NEW PORT RICHEY — For fans of “Where’s Waldo?” and “Flat Stanley,” New Port Richey plans to resume its new awareness campaign, “Where’s Richey?” in August after initial success in July.
To give residents some fun and test their knowledge of local landmarks, Judy Meyers-Prine, executive assistant to City Manager Debbie Manns, brainstormed the game.
On Friday, Meyers-Prine posed the cardboard cutout of the cartoon figure “Richey” in a chair at the outdoor patio of Christina’s Restaurant, downtown. Then she visited Friendly KIA and Cracker Barrel restaurant, among other places.
At each destination, Meyers-Prine then snaps a closeup photo of Richey that is posted to the city’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. Go to the city website at www.citynpr.org for more information and the city’s social media links.
People who correctly guess Richey’s whereabouts are then entered into a drawing, she explained. Each week, two or more winners will be chosen from all the correct entries to receive an “I Am New Port Richey” T-shirt.
The game ties in with the community pride campaign, “I Am New Port Richey,” which launched in March under Development Director Lisa Fierce. T-shirts and other items were printed with the campaign slogan.
Officials urged residents to say it loud if they were proud of their community of about 15,000 people. The city offers a “strong local government and an attractive historical downtown and Main Street,” according to a city blurb online. “The city has a broad array of business and retail services. Since its incorporation in 1924, the city is most recognized for its cultural heritage and unique riverfront landscape.”
After several years of doom and gloom during the recession, the city’s financial condition seems to be turning a corner, Fierce observed in March at a city council meeting.
City officials wondered how to build pride and spirit among residents “to take ownership of its future and its success.” The city will ask local organizations and businesses to incorporate the theme into their marketing.
“The overall goal of the campaign is for the city to become more engaged with the residents of our community,” Meyers-Prine said Friday.
As of Friday, Meyers-Prine reports that the top five “Where’s Richey” locations that had the most guesses and people reached were:
Market off Main with 13 guesses and 272 people reached.
Recreation & Aquatic Center with 14 guesses and 201 people reached.
Spartan Manor with 12 guesses and 334 people reached.
Karen’s Gifts with 6 guesses and 202 people reached.
Sims Park playground with 22 guesses and 320 people reached.
Winners of T-shirts are Clint Smith, John Caposey, Michael Annunziata, Suzanne Schrader, Paula York, Kelly Maki Hackman, Trina Messano, Cindy Skinner James, Gina Sessa, Kimberly Licari, Tammy Miller and Miranda Epley.
So far Richey has visited City Council chambers at city hall, Waffle House, Market Off Main, the city library, Starbucks, Hacienda, the NPR Recreation & Aquatic Center, public works, Downtown Art Gallery, police department, Meadows Dog Park, fire department, Karen’s Gifts, Sims Park playground, James E. Grey Preserve and Christina’s Restaurant.
After a vacation break, the Richey campaign is scheduled to resume on Monday, Aug. 11, and continue through Aug. 29.