CHARLES TOWN – With the end of 2013 in sight, it’s an opportune time to think back over the year and all the editions of the Spirit that have come and gone.
As I review the stack of each week’s paper, it’s clear we’re fortunate to have both so much news to report and so many talented contributors to help us cover all that’s happening here.
In addition to our staff, the Spirit benefits from talented guest columnists who help us present vital, timely information to our readers as well as a growing cadre of freelancers, including writers such as Jessica Wiant and Angela Cummings and photographers, including Christopher Jackson, Liz Wilson, Seth Freeman, Drew Wilt and Jocelyn Robinson.
We also extend our reach by soliciting contributions from community members in the know.
We’ve turned to Shepherdstown resident Lois Turco to share her take on issues and news related to history, tourism, fitness events and branding. History writer Bob O’Connor has shared a number of interesting yesteryear stories, from how two local men played a role in the formation of the state of Ohio to information on the life of Martin Delany. Other columnists our readers love, or love to hate — Elliot Simon and Sean O’Leary — have appeared regularly in the Spirit throughout 2013.
Just last week, a first-time guest columnist – Bill Ball of Asbury United Methodist Church in Charles Town – took time to describe for readers the back story to the church’s recently added tradition of providing a Christmas Day luncheon that’s available to anyone and everyone.
We’re also constantly grateful to community members who tip us off about news and upcoming events. There’s nothing quite like having you acting as our eyes and ears throughout the Panhandle. When we get a head’s up from you and can look into an issue for you, we all benefit.
We also owe a debt of gratitude for our subscribers and advertisers. Without this ongoing support, we couldn’t stay in business.
During the past few weeks, we saw evidence of just how much the work we’re doing is valued. Several times, we spotted community members coming into our office to secure multiple subscriptions to give as Christmas gifts. It feels wonderful to see readers eager to share this newspaper – to ensure that each week, the Spirit is there in their own homes as well as headed to the mailboxes of people they care about.
Buying a gift subscription also speaks to our readers’ expectations for the Spirit for 2014. They’re buying this paper firmly believing we’ll continue to provide a quality product for all the 52 weeks to come. And it’s our intention to do just that – and more. We want the Spirit in the new year to do an even better job than in the past to spotlight the news happening here and all the good that’s underway in our community. You have our word on that.
Thank you for making the Spirit part of your 2013. We hope to see our partnership continue throughout the year, and years, to come.
– Robert Snyder