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Happiness Rocks!

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By Lynda Nemeth, executive director Destination Geauga

Business spend billions of dollars on advertising. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter how good their product is it only matters how much money they spend. So it’s refreshing to see a grassroots effort from a group who have spent $0 on advertising but have phenomenal product to share succeed. What is their product? Happiness!

If you have not heard of the group Northeast Ohio Rocks! I urge you to read their story in its entirety online. I want to be sure they get full credit for this brilliant idea. It was begun here in NE Ohio by Nancy Powell, but she got the idea from a similar group on Whidbey Island in Washington. Simplicity is why it works: Find a rock. Paint a rock. Hide a rock. Basically it is nothing more than a simple, painted rock with a cute picture, inspirational message, or just a smile. You attach a little preprinted tag to the back with the NortheastOhioRocks, # the website and directions to share the smile and re-hide the rock for another person to find. It’s also getting people outside and moving. Rocks are hidden anywhere from parks, windowsills of shops, parking lots, on top of ATM machines etc. It’s so simple, and sounds kind of silly, until you happen to find your first beautiful painted rock. Then you just get it.

There are some rules involved so again I urge you to read the webpage. People are encouraged to take a picture of the Rock they found and share it on social media and #NortheastOhioRocks!, or post directly to their Facebook page. You can also add your own hashtag to rocks you paint so you can follow their journey. It really is fun seeing where these rocks travel. Many rocks are now making their way across the United States and out of the country. This group began in July 2016 and already has over 85,000 followers.

Painting is great fun and anyone can do it. Paint classes are popping up in various locations and if you would like to paint a rock I encourage you to add the #GeaugaRocks! What a great way to spread the word about our little corner of the world. You could add them to the Northeast Ohio Rocks Facebook page, and you are welcome to also post them to the Destination Geauga Facebook page. I thought I would kick off the fun and paint a few very Geauga specific rocks. See you don’t really have to have a whole lot of talent, just good intentions. Again, there are specific instructions for the painting and sealing of these on their website. I can’t wait to see your creations. Isn’t it amazing, when you have a great product like happiness, how little it takes to spread the word?

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