Engaging Pearl City’s Community

By Barry A. Villamil
Web Editor/Community Liaison of MyPearlCity.com

Pearl City Shopping Center was built in 1962, and with more than 40 friendly merchants it provides choices for shopping, groceries, banking, dental, pharmacy, dining and family fun. For more than 50 years, shoppers have made Pearl City Shopping Center their “one stop” for almost everything!

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Barry A. Villamil - Web Editor/Community Liaison of MyPearlCity.com

Years ago, center owners and merchants decided to invest in their community by giving back, leading to the launch of MyPearlCity.com.

It is a unique lens through which the community — and the entire world, for that matter — views this Oahu community.

I was raised in this tight-knit community, one that was in the middle of historic events in World War II, and has produced Hawaii Gov. David Ige, U.S. Rep. Mark Takai and Brook Lee, a Miss Universe.

Some 8,000 users each month check out MyPearlCity.com for information and news of the community, creating 22,000 page views.

On a typical Saturday, I’ll cover five to six events occur- ring in the community and within hours post the pictures and stories on the website. We especially find viewership spikes following youth and high school sports.

There also is extensive coverage of the contributions made to the community schools by Pearl City Shopping Center merchants, as well as popular events such as the Pearl City Christmas Parade, annual Halloween Contest and annual Hawaii Foodbank Food Drive in Pearl City.

For viewers’ convenience, there are weather reports, stock market’s reports and current traffic reports of lane closures and construction updates associated with the build-out of the rail transit system.

This March, our “It’s Not All Right to Run the Red Light” campaign brought a strong community focus on traffic safety, after a woman in a marked Pearl City crosswalk died from being struck by a vehicle.

Big-box stores have grown up around us, but we see our role as one that continues to provide a family-centric shop- ping center with a popular community-oriented website that celebrates and highlights community activities.