Tampa Bay - The Third Annual Human Rights Walkathon was held in North Straub Park in St. Petersburg, Florida, on March 7, 2009 and was attended by over a thousand people from all over the Tampa Bay area gaining broad support from the Mayors of St. Petersburg, Tampa and Clearwater with the City of St. Petersburg acting as official co-sponsor. All three mayors issued proclamations officially announcing March 7th 2009 as Human Rights Walkathon Day. Linda Drazkowski, the founder of the Human Rights Group and the Walkathon said, "I am pleased with the diverse groups joining in to raise awareness for human rights - those rights that all have simply because we are human." Co-sponsoring groups also included The Tampa Tribune, Youth for Human Rights, Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Tampa Bay Academy of Hope and Community Tampa Bay.
Several other groups also lent their support to the Walkathon including Great Explorations Children's Museum, Jamba Juice, Best Buy Pride Group, Citizens Commission for Human Rights Florida, Foundation for a Drug-Free World, Community Learning Center, Animal Rights Group, Artist in Action International, Delphi Academy, and Amerisure. The United Nations has officially lent their logo to the Human Rights Walkathon website demonstrating their support for this fledgling group.
Hundreds of walkers made their way around Straub Park acquiring a rubber band each time their completed a lap. Speakers followed the walk and were, James Evans the founder of Tampa Bay Academy of Hope, Giselle Rodriguez from Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking, Stacie Blake the Executive Director of Community Tampa Bay, Mary Shuttleworth the founder of Youth for Human Rights International and Linda Drazkowski. The crowds enjoyed entertainment from the Dundu Dole African Ballet and Drummers, the Alumni Singers and the Empyreal Chinese Acrobats.