Vice President
Chandra Frederick
Mark Miller
Margaret Cox
Immediate Past President
Michael Peeples
Casey Compton
Steve Earley
George Flack
Jeanne Hebert
Randy Hollen
Yadira Holmes
Chantelle Hrubes
Thank You!
Brad Johnson
Sam Johnson
Austin Jones
Gilit Kontny
Jamie Sturgill
Courtney Wade
Kim Wilbanks
Publix Super Markets Charities
The Denis L. Fontaine Foundation, Inc.
Dates to Remember
Winter Break
December 22, 2014-January 2, 2015
Teacher Work Day/Student Holiday
Friday, January 16, 2015
Holiday (Dr. M. L. King, Jr. Day)
Monday, January 19, 2015
Did you know that the
Achievement Academy
has a Wish List?
Items on the wish list are hand-selected
by our teachers and therapists to
help students reach their developmental
goals. For more information, please
visit our website and click on the
“Wish List” button.
Executive Committee Meetings
Monday, January 12, 2015
Monday, February 9, 2015
Rise and Shine Walk for Kids
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Top Chef of Polk County
Monday, April 20, 2015
Lakeland South Rotary Club
Interested in taking a tour of our
campus? Please call 863-683-6504
to schedule an appointment.
Check out our Website at
Early on, Savanna discovered her passion for art and drawing. As a 5th grader,
her artwork was displayed in the Polk Museum of Art for a year. While in 10th
grade she earned her certification in Digital Design from Traviss Career
Center, the first year Traviss offered the program. She also successfully
earned her certification as an Adobe Certified Associate for Graphic Design
and Illustration. Savanna continues to study at Traviss and is working on
her certification in Photoshop and InDesign. She is attending Academy of
TV Production as well.
“In spite of Savanna’s challenges she has never given up and has always
tried to pursue her dreams,” Tracy said admiringly. “I couldn’t be more proud
of my daughter.”
We’re proud, too, of Savanna and all of our children!
Sam Houghton, of Houghton, PA, is a business attorney
and entrepreneurial consultant based in Lakeland. Sam
joined the board of the Achievement Academy in 2013
and currently serves as our 1st Vice President. Recently
he served as chair of the Golf Committee for the 2014
Achievement Academy Big CUP Golf Tournament, which
was a huge success.
The Hilda Sutton and William D. Blanton
Charitable Foundation
In middle school, Savanna continued to achieve despite her difficulties, never
giving up on her love for education. She received many awards throughout
middle school: Academic Achievement Award, High Honors with Distinction,
Honor Roll, Principal Award and a Scholarship Award for Science. Twice she
received letters from the Florida House of Representatives congratulating her
on being selected student of the week. Savanna was extremely nervous
entering high school, afraid she would struggle, but she soon realized it
wasn’t as hard as she thought.
Board Member Spotlight: Sam Houghton
Board Meetings
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
The Glenn W. and Hazel Paxson
Morrison Foundation
Tracy Crum noticed that her three-year-old daughter,
Savanna, was having trouble speaking. Tests revealed
a developmental delay so she enrolled her daughter at
Achievement Academy, known as the Child Development Center at the time. There Savanna learned her
colors, to write her name, count to 10 and read. At age
six, Savanna graduated from Achievement Academy
and went on to attend public school.
Mosaic in Bartow donated $10,000 to Achievement
Academy for their 10th Anniversary Celebration.
Thank you Mosaic!
Sam and his wife, Stacy, have three children, Samuel (6), Ben (4) and Libby
(2). Sam was born and raised in Lakeland where he currently lives. He is a
devoted member of Christ Community Presbyterian Church and enjoys golfing
and fishing, when he can find the time. Sam says, “I am honored to serve on
the Achievement Academy Board,” Sam said, “and consider it to have the
greatest purpose of any non-profit in all of Polk County.”
~ Where Brighter Futures Begin ~
Upcoming Events—For More Information Call 863-683-6504
Saturday, April 18, 2015 – 8 am,
First Presbyterian Church at Lake
Hollingsworth. Come out to walk and
enjoy fun and games, while supporting
the Achievement Academy.
LUNCHEON - Wednesday, May 13,
2015 – 11:30 am, Lone Palm Golf
Club. Community supporters gather
for a special lunch program to raise
funds to provide therapies for
children attending Achievement
TOP CHEF OF POLK COUNTY – Monday, April 20, 2015 – 6 pm,
The Lakeland Center. Due to the overwhelming appeal of
great food as featured on today’s television programming,
increasingly high-profile chefs are being recognized for their
culinary genius. That energy, excitement and epicurean entrees
are coming to Polk County! The Achievement Academy is
proud to announce a new and fun-filled event: “Top Chef of Polk County,”
which places the spotlight on the area’s leading chefs while raising funds for
the Achievement Academy. This is a one-of-a-kind event! As many as 15 of Polk
County’s premier chefs will be invited to participate in this culinary extravaganza
– with each chef creating their own menu and preparing tableside a five-course
meal with accompanying wine (or other libations) for a table of 12. Each Chef will
create an ambience as unique as their culinary creations. This is a night, and
an experience, that will not be forgotten!
Thank You George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation!
The Achievement Academy recently received two grants of
$50,000 each, the first in May and the second in July, from the
George W. Jenkins Fund within the GiveWell Community Foundation.
The two grants will help support the Achievement Academy’s Birth
to Three Program and its Charter School.
(L-R) John Burton, Executive Director Achievement Academy;
Johnna Martinez, Grants Manager GiveWell Community Foundation;
Michael Peeples, Achievement Academy Board President; Mark
Miller, Board Secretary; Janice Jones, Board First Vice President .
“It is amazing to us that the spirit of George W. Jenkins and the
culture he created continue to impact our community, in general,
and our organization, in particular, in such a major and meaningful
way,” said Achievement Academy Executive Director John
Burton. “We gratefully acknowledge such significant support
and enthusiastically express our sincere appreciation for the
positive impact this will have on the children and families we serve
on a daily basis.”
Spotlight: Maria Lewis
Maria Lewis has joined the staff at Achievement Academy as the new Development Director. She has
more than 20 years of professional experience with nonprofit organizations working in program services
and specializing in fundraising and development. Prior to joining the Achievement Academy staff, Maria
served as Development Director at Champions for Children in Tampa. She is a graduate of the University
of Central Florida in Business Administration with a Marketing major. Maria also has extensive community
involvement, including numerous leadership positions. Welcome, Maria!
Annual Meeting Highlights
At our recent Annual Meeting of board members and staff, several members of the community were presented awards for
their service to Achievement Academy. Don Selvage, who donated countless hours assisting in the search for our new Executive Director, received the John F. Schneider, Sr. Volunteer Service Award (for individuals).
Representatives from BB&T Bank and Kohl’s Department Store were present to receive the Doris Trohn Volunteer Service
Award (for organizations). BB&T Bank employees spent several days this summer pressure-washing the buildings at all three
of our campuses in Lakeland, Bartow and Winter Haven. Kohl’s Department Store associates helped clean and organize
classrooms during the summer break and assisted with our Fall Festival.
CliftonLarsonAllen was also recognized for their generous donation of furniture and equipment for our new/remodeled buildings. Thank you Don, BB&T Bank, Kohl’s Associates and CliftonLarsonAllen!
We also welcomed new board members Yadira Holmes, Brad Johnson and Jamie Sturgill. Welcome!
L-R: Don Selvage, Paula Sullivan,
Michael Peeples
L-R: Sandy Littles of BB&T
Bank; Michael Peeples
L-R: Paula Sullivan; Gary Schwartz
& Scott McKinley of Kohl’s
L-R: Jamie Sturgill, Yadira Holmes,
Brad Johnson
Donate Today and Make A Difference in the Life of a Child with Special Needs
Donations may be made by check, credit card or billed. To donate by check please complete the
form below and return to: Achievement Academy, 716 E. Bella Vista St., Lakeland, FL 33805. To
donate by credit card, please go to our secure website at and click on
the green Make a Donation button. Also, please consider Achievement Academy in your will.
First Place Gross
The Achievement Academy’s Big CUP Golf Tournament was held on Thursday, November
20th at Lone Palm Golf Club. Prior to teeing off, players were introduced to Jillyan McGraw,
and had the opportunity to listen to her testimony about her sons, Aidan and Ethan, and the
obstacles they have faced due to Aidan and Ethan’s premature births.
For the first time in Polk County, players had the opportunity to play the “big cup.” Each
hole, with the lone exception of the Hole-In-One Contest, was 15 inches in diameter instead
of regulation size (4 1/4 inches). “We all know that a little help can make a big difference,”
said tournament chair and board member, Sam Houghton. “And with a little help from tournament participants, sponsors and concerned community members, we can make a big
difference in the life of a child with special needs.”
For more information, please contact: Maria Lewis, Director of Development; [email protected]; 863-683-6504.
Team Jenkins Motorsports
First Place Net
After play, participants enjoyed cocktails and dinner served by Lone Palm and bid on silent
auction items. It was a beautiful day and a great time was had by all. Congratulations to the
Gross and Net Winners, Team Jenkins Motorsports and Team Rodney Brenneman.
At the end of the day, over $42,000 was raised, thanks to all our sponsors, participants and
volunteers. A special Thank You to our Presenting Sponsor, Day & Night Tire and J.
Burns Pizza; and to our Participating Sponsor, GEICO. We appreciate you!
~ Our Mission ~
Assist children with special needs to reach their maximum potential
by providing quality education, therapy and family support.
Day-time Phone:
Check enclosed for $
I would like more information about the Achievement Academy. Please contact me.
Team Rodney Brenneman
~ Our Vision ~
Special Beginnings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Brighter Futures.