July 18, 2012 Edition

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Everyone can help

Gretchen Hunt

The Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce, its Tourism Committee and the Downtown Walnut Ridge organization are hard at work developing tourist attractions and promoting Lawrence County.

I have repeatedly heard those involved in the process say they are overwhelmed by how much has been done in such a short time.

Much has been accomplished; however, with every task completed more items are added to the to-do list. As more and more people find ways to contribute to the projects, they continue to exceed original expectations.

Right now, the Tourism Committee is looking for memorabilia and photos to make copies of for displays at the Guitar Walk - perhaps a photo of one of the legends at a venue along Highway 67 or a ticket or poster from one of the many events held.

That is one opportunity for more people to get involved in the effort.

In addition, KAIT will be broadcasting live from Beatles Park on Thursday, July 26, at 5 and 6 p.m. Events are being planned around the broadcast, and organizers are hoping to have a nice crowd on hand.

Sometimes, we as individuals find it hard to figure out how to help or where we fit in revitalization efforts. Because the ideas are often so big, it may seem a little overwhelming for some and as if there is no way they could possibly help.

But, the truth is, everyone has something to contribute, whether it be attendance at an event, financial support or simply posting a photo on Facebook or sharing a story with someone.

During a recent Welcome to Arkansas workshop in Walnut Ridge, Scott Sudduth with the Arkansas Hospitality Association said the most important thing a community can do is provide visitors with an experience.

"The value of an experience, the value of feelings is what keeps your value up and keeps people coming back," he said. "People remember 10 percent of what they hear, but they remember 100 percent of what they feel."

That is the most important thing we can do to help - make sure that when we have visitors in our community they have the kind of experience that makes them want to return.

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