NEWS RELEASE

For Immediate Release                                                                                                       September 14, 2011

AMERILIFE and CLEARWATER MARINE AQUARIUM TO SURPRISE DESERVING TEEN WITH RED CARPET TICKETS

Travis has overcome obstacles similar to Winter and will now see his inspiration on the big screen

Thirteen-year-old Travis Sampson and his family is in for a once in a lifetime experence thanks to AmeriLife.  Travis’s mother Tina wrote to Clearwater Marine Aquarium in hopes of making her son’s red carpet wish come true.

Travis and his brother were adopted by the Sampson family as babies. Travis was born an above the knee amputee and with a mitral valve irregularity. Travis has met Winter several times and was even an extra in the filming of Dolphin Tale. According to Travis’s mother he connected with her immediately.  Travis wears a prosthetic leg and uses the WintersGel sleeve to provide comfort. Two years ago, Travis received his first running leg and with the support of his family and the inspiration he found from Winter’s story, he ran for the first time without coming in last place. According to his mother, Travis often talks proudly of his connection to Winter and she believes that it has helped him emotionally.  In addition to the hardships the Sampson family has faced with their sons, they also care for Tina Sampson’s terminally ill brother. The household medical care costs prevented the family from purchasing tickets to the event.

As a sponsor of the Clearwater Special Screening Red Carpet Event, AmeriLife is helping to make the family’s wish come true and along with Clearwater Marine Aquarium staff will surprise the Sampson children with tickets to the event. AmeriLife will have a number of movie set props (as well as one of Winter’s prosthetic tail devices) on display in the first-floor lobby for the surprise announcement.

WHEN: Monday September 19th at 11 a.m.

WHERE: AmeriLife Clearwater Complex
2536 Countryside Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33763

*Media will also have the opportunity to greet and interview the family from the red carpet on Wednesday the 21st at the special screening event*

The proceeds from Dolphin Tale Clearwater Special Screening at Ruth Eckerd Hall next Wednesday will benefit both Clearwater Marine Aquarium and the Challenged Athletes foundation, and each $99 ticket includes two free admission passes to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. To purchase tickets to The Clearwater Special Screening please call the Ruth Eckerd Hall Box Office at (727) 791-7400

About AmeriLife
AmeriLife Group, LLC, together with its subsidiaries, provides senior-focused life and health insurance products and services in the United States. It offers a health and financial protection kit consisting of health and dental insurance, Medicare Supplements and Advantage plans, prescription drug plans, fixed and equity indexed annuities, as well as life, final expense and long-term care insurance for senior Americans. AmeriLife operates a network of Medicare-preferred provider organizations and markets homeowner, automobile, unit owner, watercraft and liability insurance products of various companies. Founded in 1971 and based in Clearwater, Florida, AmeriLife also provides third-party administration services such as compliance, policyholder, premium billing, claims and underwriting services.

About Clearwater Marine Aquarium
Clearwater Marine Aquarium is a Florida non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, dedicated to restoring and preserving our marine life and environment through leadership in education, research and the rescue, rehabilitation and release of marine life. Visit www.SeeWinter.com to see speaker series lectures planned for the entire year. CMA is home to dolphins, sea turtles, river otters, stingrays, nurse sharks and more. Winter the dolphin’s story of survival and inspiration has touched millions of people around the world. A movie, Dolphin Tale, about her life story is currently being produced by Warner Bros.-based Alcon Entertainment and stars Morgan Freeman, Harry Connick Jr., Ashley Judd, and Kris Kristofferson.  Her documentary, “Winter: The Dolphin that Could” is available at www.SeeWinter.com. The documentary takes viewers on an extraordinary journey through her rescue, fight to stay alive and extensive rehabilitation. Scholastic published Winter’s Tail: How One Little Dolphin Learned to Swim Again in October 2009.

For additional information about the Monday news conference/presentation, please contact AmeriLife’s Public Communications Director Wayne Shelor at 727-224-0088. For additional information about Winter or the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, please contact Krista Rosado, Clearwater Marine Aquarium’s Director of Marketing and Advertising, at 727-441-1790 (Ex. 227). If any television station wants to make arrangements to do a live shot at noon Monday, please let me (Shelor) know so van/dish parking accommodations may be made.


Wayne Shelor

Public Communications Director

2536 Countryside Boulevard

Clearwater, Florida  33763

Office: 727.726.0726, Ext. 2710

Fax:    727.483.7470

Cell: 727.492.1724

Cell: 727.224.0088

Nam et ipsa scientia potestas est.

Fox 13, our Fox affiliate here in Tampa Bay recently interviewed Winter’s trainer Abby Stone on what it took to become a dolphin trainer, and more importantly, the path that led her to become Winter’s trainer here at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

A chat with Winter’s trainer: MyFoxTAMPABAY.com

Do you want to become a dolphin trainer? If so, tell us why in the comments section below.

We’re always on the lookout for new volunteers, so if you’d like to be a part of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium team visit the Volunteer section of our website by clicking here.

Check out this Dolphin Tale Scholastic blog post!

Interview a Dolphin Trainer….

Leave all your questions for the dolphin trainers in the comments and come back on September 16 to see if your questions get answered.

Nathan feeding Winter by bottle while Harry Connick, Jr. holds Winter

http://blog.scholastic.com/ink_splot_26/2011/08/interview-a-dolphin-trainer.html

Dolphin Tale in Theaters September 23, 2011!

A scene from the movie with Harry Connick, Jr., Nathan Gamble and Cozi Zuehlsdorff camping out by Winter’s pool.

dt

Watch the trailer!