A Facebook group devoted to promoting Medina tops 6,000 members
‘I call myself Medina’s biggest cheerleader’ – Missy Schening
MEDINA – It was January 2009 when Missy Schening started the “Memories of Medina” Facebook page. She was looking for a way to promote the community and help residents connect.
She started posting historical photos from the community. She stopped by new businesses and gave organizations and residents a chance to share news about fundraisers and benefits.
The Facebook page immediately developed a following, and continues to add “friends” every day. As of this morning, Memories of Medina is up to 6,079 friends. Schening notes that has passed the village’s population, listed as 6,065 in the 2010 Census.
“I just focus on what people want to talk about,” Schening said on Friday during an interview at Meggie Moo’s, one of the many new businesses that has opened recently in the downtown.
Schening said the business resurgence in the the downtown is one of the many positives she has witnessed since Memories of Medina started.
She has standards for the Facebook group: keep it positive and no politics. There wasn’t any talk on Memories of Medina of the controversial village dissolution, which polarized the community about two years ago. There hasn’t been any posts about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
“We don’t want anything political or the whole thing could fall apart,” she said about the group. “I just want it mellow. I just want fun.”
She posts older, silly photos and challenges people to “Caption This” – this morning posting a picture of a pillow fight among two children. She gets many of those photos from the social networking site, Tumblr.
She shares other nostalgic images, including of kindergarteners taking a nap, and asks the group if they remember doing that in school.
The photos often ring up more than a hundred likes and dozens of comments.
“I try to put something funny out to get them chatting,” Schening said.
It eight-plus years Memories of Medina hasn’t hurt for positive material. The Facebook group is fortunate that many talented photographers share photos, Schening said.
She also shares positive news articles about Medina, including many from the Orleans Hub.
She checks old newspapers at Lee-Whedon Memorial Library and posts some tidbits and historical photos. She is given tours of historic buildings, and shows people spots they don’t often see, such as the two jail cells that are in the basement of the Napa Auto Parts in Medina.
Memories of Medina recently shared news about two lost dogs, and their reunification with their owners. The post about the dogs’ return topped 300 likes.
Schening is the main administrator for Memories of Medina, but there are others as well who keep an eye on the site and will delete posts that are political or have a nasty tone.
“I want it to be like back in the day when you talked over the fence or on your porch,” Schening said.
She credited Dawn Meland and the late Michelle Stanton Jones for encouraging her in the early days of Memories of Medina. Back then, 2,000 friends for Memories of Medina seemed like a longshot. But the group has steadily grown.
Schening, who said she is shy by nature, has made numerous friends through the site.
“I know a lot more people now,” she said. “I call myself Medina’s biggest cheerleader. I’m just letting people know what Medina is.”