Blackburn’s BBQ Receives AED from Culpepper Cardiac Foundation
by James Coulter
The worst thing Blackburn’s BBQ expects from your heart is heartburn from their barbecue. Otherwise, in case of a worse emergency involving your heart, the Eagle Lake eatery is well-prepared with a new defibrillator.
Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation donated and installed their 15th automated external defibrillator (AED) in July at Blackburn’s BBQ in Eagle Lake.
The AED was sponsored by Bill Roe with WM.G.Roe & Sons, Inc. in Winter Haven. He selected Blackburn’s BBQ as the location for the new AED, not only because the eatery is a busy and popular location, but also the most visited in the small town of Eagle Lake.
“If you ever can get the chance to help save someone’s life, he’s happy to be a part of it,” Roe said. “Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation works hard to do the right thing for our community and we need more people to help support doing this for our society.”
Brandon Blackburn opened the eatery six years ago after spending three years running his food truck. Blackburn has been a loyal supporter of his community through sponsorships, donations, fundraisers, and food vouchers for local teachers, healthcare workers, firefighters, and law enforcement.
Blackburn feels honored to have the AED donated to his eatery. He hopes he never needs to use it, but in case the need arises, he is grateful to have something to help him and his staff meet that need.
“I feel having an AED at the restaurant donated from Bill Roe is a privilege, [as] he is a great customer and good man I have known for a long time,” Blackburn said. “I feel like the Foundation has created awareness of so many people who are unaware of cardiac episodes. If having it in my facility saves a life from a preventable death, it’s worth it to me.”
Melanie Brown Culpepper started Culpepper Cardiac Foundation two years ago following the untimely death of her late fiancée, Michael Culpepper, who passed away from cardiac arrest. Since then, she has donated several dozen AEDs and raised proceeds to assist local EMTs and other first responders.
“Brandon cares for his customers and the community,” Melanie said. ” Brandon had heard a lot about the cause & awareness with Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation and thinks it’s good that CCF is giving out the awareness & proper equipment as the main goal is to save a life if needed.”
Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation will be hosting its annual fundraiser, Saving Lives Matter, at Tanner’s Lakeside in Winter Haven on Sat. Sep. 16. For more information, visit their website at: https://honoringculpepper.com/