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Friday, May 20, 2022

5th Annual Putt-Putt Pub Crawl Hosted in Memory of Late Apple Lounge Owner 

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5th Annual Putt-Putt Pub Crawl Hosted in Memory of Late Apple Lounge Owner

by James Coulter

Tim Leopard, owner of Apple Lounge in Winter Haven, had been participating in the Putt-Putt Pub Crawl ever since it started more than five years ago. To honor him, the fundraiser was hosted this year in his memory.

Nearly a hundred participants traveled to several Winter Haven bars for a chance to putt a hole-in-one at the fifth annual Putt-Putt Pub Crawl on Saturday. Mini golf course holes made from red Solo cups and other makeshift items were assembled at Apple Lounge and other locations including Barrel 239, Twisted Prop, and Old Man Frank’s with the final hole located at Tanner’s Lakeside.

The event was started more than five years ago to benefit the Women’s Resource Center. Tim Leopard participated with his bar, the Apple Lounge. He passed away last year from colon cancer. As a local philanthropist who gave back to his community, Leopard was someone who will be missed, said Melanie Brown Culpepper, Event Chair.

The Putt-Putt Pub Crawl was postponed over the past few years due to the COVID-19 crisis. After Leopard passed away last year, doubts were raised as to whether the event would continue. Nevertheless, both the beautiful weather and the loving memory of the late Apple Lounge owner drew in a great turnout.

“We are honored to keep this going, and that it was allowed to do it after all that we have been through,” Culpepper said. “I thank everyone for pulling together as a community. And as loving each other in this town. Polk County is one of the most amazing counties you can be a part of because we all pull together to support each other.”

The Pub Crawl was taken over by Leopard Legacy, a non-profit organization created to keep the legacy of the late Apple Lounge owner alive. Proceeds from the event will go toward supporting local homeless people and veterans.

Jennifer Denby, an Apple Lounge employee for ten years, and the treasurer for the Leopard Legacy, spoke highly about her late partner and his love for his community. She was honored that the fundraiser allowed his memory to remain alive in the community that he loved and supported.

“He was a real philanthropist and humanitarian. He gave back to the community when he was alive. When he passed, we wanted to continue to do what he did last,” she said. “We had a great turnout. And we plan on being bigger next year. It will be bigger next year…I loved the camaraderie and the people coming together.”

Melissa Codgill performed with her band, Spankin’ Sadie, at Tanner’s Lakeside. She was a childhood friend of Leopard’s. She loved seeing the local community come out, not only to have a good time and raise money for a good cause, but to honor the memory of a good man.

“He was a wonderful person, a man of integrity, honesty, and truth,” she said. “He was great around everyone. Funny. He really cared about people, he really cared about people.”

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