"Home Free" Contest Winners Welcomed to Tallahassee

By Charlene Cristobal
May 15, 2014

Bill and Catherine Campbell were welcomed "home" on Thursday. They are the winners of Choose Tallahassee's "Home Free" contest, which means they get to live in Tallahassee, rent-free for a year.

Catherine Campbell says, "When you're starting retirement, you don't really know how your money is being [spent] or how it's going to work out for you and everything. So this was a great opportunity."

They won't just receive a free home, they'll also get free college football and basketball tickets, a family golf membership to Hilaman Golf Course, meals at Tallahassee's fine restaurants like Food Glorious Food, Azu, Avenue Eat & Drink and Harry's, season tickets to the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and a membership to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

"We've got a great community here. It's very friendly and I think they're really going to love the people here in Tallahassee," says Rick Minor, Chief of State for the Office of the Mayor.

Experts say that if 3/10 of 1% of baby-boomer retirees came to Tallahassee, it would add $1 billion per year to our community's annual income. Baby-boomers are retiring at a rate of 10,000 a day for the next 16 years. Tallahassee is ranked number one by Washington Economics Group in terms of it's appeal to baby-boomer retirees.

Minor says, "We've got it all: we've got great healthcare, low cost of living, excellent climate and a lot of activities that baby-boomer retirees are interested in and being involved in."

Between Catherine and Bill, they have lived in a total of 11 states. Living in Tallahassee will make Florida the 12th state they've lived in and they hope their last.

Bill and Catherine also found out even a more of a reason for them to move to Florida..."We have a daughter up in Georgia, who we just found out is pregnant. So, we're excited about that. So now we'll be a lot closer."

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