Host Our Coast Winner Named

by Dave on May 28, 2010

Following four months of competition, the online contest known as Host Our Coast™ has chosen a winner for the 2010 summer season. The contest was created to select a summer travel journalist to Host Our Coast, who will explore Delmarva’s beaches, bays, and beyond this summer, and report back daily with online videos, photos, and blog posts. The lucky winner will be paid $15,000 to play on Delmarva’s Coast all summer and will be provided with living accommodations at local hotels, B&B’s, and campgrounds where the Host will live free for the entire three month assignment.

The winner of the 2010 Host Our Coast contest is Errol Webber, Jr. Errol was one of 34 contestants to apply to win Host Our Coast. Errol Webber was 21 years old when he flew to Zimbabwe to begin shooting the Academy-award winning documentary film Music by Prudence, just two weeks after graduating from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Despite his age, he had already worked as a commercial cinematographer and photographer for five years, shooting everything from concerts and promotional events to TV broadcasts and commissioned art videos for museums. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Webber immigrated to the United States at the age of 15, aspiring to become a commercial airline pilot. Once he picked up his first video camera, however, he knew he needed to spend his life behind the lens.

Errol’s application process included posting an initial 60-second video to YouTube, and submitting a headshot, brief bio, and sample travel blog post. He was then selected with 14 other Host Our Coast semi-finalists, who were asked to complete a second video assignment. Errol submitted his second video from Zimbabwe, where he was filming another documentary about rural Africa. Fans of Host Our Coast voted and rated each of the contestant’s applications. Errol’s videos, combined with his excellent storytelling and engaging personality, won over the Host Our Coast judges. Errol will now spend the summer exploring the parks, small towns, events, museums, and heritage sites of Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and creating an online video and photo gallery, a daily travel blog, and a social network through Facebook and Twitter.

Errol was introduced to the Host Our Coast partners at 6:00 pm on May 27 at an announcement party held at Seacrets in Ocean City, Maryland. Full City Media switched over the website, www.hostourcoast.com, to Errol’s first video, documenting his trip from Zimbabwe back to the U.S. to begin his Host Our Coast summer assignments.

Host Our Coast is sponsored by a partnership developed among Delmarva Low-Impact Tourism Experiences (DLITE), the Rural Development Center at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Worcester County Tourism, Full City Media, Southern Delaware Tourism, OceanCity.com, Delaware Tourism Office, Dorchester County Tourism, the Town of Berlin, the Delaware Center for the Inland Bays, Ayers Creek Adventures, Queen Anne’s County Tourism, Talbot County Tourism, Kent County (MD) Tourism, Kent County (DE) & Greater Dover Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the Greater Millsboro Chamber of Commerce. Lodging partners include Fager’s Lighthouse Club Hotel, the River House Inn, the Rehoboth Art League, Hotel Rodney, the Inn at Canal Square, and the Boardwalk Hotel Group.

The inaugural Host Our Coast was conducted from April through August 2009. 74 applicants from around the U.S. competed in the contest. The 2009 contest winners, Paul Cox and Melanie McLean, spent the summer exploring Delmarva and posting amazing stories and images of their travels on the interactive Host Our Coast website. By the end of August 2009, Host Our Coast had more than 6,000 unique visitors, 3,000 regular online followers and 600 Facebook fans. Articles written about Host Our Coast were valued at more than $50,000. In November 2009, Host Our Coast was awarded the prestigious “Visit Maryland Award” by Governor Martin O’Malley and the Maryland State Office of Tourism, and the “Professional Impact Award” from the Maryland Tourism Council.

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