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LAKELAND, FL (December 8, 2020) – Achievement Academy’s seventh annual “Top Chef of Polk County” event will take place on Monday, April 12, 2021, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

This will be a night of delicious food and fellowship while raising much-needed funds for children. Participating chefs will create and prepare their signature dish (tapas style) accompanied with a wine or libation that complements the flavors of the dish. Guests will enjoy a cash bar, silent/live auctions and a tasting of signature dishes from Polk County’s leading chefs. Last year, the event raised $200,000 for children with special needs enrolled in the Achievement Academy.

Last year, Top Chef of Polk County added an exciting partnership between the chefs and community leaders from throughout Polk County. The community leaders were paired with one of the participating chefs to collaborate on their fundraising efforts in the month leading up to the event. The Chef/Community Leader Team with the highest combined donations from the auction and online donations were awarded the “Top Philanthropic Chef” and “Top Philanthropic Community Leader,” respectively. That same format will be in place again this year.

Guests will judge each chef on their creation. Votes will be tallied and the top finisher will be awarded the title of “Top Chef of Polk County 2021.” In addition, guests will rate each dining station in order to award the “Top Table Décor” recipient. The chef who raises the most funds

for Achievement Academy through their donated auction item(s) and online voting will earn the “Top Philanthropic Chef” award. Chefs will sample each other’s signature dish prior to the event and then vote for the “Chefs’ Choice” award.

Participating chefs for this year’s event include:

Chef Brandon Bailey, The Back Nine Chef Jason Boniface, Cob & Pen

Chef Tina Calhoon, Frescos Southern Kitchen & Bar

Chef Gene Gelb, Publix Aprons Catering & Cooking School Chef Scott Greenlee, Patio850

Chef Richard Hoert, Terrie Lobb Catering, Inc. Chef Josh Lawley, Craft + Kitchen

Chef Matt Oakley, Crave & Copper Chef Steven Rojas, Nutwood

Chef Casey Ryan, 1916 Irish Pub

Chef Abigale Weech-Starkey, The Chop Shop

Sponsorship opportunities are available. For more information, please visit or contact Stacy Williams-Myers, CFRE at 863-683-6504 or

The Achievement Academy serves children from birth through age five with various developmental delays and disabilities. The Achievement Academy offers two programs, each provided at no cost to the child or family. The first program is a Charter School that offers specialized instruction by certified teachers; small class sizes; individual speech, occupational and physical therapies; and assistive technologies that enable each student to reach his or her full potential at one of the Achievement Academy’s three campus locations (Lakeland, Winter Haven and Bartow). The second is a “Birth to Three Program” that provides early intervention services to infants and toddlers who are “at-risk” for developmental delays and/or have been identified with a specific delay. Professional Early Interventionists serve these children and their families.

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