BKP helps move Milan forward on two fronts
Can drive and Hey Milan! benefit everyone in city
By Logan Watson
After three years of watching zombies shuffle through downtown Milan around Halloween, the streets have felt a little less unlively without the Milan Zombie Walk this year. But for the last few months, Brandy Kemp and Jodi Heavner have been busy attempting to bring more than cosplayers to Milan. Even without the Zombie Walk, Kemp and Heavner managed to raise more than $500 and 1,000 cans of food for Glenda’s Kids, the Milan Special School District’s chapter of the Feeding America Backpack Program. Brandy Kemp Photography remained devoted to the underprivileged students in the Milan school system, hosting the “Big Halloween Can Drive” last Saturday and providing professional Halloween family photos to donors that contributed more than 10 cans of non-perishable food items.
“The schools obviously can’t send kids home with cans of beans and corn,” said Kemp. “The schools have an arrangement with the Mustard Seed. They take what they need, then sell the rest to the Mustard Seed, who writes the schools a check for the food. Then the schools use that money to buy more suitable meals and snacks for the kids. That way both organizations can get what they need to feed the hungry here in Milan.”
In addition to the annual can drive, Kemp and Heavner have also been working with the city to promote tourist attractions and businesses through their humorous Hey Milan! web series on YouTube.
“We’ve been doing commercials for a while now,” said Kemp, “so we thought, ‘Why not do something to promote the city to families and industry thinking about locating in Milan?”
Kemp plans for the series to use BKP’s group of high school representatives to shine a spotlight on local businesses in the coming year. Shooting begins next week and will feature 18 local businesses throughout 2017.
“No one outside of our area would be seeing local television commercials, so we chose to use YouTube and social media to reach a nation-wide audience,” said Kemp. ”Our high school reps love being on camera and cutting up, so it was a natural fit. Young people don’t watch tv like they used to, but they’re always on YouTube and Facebook, so we hope it helps get young people involved in the community and bring some life back into Milan.”
“The mayor and the Chamber of Commerce have been behind us all the way,” said Heavner. “From the Zombie Walk to Hey Milan!, we’ve always been focused on promoting the community. We want to boost tourism, educate people about the assets and history of Milan, helping the underprivileged and having a little fun while we’re doing it.”
To learn more about everything Milan has to offer and have a laugh or two, check out Hey Milan! on YouTube. To see how you can become involved, contact Kemp and Heavner at firstname.lastname@example.org.