Volunteers Needed for Biggest Florida Beach Walk and Photo Fest Ever

Clearwater (November 4, 2010) – Florida volunteer organizations and beach-lovers in Pinellas County, and specifically Clearwater, are invited to join the Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk, coming Saturday, Nov. 6, when Floridians rally to celebrate the Sunshine State’s sandy shores and show the world – with photos from each of the 825 miles – that Florida’s beaches are as wonderful as ever.

Volunteers can register now at Volunteer Florida to walk a beach mile and upload a photo. All 34 of Florida’s beach counties – including Pinellas County – have enlisted volunteer hosts, and a diverse group of volunteers from Scout troops to retirees are among the first to sign up as Beach Walkers. The momentum for the 825-mile walk is growing daily.“Clearwater’s beaches have won awards for years, and now is the time for the rest of the world to see the beautiful beaches this destination has to offer,” said Clearwater Mayor, Frank Hibbard. “In addition to the spectacular white sand beaches, volunteers are invited to enjoy activities along the beach, such as Sunsets at Pier 60, and the Sunset Cinema series, also centrally located at Pier 60.”

Event Day Details
Registered individual or group volunteers will walk their official mile between sunrise and 11 a.m. and take a photograph along the way to upload to the internet. By 11 a.m. EST, each official County Host will know how many of its county’s miles have been walked and photographed, and will report in to Beach Walk Operations Centers. All photos will be displayed on www.VISITFLORIDA.com/beachwalk.

Here’s what is going on in Clearwater on Beach Walk day: Volunteers are invited to join the fun in lobby two (2) of the Sheraton Sand Key Resort (1160 Gulf Blvd, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767) from 7 a.m. onwards. Visitors will be able to register as volunteers and enjoy a complimentary continental breakfast before setting off to walk the beaches. Two laptops will be set up for returning volunteers to upload their photos to the VisitFlorida website. Nate Alessandro will be the contact at the hotel, and will be available on Saturday from 7 a.m.

Additional Pinellas County registration points are as follows:
Post Card Inn, St. Pete Beach, 6300 Gulf Blvd, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706: Sign-In will be in the lobby starting at 7 a.m., and there will be computers and wifi available to upload pictures. They are also offering a Pig Roast at $8/person and live band starting at noon. Hotel Contact: Briana Browning (from 7 a.m. on Saturday)
Plumlee Gulf Beach Realty: 417 1st Street, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785: Registration will take place in the parking lot of the business starting at 7 a.m. Computers will be available in the office to upload photos. The contact is Sue Brown.

All Beach Walk photos, uploaded in real time, can be seen on www.VISITFLORIDA.com/beachwalk. VISIT FLORIDA will promote this grassroots photo gallery nationwide, drawing attention through the lenses of everyday Floridians to the fact that Clearwater’s beautiful beaches are as wonderful as ever – just in time for the winter tourism season.
For information about Clearwater’s participation in the Great VISIT FLORIDA Beach Walk, media should contact Joelle Castelli at (727) 562-4881 or Joelle.Castelli@myClearwater.com.

Florida Organizations Partnering for Florida
The Beach Walk is being supported and promoted by a number of great Florida organizations. VISIT FLORIDA, the state’s official tourism marketing organization, is hosting the overall effort, including the website to enlist volunteers and promotion beyond state boundaries to potential visitors.

Volunteer Florida is organizing the official volunteer efforts across the state. The Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association is reaching out through its extensive network of partners to let Floridians know about the event and support participants. The Florida Lottery is providing promotional support, and organizations such as the Florida State Parks and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are contributing expertise and volunteers.

“There is so much excitement about this event that we are confident we will have a great turnout in support of our state and all our beaches,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of Volunteer Florida.
“This is a great opportunity for all of us to enjoy what we love about Florida and support our state’s economy at the same time,” said Will Seccombe, VISIT FLORIDA Chief Marketing Officer. “By sharing thousands of photos of every one of Florida’s 825 miles of beaches, we will put to rest any lingering concerns from this summer’s oil spill.”

About Clearwater
Clearwater is an ideal destination for travelers of all ages and interests, occupying prime real estate along Florida’s stunning Gulf Coast. As a top, year round location for both leisure and business, Clearwater boasts an endless supply of sun, warm weather, great dining, and shopping, along with extensive outdoor activities both on land and at sea. Clearwater Beach is consistently ranked among America’s most beautiful and the city is also home to a wide variety of sporting and music events, including Philadelphia Phillies Spring Training and the annual Clearwater Jazz Holiday.