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Achievement Academy’s Board of Directors has moved the “Top Chef of Polk County” event from Monday, April 12th to Monday, May 17th. Due to COVID concerns, the location has changed from the RP Funding Center to participating chefs’ restaurants. This format will allow for a safe environment with only 25 guests per restaurant. There will be a limited number of sponsorships available.

Guests will enjoy a three-course meal that includes their chef’s signature dish accompanied by a wine or libation that complements the dish’s flavors. During the event, there will be an online silent auction.

Publix Super Markets Charities is the Exclusive Presenting Sponsor. Participating Chef Sponsor is Horne Construction Inc. Head Chef Sponsors are Citizens Bank & Trust and Pallet Recycle. Sous Chef Sponsors are Lakeland Surgical & Diagnostic Center, LLC, MIDFLORIDA Credit Union, Cannon Automotive Group, Allen & Company and Senator Kelli Stargel. Dessert Sponsor is John and Deborah Weber. Sauté Chef Sponsors are Lakeland Electric, Mulling Insurance Agency, Luke Markham & the law firm of Johnson Pope, Interstate Batteries of Lakeland, Saddle Creek Logistics Services and Summit.

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

A panel of judges will sample each chef’s creation the day of the event to award the “Top Chef of Polk County.” 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. 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 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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