What is "For The Ridge"?

What is “For The Ridge?”

A couple of years ago I was at a conference and this pastor talked about a campaign they started called, “For Gwinnett”. If you’re not familiar with Atlanta, Gwinnett is a community on the outskirts of Atlanta. The idea was for the church and its people to show their support for Gwinnett, for the people and local businesses in that area. There were no strings attached. This was not about promoting the church. It was really about promoting tghe community. 

I came wanting to start doing something like this in my city right away. Well, as sometimes (often) happens, one thing or another came up and I ended up not starting it. As I thought about it, however, I realized that something like this had to be bigger than just Haines City. This had to be for all of The Ridge. So, with this post, I’m starting the “For The Ridge” initiative that I was planted in my mind that day at that conference.

I’m hoping in the months to come that For the Ridge will become a statement that many people throughout eastern Polk County will hear. I’m hoping that this will cause curiosity in many people and have them asking, “What is For the Ridge?”

Why do I care?

I’m from here. I was born in Bartow and grew up in Winter Haven and Haines City. I’ve lived in Haines City since I was 12 years old. I graduated from Haines City High School. I was in the marching band at Haines City High School. I met my wife at band camp, at Haines City High School. Our son now marches in the very same marching band that my wife and I met in, at Haines City High School.

I had my first car in Haines City and my first car accident. I had my first job in Haines City, at Kash-n-Karry; a grocery store that is no longer there. I had my first kiss in Haines City and found the love of my life in Haines City.

Haines City is my home. I have lived in other places, but I choose to be here.

What is The Ridge

Haines City is part of an area in Easter Polk County known as “The Ridge”. Like many such areas, the different communities that make up The Ridge cross over one another, and are interconnected in many ways. So, while Haines City may be my home, I am also a person of The Ridge.

You may not know this, but Florida is pretty flat. The only exception is a slight rise through the middle of the state. The peak of this rise happens in Lake Wales, where Bok Tower stands. Bok Tower marks the highest spot in the peninsula of Florida.

This rise runs through eastern Polk County and into parts the counties to our north and south. “The Ridge” refers primarily to the areas that are located on that small rise in elevation in Eastern Polk County. This includes many communities from Lake Wales to Davenport and everything in between.

THAT is The Ridge, and THAT is my home.

Check back later this week as I share why I’m starting this blog and why it matters to me, and to you.

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