MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce launched a campaign for a safe Memorial Day Weekend.
Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce President, Brad Dean says the campaign and the site the chamber put together is not just a list of rules and regulations for Memorial Day Weekend, it's an entire video forum dedicated to one message, "In hopes of conveying the message of here's what you need to know before you go," Dean said.
Horry County Police Chief Saundra Rhodes kicks off the message at the top of the page. The uniform message in every video, be safe, have fun and follow the law. In total there are 9 different speakers. Dean says the campaign will target and link to social media sites and various sites promoting bike fest and memorial day activities.
Dean feels it was important to bring in a variety of standpoints. "They represent a variety of perspectives, and we ask them to share their views in welcoming visitors, and all of them offer specific welcomes that reinforce we want everyone to have fun but first and foremost we all have to be safe and follow the law," Dean explained.
One of the speakers is local resident and neighborhood watch organizer, Lynda Thomas, and as much as the campaign focuses on informing visitors, Thomas wanted to provide a voice to the residents. "I wanted to ensure that the residents had a voice, and that the communication between the task forces and the city and the county and everyone that was involved. I wanted to make sure that we, the residents had open communication so we know what's going on as well," Thomas said.
NAACP Local Branch President, Mickey James, says he was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, and never witnessed violence to the magnitude of last Memorial Day Weekend. "This has really been the last straw for a lot of people, and they say we tired of this we can't have this, I agree with that," James said.
James says he wanted to be a part of finding a proactive approach this year, "try and show that we are here to work together. We are not trying to cause race problems, and so forth, we are trying to make sure people follow laws," James added.
Campaign organizers say by using this educational approach, visitors and locals alike will help restore the true meaning of Memorial Day Weekend in Myrtle Beach.
Dean says the campaign will be active for about 90 days through Memorial Day Weekend and bike fest.