Students plan free community-wide Happy in Happy Valley event

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- After conducting a telephone survey that found most Centre County residents are happy and satisfied, a group of Penn State public relations students has planned a Happy in Happy Valley event Saturday, April 26, at Tom Tudek Park.

The free, family-friendly event from 1 to 3 p.m. includes activities and entertainment for all ages, and aims to celebrate happiness and help residents who are not as happy.

Students conducted the telephone survey in February as part of their public relations campaign class. Calls to a random sample of 412 county residents presented questions about satisfaction with things such as affordable housing, community involvement, finances, health, local government and work life.

The sample found that on a scale from 1 to 10, on average residents are: 
-- 7.5, for how happy they feel right now; 
7.9, for how satisfied they are with their life in general; and
-- 7.8 for how satisfied they are with Centre County as a place to live.

A closer examination about happiness from the survey found residents were most happy with the physical setting of Centre County followed by (in order of satisfaction) their relationship with their neighbors, their health, their current work life, their time management, their personal finances, the overall effectiveness of the local police, their involvement in the community, the availability of affordable housing and the overall effectiveness with the local government.

“We worked really hard together on all the aspects of this campaign from brainstorming the theme, to understanding how to research happiness, to conducting phone surveys within Centre County, to eventually creating this community happiness event,” said senior Rachel Brown. “Knowing that our public relations knowledge can contribute to such a fun idea as increasing happiness in multiple communities is a dream we want to make a reality through our event.”

The happiness event seeks to help community members increase their individual happiness, and, in turn, the happiness of Happy Valley.

Along with the students, Marcia DiStaso, an assistant professor in the Department of Advertising/Public Relations, will host the event. Many organizations from around the county will be in attendance as well.

More information is available on the Facebook page for the event. Tudek Park is located at 400 Herman Drive, State College.

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Last Updated April 21, 2014