Harrells Wins Lakeland Swan Derby For 4th Year
by James Coulter
For the past six years, Harrells LLC has participated in the annual Lakeland Swan Derby. This year marks the fourth time they have won the title of grand champion in the main race.
“It feels amazing to win,” said Jodi Hargrove, a team member from Harrells. “It feels amazing and awesome.”
Hargrove was honored to be able to represent her company once again in this year’s race, especially since last year’s race was cancelled due to the ongoing pandemic. She loves being able to compete, and she especially loves to win.
“We keep coming back for the people and competition,” she said. “We were very blessed to have it this year…and we will be back again next year to be five-time champions.”
Harrels was one of the many local businesses and organizations that participated in this year’s Swan Derby. Hosted by LakelandVolunteers in Medicine (LVIM), the event serves as a fundraiser for the non-profit organization dedicated to offering affordable healthcare to local residents.
Normally hosted at Lake Mirror in Downtown Lakeland, this year’s event was hosted at Lake Crago Park. Aside from the three main races, it also included other festivities including a hat contest, food trucks, and local vendors.
Harrells won the main race of the evening. The winners of the Maiden Handicap, featuring local non-profits, was Top Buttons, a local non-profit organization that operates a thrift store in Downtown Lakeland.
Sarah Powers was not only honored to be able to compete in and win the race, but also to be able to enjoy a fun, quality evening at a new venue. She was born and raised in Lakeland, but this event was her first visiting the new Lake Crago Park area.
“It was so much fun,” she said. “I love competition. So it was really fun to have friends to be part of and totally crush the competition for a good cause.”
The winners of the Derby Dash, featuring the Leaders of Polk, was Publix Supermarkets. This was the first year that Kyle Thomas and his team participated. So being able to compete and win the race was a pleasant surprise for them. Overall, they expected for the event to meet their expectations.
“It was a great event,” Thomas said. It is a nice venue. “They did a fantastic job with the events, and we are happy to be here. It is amazing, always feels good to finish first.”