Guardian Angels


Austin Burke and Justin Cothran are two of the new TDC beach ambassadors who spend time on all the Gulf County beaches building the brand through education.

Wes Locher | The Star
Published: Thursday, July 3, 2014 at 09:22 AM.

There are new faces on the beach armed with helpful hints and smiles for locals and visitors alike.

The Beach Ambassador program, an idea originally pitched last year by Jennifer Jenkins, executive director of the Tourist Development Council, has not only come to fruition, but put three fully-trained ambassadors on county beaches seven days a week, 10 hours a day.

The $94,000 program was funded by the one penny that the TDC collects in bed taxes for beach nourishment.

Spending for the program was approved by the Advisory Council prior to going before the Board of County Commissioners for final approval.

Once the program was approved, Jenkins began accepting applications, seeking people who grew up on the beaches and were familiar with the rules.

“I was looking for people who represent the Gulf County brand,” said Jenkins. “People who would go out and represent our area with the truest ability.”

Among the 14 applications were three that met and exceeded Jenkin’s guidelines.

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