Crawlin on the Chain Crawls Back to Keep Chain of Lakes Clean
by James Coulter
Many residents along the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes have seen the occasional alligator. Last Saturday, they and many visitors had the opportunity to eat gators to keep gators in their clean and beautiful waters.
Crawlin on the Chain was hosted once again at Tanners Lakeside last Saturday to raise proceeds for Project Eagle, the local Earth Day clean-up effort to clean the waters and shores of the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes.
Attendees were able to eat actual grilled gator, as well as other barbecue samplings. They could also place bets on 50/50 raffles and silent auctions, allow their children to bounce around in bounce houses, and listen to live musical performances by local bands like Spankin Sadie and Ninety Nine in the Shade.
Proceeds from the event not only went to Project Eagle, but also to Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation, a local non-profit organization dedicated to supporting local first responders through scholarships and providing AEDs throughout the community.
Melanie Brown Culpepper, the founder of Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation, has been supporting the annual fundraiser ever since its inception. Aside from supporting most local events, she appreciates efforts to keep the ecosystem of her local community clean and beautiful.
“The Chain is very important in our community,” she said. “We are about cleaning this Chain up. By all of up helping together, we can keep the pollution out…and cleaning all these lakes, that is what it is all about.”
Karen Millette has been on the board of Keep Winter Haven Clean and Beautiful, the local non-profit that hosts Project Eagle. She appreciated the overall turnout for this year’s event, as it shows how much the local community wants to keep their local lakes clean and beautiful.
“I live on the Chain,” she said. “This is my place. This is what makes Winter Haven great. So we are cleaning up not only the Chain of Lakes, but the watershed that supports the Chain of Lakes. That is what we clean up each year…We want to raise awareness to everyone of what we are doing to clean up the Chain of Lakes and to make sure the watershed that feeds it iscleaned up as well. I think it is a beautiful day. And it is a wonderful event where everyone is coming out to support it.”
Brandy Cauley works at Tanners Lakeside. She appreciates fundraisers like this, as they help support her local community. She especially appreciates the efforts of Melanie and company, who host most of their events at that venue.
“It is an amazing turnout,” she said. “I think it is amazing that we clean up our lakes and make them look good and for the people to keep on the water and have a good time in the summer. I think it is a good thing for our community. It is an amazing turnout. I think Melanie is amazing. She has done an excellent job for all of us.”