Enjoy Saving Lives Matter Family Day On July 25
by James Coulter
Want to enjoy a fun Sunday afternoon with good food, games, and music while learning about better health? Then come on down to Tanner’s Lakeside this Sun., July 25 for Saving Lives Matter Family Day.
From noon to 4 pm, young attendees will be able to have fun with a water slide, bounce house, face painting, and other fun games and activities. The event will spice up later that evening around 5 pm with live music performed by Spankin’ Sadie.
Aside from offering fun and music, the event will also raise awareness for heart health with various vendors and booth showcasing information about better health and safety. Local EMT will offer information about defibrillators. The local fire department will showcase their fire truck. BayCare will offer free blood pressure tests. And the Polk County Sheriff’s Department will be offering a K9 unit demonstration.
“This event is Saving Lives Matter,” said Melanie Brown Culpepper, event coordinator. “It is what it is all about: saving lives…We always call 911 and the EMT. We need to focus on kids safety. Kids are drowning every day in Florida. We need to focus on not leaving our kids or animals in our cars on a hot day.”
Saving Lives Matter Family Day is being hosted at Tanner’s Lakeside by the Culpepper Cardiac Foundation, a local non-profit organization dedicated to assisting local EMT and other fire and rescue workers. Over the past year, the organization has been hosting fundraisers to raise proceeds for defibrillators throughout Winter Haven and Polk County.
Melanie started the organization last year following the death of her fiancée, Michael Culpepper, who passed away from cardiac arrest despite the best efforts of the EMT workers who arrived to assist him. To honor her fiancée’s legacy and assist rescue workers, she started the organization to raise funds and awareness for them.
On the first Friday of every month, Melanie and her staff of volunteers have been delivering lunches to fire departments across Polk County. Last month, she delivered to the Bartow Fire Department, and this month, she will be delivering to the Lake Wales Fire Department.
Bobby Williams, Pastor of Freedom Tour Church in Lake Wales, has been assisting Melanie with her endeavors, especially by preparing and delivering meals for First Friday. He will be hosting a vendor booth at the event to showcase his church and their services.
Originally, Saving Lives Matter Family Day was going to be hosted at Balmoral Resort as a fundraiser. However, due to scheduling changes, the event was moved to Tanner’s Lakeside and changed from a fundraiser to an awareness event.
“The only thing I will be selling are shirts and wristbands, because I purchased 85 of them for the original event at Balmoral,” Melanie said. “So [this event will be focusing on] donations and community awareness for heart health.”
Melanie will also be making an announcement for an upcoming initiative, where people will be able to purchase “memory bricks” for first responders and other fire and rescue workers.
The next event will be on Sept. 19 at Slate 8 Billiards, a poll hall in Winter Haven. In November, they will host Hearts Unlimited, a gala to officially wrap up their year of fundraising.
“I am hoping that everyone can come out and get together to enjoy themselves,” Melanie said. “I hope that everyone can help me towards my goal of mainly getting defibrillators everywhere because every minute counts…That is my goal, [getting them] on every city block.”
Saving Lives Matter Family Day will be hosted on Sun., July 25 from noon to 9 pm at Tanner’s Lakeside, located at 1006 Lake Howard Dr SW, Winter Haven, FL 33880. For more information, visit their website at: https://honoringculpepper.com/