The My Huntington Committee, comprised of several volunteers who joined forces with the goal of promoting positive stories about Huntington, unveiled elements of the My Huntington Movement on July 9.
Former City Council member Sandra Clements, Marshall University student Franklin Norton, and MacKenzie Morley, resident and owner of Kenzington Alley spoke about why they support the effort. The three were joined by Huntington Mayor Steve Williams and Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert.
To kick off the movement, a series of advertisements have been created that will begin running this week on television, radio, newspaper and digital platforms. The commercials feature individuals including a former Marshall student, local business owners, police officers and others who share their stories and what they appreciate about Huntington.
Organizers describe the campaign as a movement because of the nature in which the concept was conceived and the response it has received.
“We call it the My Huntington movement because this is so much more than a campaign,” said Tyson Compton, member of the My Huntington Committee. “When people see the concept, they want to be a part of it. And the beauty of this is—they can.”
The advertisements are only part of the movement, and the committee encouraged others to record their own video or post about a positive experience on their own social media account using the hashtag #MyHuntington.
In addition, organizers plan to partner with civic organizations, churches and other groups to promote positive, interactive community experiences.
The My Huntington Fund has been established at the Foundation for the Tri-State Community, a non-profit community foundation established to improve the quality of life in the community. Funding for the My Huntington Movement has been raised by local businesses and individuals that are dedicated to highlighting the many positive attributes of Huntington and its people.
“We need to acknowledge the generous financial support of organizations including Cabell Huntington Hospital, St. Mary’s Medical Center, Marshall Health and the Huntington Internal Medicine Group, as well as the America’s Best Community team and several individual contributors to get the fund started,” Compton said. “Additionally, we need to thank local media outlets that are working with us to make this possible.”
“The goal of this movement is to remind people in Huntington and the surrounding areas of the great people, places and things to do here in the community, and encourage them to tell others about them,” Norton said.
Clements reiterated the committee’s call for others to join the effort by emphasizing that when people work together they are more successful.
“You can break a single stick, but sticks in a bundle are unbreakable,” Clements said.
Without knowing it, a group of downtown business owners, the America’s Best Communities team, and Marshall University and the City of Huntington were all working separately to develop campaigns to promote the city. Rather than work separately, the groups joined forces and collectively decided on the My Huntington theme.
“We decided that joining together to create a single campaign would be more effective than two or three different ones using different messages to achieve the same goals,” said committee member, Margaret Mary Layne.
As the group shared the concept with others, the response was unanimously positive. People wanted to participate and even support it financially. The My Huntington committee approached the Foundation for the Tri-State about establishing a charitable fund to receive and manage contributions made to further the campaign to promote the city.
Contributions to the My Huntington Fund can be made by contacting the Foundation for the Tri-State by calling 304-942-0046 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those who would like more information about the My Huntington Movement may contact the committee by email at email@example.com or visit the My Huntington website at www.myhuntingtonwv.com.
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