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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

A Local Technician Passed Away from Cardiac Arrest. Auburndale Speedway Paid Tribute to Him by Raising Proceeds from an AED

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A Local Technician Passed Away from Cardiac Arrest. Auburndale Speedway Paid Tribute to Him by Raising Proceeds from an AED.

by James Coulter

Jeff Warren and Brandon Duchscherer had been involved in racing for the past 20 years. Their first venture together was in 2002. Since then, they had worked closely with each other at the Auburndale Speedway.

Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Jeff passed away from cardiac arrest. To pay tribute to his long-lost friend, Brandon changed the number of his car, 23, to that of Jeff’s car, 78, and raced in his honor last Saturday evening.

“It feels good that we are honoring him, but I feel bad that we lost him,” Brandon said. ‘I am going to race tonight to win one for him.”

Last Saturday, Auburndale Speedway paid tribute to Jeff by raising proceeds for an AED to be installed in their community. The race included a moment of silence for Jeff as well as a presentation by Melanie Brown Culpepper of Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation, who had donated an AED to the Speedway last year.

Last Saturday was Melanie’s first time attending a race, especially at Auburndale Speedway. She had never been to a race or to the speedway before, despite living in the area most of her life. She and her grandchildren had a great time attending.

Since starting Culpepper’s Cardiac Foundation three years ago, Melanie and her non-profit organization have donated and installed more than 30 AEDs at local businesses and other establishments across the county, including Auburndale Speedway in November


“It was absolutely great to be here,” Melanie said. “It is making me happy that the places that I am placing them [AEDs] at are paying it forward to other places in our community to get them to all these locations to save lives.”

Kim Narramore, General Manager at Auburndale Speedway, was honored for her workplace to raise proceeds for another AED to be placed in the community and took great inspiration from Melanie and her organization.

“We love having Melanie here,” Kim said. “We feel that what she is doing is a helpful thing for our community. So, we are very good to have her here.”

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