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January 2014 Check Presentation

Monday, February 17, 2014

DBOT January 2014 Photo

When family and friends reunite with one another around a festive holiday table to break bread, something magical happens. Joy and warmth permeate the room as loved ones are embraced with a sense of connectedness and true blessings.

And something similar happens when folks in our community come to the table of philanthropy as one big family to do good for our fellow citizens. Our souls and our lives take on a deeper abundance, meaning and purpose.

Doug Wimberly, president of Lakeland’s ButterKrust Bakery, embodies this spirit of philanthropic unity. Thanks to Doug’s overwhelming enthusiasm, dedication and hard work, a dream of Polk State College – which has blossomed into a dream of our entire county – has taken the final steps to fulfillment.

That dream came true with the Polk State College Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center, the first in the Florida system to be built through 100% philanthropic and local support, thanks to the Polk county community of generous businesses and individuals, a true family of philanthropists.

This cutting-edge, hands-on learning center that debuted in January 2014 is designed to create a more highly trained workforce, and sets the stage for enormous economic growth in Polk County and a profound impact on the lives of its citizens.

It was Wimberly who spearheaded the final push to raise the additional $250,000 for needed technologies to make the Center truly state-of-the-art. He personally signed hundreds of request letters, made phone calls, and went on numerous visits to help the Polk State Foundation exceed its goal.

An active member of the Lakeland Businessman’s Group, Doug participated in a presentation with Rob Clancey, Director of the Polk State Corporate College, and Tracy Porter, Executive Director of the Polk State College Foundation, which resulted in $22,500 in commitment from 18 longtime community leaders.

A member of Polk State Corporate College’s advisory board who has relied on the Corporate College for training his employees, Doug has long understood the significance of this new facility, which is the new home to the Polk State Corporate College and high-tech degree programs such as Engineering Technology and Supply Chain Management.

“I think it’s going to become recognized not only locally in Polk county, but all across Florida and possibly all across the U.S. and even globally. I think it has the potential for that. It can serve as a model for how education can work with businesses. I truly believe that,” said Wimberly.

On January 27, 2014 at a check presentation ceremony at the College’s District Board of Trustees meeting, Doug Wimberly and the rest of his colleagues at the Lakeland Businessman’s Group were honored for their extraordinary generosity and dedication to Polk State College and its students. Doug was at the event to accept the award on behalf of the group. He expressed his admiration for Polk State and how it inspired him to join the cause.

“I just think it’s a real treasure for Polk county to have Polk State College and its leadership. They are so committed, they are so positive and hard-working. I felt good about working with them,” he said.

“I’m appreciative to have been included in it and asked to be a part of it,” he added.

Wimberly expressed how the idea of building this amazing new facility completely from local philanthropy fired him up to support the project even more.

“That a state college could build a facility that magnificent, and build it philanthropically through the great citizens of our county — I think it’s the way that things should go. That’s why I gave personally, and that’s why I got the club involved with it,” he said.

He praised his fellow club members for their enthusiasm and hard work.

“I was just amazed by the club, and I’m proud of them stepping up and being part of something I thought was special,” he said.

Anu Saxena, Vice Chair of the Polk State College Foundation Board of Directors, warmly thanked Wimberly for making a transformational difference in the lives of Polk State students and our entire community through their generous contributions.

Calling Doug a “genuinely passionate champion for Polk State College, its Corporate College and our Foundation,” Saxena said:

“This generous gift from the Lakeland Businessman’s Group will positively impact Polk State College students for generations to come. Doug, on behalf of the District and Foundation Boards, we are eternally grateful to you for your volunteering of your time and the fact that you spearheaded the fundraising initiative for the Clear Springs Advanced Technology Center. We are deeply appreciative to you and your peers for making a gift this transformational to our College.”

Pictured left to right: Dan Dorrell, Mark Turner, Teresa Martinez, Doug Wimberly, Linda Pilkington, Rick Garcia, Dr. Eileen Holden and Greg Littleton.