Cardiac Culpepper Foundation Delivers to Lucene Park Fire Station
by James Coulter
Matt Boyce has served at the Winter Haven Fire Department for 13 years. He currently works at Station 2 along Lucerne Park Road. As an EMT and lieutenant, his commitment to serving his community inspires him to wake up in the morning and perform his duty.
“It is a different job, a different call every time,” he said. “We come out just to enjoy helping the community and the citizens.”
Last week, he and his fellow officers were rewarded for their service with free meals delivered by Melanie Brown Culpepper from the Culpepper Cardiac Foundation. They received chicken and rice, cookies, brownies, and sports drinks as prepared and packaged by Pastor Bobby Williams of Freedom Tour Church in Lake Wales.
Boyce was especially pleased by the free meals they received. After hearing about the cause behind the foundation that made the delivery, he better appreciates their efforts and support their endeavors, he said.
“We love to see organizations in the community do things for us like this for us, not just for us, but everyone in the community,” he said. “We appreciate it. We are glad you dropped by…We are extremely happy. And we will enjoy it.”
Melanie Brown Culpepper has been visiting fire stations throughout the county for the past year making these deliveries. From Winter Haven and Lake Wales to Dundee and Frostproof, she has visited these departments to show her appreciation of the fire fighters and other staff who serve their local communities.
“I think today’s visit was good,” she said. “The firemen were very nice. I think they are very appreciative of what we do. Every fire station I have visited so far, and every fire man that I have met, they have been supportive and welcoming of us.”
Last year, she started her non-profit organization, the Culpepper Cardiac Foundation, to help raise awareness for heart health and raise proceeds to install AEDs within the county. Through her fundraising, she has already installed devices at her business, Melanie’s Cutting Edge Salon, as well as Winter Haven Boxing, Old Man Franks, and The Mission.
Her organization was started in memory of her late fiancée, who passed away from cardiac arrest despite the efforts of local EMT who arrived at the scene to assist him. She wanted to support the fire fighters and other public servants who dedicate their life to protecting the lives of others within her community.
She plans on hosting two fundraisers later this year: a fishing tournament, and a Saving Lives Matter event. Though she has hosted countless events in the past, she is cutting back this year due to time constraints. Her organization does plan on providing two scholarships to EMT and firefighting students.
“I want to give back to every fire department that I can in Polk County, and I am a woman of my word,” she said.