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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Sheriff Grady Judd Enjoys Jeepin with Judd for 10th Annual Event

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Sheriff Grady Judd Enjoys Jeepin with Judd for 10th Annual Event

by James Coulter

There’s nothing Sheriff Grady Judd loves more than working hard to serve and protect his community. However, he managed to take time out of his busy schedule last weekend to go Jeep riding in Bartow.

Sheriff Grady Judd

For the past decade, Jeepin with Judd has not only allowed local Jeep owners an opportunity to go off-road riding on 1.5 acres of rugged Florida wilderness but also raise proceeds for Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc., the charitable arm of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Polk Sheriff’s Charities, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit organization, does everything from providing Christmas gifts for needy children to allowing previously incarcerated women to transition back to a free life to assisting other local charities like Hope Equine Rescue, which cares for horses that have been abused, neglected, or abused.

“We have a philosophy that no child wakes up on Christmas morning without a Christmas presents, [and] we want people to have a big dinner with their family on Thanksgiving,” Sheriff Judd said. “So when a deputy sees someone who is down and out, then they report that to our charity and we help them out.”

Sheriff Judd, along with hundreds of other Jeep owners and enthusiasts, had the opportunity last weekend to ride one of the many trails in the 1.5 acres of land at Clear Springs Ranch in Bartow.

“I did the gator trail a few minutes ago. It was awesome,” he said. “It went uphill and downhill and through mudholes and it was a rush. So, if you have a Jeep and you are not here. You are just not cool.”

Aside from trail riding, the event also allowed attendees to peruse vendors and food trucks and show off their vehicles. There was even a mini-Jeep trail for toy Jeeps that little children could ride.

“I enjoy the people,” Sheriff Judd said. “There are hundreds of people from the Sheriff’s Office volunteering their time. But I love the people the most. I like to ride the trails, and I really appreciate our veterans who come here every year. If it weren’t for the community, we would not be able to raise money for the charities and the charities would not be able to help people.”

Sheriff Judd commended Clear Springs Ranch for facilitating the annual fundraiser, and Orlando Jeep Club for putting in thousands of volunteer hours helping set up for the event.

“As a result, we raise a lot of money for our charity, and then we will that those proceeds and help those less fortunate in the community,” he said. “It has exceeded our expectations. Our goal was to make sure that we have enough trails that people rode trails rather than waited in line for this year.”

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