Community Spotlight: At your service!

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Townsend Merritt is all about lending a helping hand

Q: You serve as a beach attendant at Sea Club V Beach Resort (located at 6744 Midnight Pass Rd.) on Crescent Beach. Tell us about your history with the job and what it entails.

A: I didn’t have much experience with timeshares before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first started. I’ve been there almost four years now and the people from the top to the bottom are all wonderful.

The job entails setting-up chairs and umbrellas, helping people with kayaks, and sometimes even sailing with them on the resort’s catamaran.

Q: Your duties include some lifeguard-related work. Have you ever had to perform a rescue?

A: I have rescued a few people that got stuck on the sailboat due to a lack of wind, or because of them flipping it, but I’m thankful no one ever got hurt.

Q: How has Siesta’s beach scene changed over the years?

A: Siesta Key has definitely gotten more popular, and the differential in seasons has become a lot less. Summers are a lot busier now than they once were, but for the most part the locals have remained intact and it’s still a wonderful place.

Q: How does your job fit your personality?

A: It fits into my life perfectly, because it shares the same values that I do — as an individual who believes in service to others. It also teaches you to learn to overcome the elements, whether it’s hot, cold, or if lightning bolts are everywhere, and how to plan and prepare for any situation. I enjoy the challenge

Q: What question from guests do you must often hear?

A: They want to know if the house from the Siesta Key TV show is a hotel, or if Gary (Kompothecras) really lives there, and if it can be rented.

Q: What keeps you busy away from your job?

A: When I’m not at work on the beach I’m working on building a food-forest-garden/wellness center outside of Arcadia. I actually created one in my own back yard.

It helps low-income families get the food and resources needed to help offset the current economic crisis, and it also helps them learn to grow food themselves.

It’s an ecological garden that works with nature, using no fertilizer or spray. We emulate a natural forest, adding food crops and flowers to create an abundance of food and organisms with all the functions working together.

We are also trying to go beyond just the food to help grow character and stable minds through life-coaching and goal-setting. We want to help others reach their fullest potential.

John Morton
Author: John Morton

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