Five Baby Boomers Closer To Year Of "Home Free" Retirement In Tallahassee

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News Release: RB Oppenheim Associates

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – In the throes of winter, five baby boomers are one step closer to a complimentary, year-long stay in a sunny Florida city that is one of America’s top retirement destinations. Choose Tallahassee’s local judging panel and voters across America have selected the finalists of the “Home Free: Why I Want to Live in Tallahassee” contest. The grand prize is a rent-free residence in a beautiful Tallahassee home and dozens of free perks that immerse the winner in the rich culture of Florida’s Capital City.

“I know firsthand how wonderful it is to live in Tallahassee. We have beautiful weather and exciting things to do around every corner,” said Choose Tallahassee Co-Chair Ken Boutwell. “The winner of the ‘Home Free’ contest will truly receive a positive, life-changing experience."

The “Home Free” contest garnered nationwide interest, with entries from more than 200 baby-boomers from all parts of the country. A Choose Tallahassee judging panel and “crowdsourcing” votes from the public helped whittle down the applicants to 25 semifinalists. The judging panel then requested video entries from the semifinalists, using those submissions to pick the five finalists. The judging panel’s final step in the selection process will be to interview the finalists and choose a winner. The panel will formally announce the victor in the coming weeks.

The finalists are:

  • Bill Wagner – Birmingham, Ala.

  • Barbara Meyer – Grand Rapids, Mich.

  • Catherine Campbell – New Boston, N.H.

  • Robert C. Hudson – Oak Park, Ill.

  • Coleen Hetherington – Laceyville, Pa.

The contest winner and his or her spouse or family will relocate to a Tallahassee home with 12 months of rent provided by the contest organizers. The winner also will receive dozens of other amenities, including a one-year family membership to a local golf club, tickets to college football and basketball games, meals at Tallahassee’s fine restaurants, season tickets to the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and membership to the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Choose Tallahassee created the innovative “Home Free” contest to promote the benefits of retiring in Florida’s Capital City. A 2012 independent study found that Tallahassee is No. 1 in offering all of the essentials boomers look for in a great retirement location – a warm climate, high-quality healthcare, affordable housing, lifelong learning and great recreational opportunities. Though many communities market themselves as a retirement location, none has embarked on such a promotion to offer an opportunity to “live free” for a year – until now.

“We’re almost ready to name a winner for this exciting contest,” said Boutwell. “The truth is that anyone can be a winner by choosing Tallahassee as a retirement destination. They’ll be making the right decision for the best of their lives.”

For more information about the “Home Free: Why I Want to Live in Tallahassee” contest, the Grand Prize award package and relocating to Tallahassee, visit

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