Video touts city as relocation option

Published 6:00 am Monday, November 10, 2008

Sometimes seeing is believing, and while the HomeseekersParadise is growing in physical size, commerce and population, somecommunity officials thought moving pictures would be worth athousand words.

So they developed a promotional DVD released in recent monthsthat talks to local transplant residents who found Brookhaven,loved it and have not left since.

Local dentist Shannon Patterson, banker Bill Sones and his wifeTheresa, and retirees Homer and Lynn Richardson are featured withtheir comments about why they chose Brookhaven as their homes. Andthey all agree the city’s main perk is its people.

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“It’s full of wonderful people, so many strong churches in ourarea, just filled with people who love the Lord and love theirfamilies,” Theresa Sones says on the video. “It’s got a personalityabout it – you know how towns have personalities – and this town istruly a homeseeker’s paradise.”

Brookhaven-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce Executive VicePresident Cliff Brumfield said the main aim of the video is tobring attention to Brookhaven’s appeal as a place to relocate orretire by focusing on things such as the medical community, theantebellum homes, local tourist attractions and retail options.

“We wanted a video that showed the community from a human intereststandpoint,” said Brumfield. “We wanted to really show howBrookhaven appeals to people, and that some of them actually willrelocate here.”

The video is narrated by Mississippi Broadcasters Hall of Fameinductee and WLBT on-air personality Walt Grayson, who Brumfieldsaid has long been a Brookhaven supporter.

“With Walt Grayson being a Mississippi icon, it’s natural to usehim as a narrator,” said Brumfield. “Also, he is familiar withBrookhaven and is often seen signing books here as well as shoppinglocally.”

Brumfield said the video is viewable on the King’s DaughtersMedical Center Web site. The Chamber of Commerce has alsodistributed it to local realtors and chamber member businesses.

“We hope they can use it to increase sales and enhance theirability to showcase our community to future residents,” hesaid.

The DVD outlines the medical community and discusses KDMC as a gooddraw, as well as highlighting the railroads and the exports throughthe years, such as timber and cotton. But mostly, it talks aboutpeople who live in the area and care about their town.

“I like the Christian community we have here …” Patterson says inhis video interview. “You’re not afraid of your kids going out inthe yard or down the street, you know someone’s going to watch outafter them.”

Brumfield said the video focuses on the intangibles, since concretestatistics such as demographics and housing and available jobs arereadily available on the Web.

“We felt like this video is an avenue to show the softer, morepersonable side of Brookhaven,” he said.

Additional emphasis is put on how Brookhaven is not too big and nottoo small, no matter who you are, making it a homey place to settleand stay.

“We looked around and said, ‘Where is there between Virginia andTexas that we’d like to be?'” says Homer Richardson in the video.”Then we found the size community and the property we were lookingfor. Brookhaven has the rare combination that it’s just the rightsize – it’s got most of the conveniences you need but it’s just theright size.”

Just the right size, to Patterson, is being able to see friendsand acquaintances anywhere he goes.

“I like being the big fish in a small pond, I like going toWal-Mart or wherever I’m going and I know 15 people, 20 people,” hesaid. “This is my anchor. Yeah, this is it. I’ve locked myselfdown.”