How ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ benefits the community

The story of a local Facebook group doing wonders for Palm Harbor.

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How ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ benefits the community

Delaney Wildermuth, Student Reporter

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The Tampa Bay area has a unique sense of local pride; The ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ Facebook group has been operating since Dec. of 2013 for the purpose of bettering the close-knit community.

The original administration formed the group for the purpose of advertising local events and promoting festivals and local band performances at bars and restaurants. Six years ago, what started with 50 members quickly expanded to over 22,000. From their growth, ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ has been able to help the community in numerous ways. The idea was that if everyone post on one page, then everyone benefits from having a common place to find out what’s happening.

“We’ve heard from local business members how much their businesses have grown, lost animals have been reunited with their owners, friendships have been formed, and several posts have been picked up by local news stations and received air time,” Stephanie Andrews, ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ co-owner, said.

Aside from business owners and band members, every kind of group regular has benefited from the frequent additions to the ‘Happenings.’

Karen Roberts, ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ group member said, “For me, the page has been an excellent resource to find everything from contractors to fun and exciting things to do on the weekends.“

Roberts has enjoyed the group for over two years now. She would recommend joining to anyone interested in local connections as she’s been incredibly pleased with what has been posted. The page has done wonders for acquainting newcomers to the area. The members practice staunch inclusivity from direct public connections; neighbors helping neighbors is one of the most beautiful aspects of the page.

The availability of the ‘Happenings’ is an amazing advantage, but every properly managed community forum must have guidelines. The ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ administration has laid out clear stipulations for the kind of posts allowed on the page. They allow small businesses to post their advertisements on Mondays only and criticism of such businesses by other group members is prohibited.

“We believe that if members have an issue with a local business that they should resolve it with the owner or manager and not in our group as there are two sides two every story and only allowing one side is unfair,” Shelly Worden, ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ co-owner, said.

After all, the posts are meant to advertise local establishments, not to serve as their Yelp page.

Furthermore, other stipulations involve required consent to post from the people featured in pictures or videos. The most important protocol is that the administration absolutely prohibits politics on their page.

The ‘Palm Harbor Happenings’ page has been well liked and extremely popular for most of its existence. The good they’ve done for the community is greatly appreciated and many more may benefit from the page as time goes on.

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