Local Realtors’ ‘Creative Cans In The Sand’ Initiative Shines Spotlight On Brevard Beaches
By Space Coast Daily // July 20, 2015
ABOVE VIDEO: Inspired by a desire to project the Space Coast beaches as among the best in the world, and also assist children in need, Brevard natives Bobby Freeman and his wife Nikki have combined elements of their avocation and their profession to form the non-profit organization “Creative Cans In The Sand.”
City of Cocoa Beach, Artist Guy Harvey Support ‘Creative Cans In The Sand’
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Inspired by a desire to project the Space Coast beaches as among the best in the world, and also assist children in need, Brevard natives Bobby Freeman and his wife Nikki have combined elements of their avocation and their profession to form the non-profit organization “Creative Cans In The Sand.”
The longtime Cocoa Beach residents are the area’s power couple of beachside real estate sales, specializing in properties on the ocean and canals along the coast of Brevard.
Bobby is the son of legendary local surfer Bob Freeman, who has been riding the waves of Brevard since the early 1960s and has been a proponent of the Space Coast beaches and lifestyle for many years.
“The idea for Creative Cans In The Sand came to us after speaking to a prospective buyer in Germany who was planning a trip to Brevard to purchase a high-end condo in Cape Canaveral from us,” said Bobby.
ABOVE VIDEO: World renowned artist Steve Barton is now supporting Creative Cans in the Sand by donating his artwork to be wrapped on trash cans located at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach.
“The buyer stressed that one of his top priorities was the cleanliness of the beach, and was impressed with Brevard after a visit as a tourist.”
As oceanfront residents and frequent beachgoers themselves, Bobby and Nikki knew firsthand the importance of keeping the beaches litter-free, and had often seen trash scattered around almost empty trash cans.
Then one day after a stroll down the beach, and a discussion about their love of art, they had the epiphany.
“The thought popped in our heads that we needed to get people to actually put their trash IN the cans – and also raise the awareness of how important our beaches are to tourism and real estate values,” said Nikki.
“Being art lovers, and artist ourselves, we decided that a great way to bring positive attention to beach cleanliness, and garner media attention for Space Coast beaches, was to challenge our very talented area artists to paint the cans with beautiful and compelling designs,” said Bobby.
The Freemans knew their idea had legs when when Nikki posted a picture of a painted trash can she found online to Wake Up Cocoa Beach, a Facebook private group.
“Within minutes it was shared and liked by so many asking us to do something like this in Cocoa Beach,” said Nikki. “We then knew we found a creative and unique way to accomplish our mission,” said Bobby.
Creative Cans In The Sand has also been endorsed by politicians and a famous artists.
“Creative Cans in the Sand is such an excellent idea,” said Florida House Representative Tom Goodson. “I certainly support any program that is encouraging beach goers to keep the beaches and waterway clean.”
The initiative got a big boost when world famous marine wildlife artist Guy Harvey shared the idea with his Facebook followers, and his post was shared more than 2,300 times and liked more than 11,000 times – and growing. Among the comments are “Best post ever” and “Great thing you did there! Every beach needs prominent trash cans.”
As a result of their epiphany, and with the enthusiastic support and encouragement for the program by many volunteers, local artists and businesses, the City of Cocoa Beach has approved city-owned cans located in the parks, beaches and boat ramps to be painted.
The couple formed their not for profit organization with a mission to encourage beachgoers to dispose of their trash responsibility, raise the visibility of the Space Coast as having one of the best beaches in the world, and also donate any proceeds to benefit Brevard area children’s health and wellbeing.
“The City looks forward to this partnership and continued efforts to educate the public about keeping our beaches clean,” said Ben Malik, Cocoa Beach City Commissioner.
“This will be a great project for the entire community and also giving a venue to our local artists to display their talents and also allowing local businesses to sponsor these efforts.”
Freeman’s Creative Cans In The Sand project has received great support and encouragement from Ron Jon Surf Shop, The Endless Summer Foundation, Keep Brevard Beautiful, A1A Sign Wave, Sherwin-Williams, Savings Safari, Space Coast Daily and many other local businesses.
“The media coverage we have gotten has been awesome,” said Bobby.
“A very special thanks to Space Coast Daily, Local 6 News, News 13, Space Coast Daily Medicine & Active Living Magazine, Savings Safari and the Beachside Resident for supporting our cause,” said Bobby.
As Realtors, the Freeemans know firsthand the economic impact that tourism has on the Brevard economy, and our beaches are the point of the spear.
“The City of Cocoa Beach is thrilled and excited to partner with Creative Cans in the Sand,” said Melissa Byron, Director of Marketing & Economic Development for City of Cocoa Beach.
“This volunteer organization will bring awareness to preserving our wonderful asset, the beach, by encouraging visitors and residents alike to pick up and deposit their trash in fun and creative trash cans.”
Bobby and Nikki, along with Jennifer McCoy are family partners for RE/MAX Elite’s McCoy-Freeman Group. Together they have more than 30 years of extensive experience in all aspects of the real estate industry and have sold more than $250 million.
Among McCoy-Freeman Group’s achievement are RE/MAX Hall of Fame, RE/MAX Platinum Club, Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS), Certified Distressed Property Experts (CDPE), Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and voted Best Realtor in Brevard County.
As longtime business people in Brevard the Freemans know how important it is to give back to the community, and will use Creative Cans In The Sand as a conduit to do so.
“We will be producing and selling a 2016 Creative Cans In The Sand calendar, featuring Brevard County models and 12 of our most artistic cans – along with the artists that painted them,” said Bobby.
“All of the proceeds from the sale of the calendar will be going to charities that assist children.”
For more information, or to volunteer or sponsor the Creative Cans In The Sand program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 321-639-1694. You can also log on to the Creative Cans In The Sand Facebook page at Facebook.com/creativecansinthesand