Continuing a Tradition in the Community – for Twenty Years and Counting . . .
By Beki (Snowdin) Rotman

My parents, Duane and Kerri Snowdin, bought the Coopersville Observer 20 years ago. I was 14 years old, and a freshman in high school. I can remember truly believing (as a typical teenage girl would) that they had done this to ruin my life. Gone were my care-free Friday nights spent with friends at a football or basketball game. Replacing them were evenings spent stuffing inserts into a newspaper, by hand, for hours at a time. Eventually, I began to see how much my mom absolutely loved her job, and it didn’t seem like such a chore anymore. In fact, I was able to recruit many friends along the way, to help the process move along quicker. And 20 years later, I too can say I absolutely love my job.

Those of you who know me, know that I do not deal well with change. It’s a problem I’ve suffered with for many years – my mom tells a pretty funny story about a December morning, many moons ago, when she put me down for a nap and decorated the entire house for the holiday season. Needless to say, when I woke up, devastation struck me. It was all different! The whole house had changed – and I didn’t like it! But the Coopersville Observer has remained a steady constant for me, for over half my life now. Just as I know it has for many readers, it has become that ray of sunshine that arrives every other weekend, despite the fact that sometimes our world feels like a darker place.

It seems like this year has had some pretty sad moments. Maybe I’m more in tune with what’s happening in the world around me, as I’m raising two children in it now, or maybe it truly has been a darker year. And I’m certainly not naïve enough to think that we can erase those scary moments or pretend they didn’t happen, simply from a cheerful newspaper, but I do believe this “little-newspaper-that-could” is one way to celebrate the beautiful things that ARE happening around us – because there are a lot of them!

We choose not to always focus on the bad that is happening, not because we think it’s better simply to ignore it, but because there is SO much good to recognize and celebrate. Youth in the community are leading huge projects to better the lives of so many people. Young adults are reaching out to help neighbors who have been vandalized in some way. Children are being taken care of by amazing teachers and staff in our school system. An entire community is coming together to pray for the sick and suffering. Sure, there are times when living in a small town can seem like an irritation or a nuisance. But there are so many more times that it can be a blessing. We are so grateful for the people we reach with our tiny publication, and we love bringing stories OF the community TO the community.

I have had the unique opportunity to hold two jobs that center around this great town – here at The Observer, and in the school system. I have to tell you, it doesn’t get much better. I’m sure not everyone shares the same opinion and, if that’s the case, I hope we can show you in the coming year, within these printed pages, just how amazing Coopersville is. We look forward to watching small businesses succeed, grow and reach their potential. We thoroughly enjoy helping celebrate with you as you reach milestones in your life — whether it be a marriage, an anniversary or the arrival of a new baby.

As 2015 draws to a close, we are again counting our blessings to have been in circulation for 20 years. While the “bigger” newspapers are consolidating in any way they can – making big changes in their circulations, publication methods and subscription fees - we are pleased to remain mailing The Observer to each home in our circulation area, every other week, with no subscription requirement.

We are approaching that time of year that is notorious for decreased advertising revenue for all newspapers, and we try to prepare for it. This is why we conduct our annual subscription drive at this time of year and why we are also thankful to you - - our faithful volunteer subscribers. Your past donations have truly gotten us through the slow winter months, and I hope you will continue to show that support.

As we look forward to 2016, we would like to personally thank all of you: the dedicated advertisers, faithful readers, and our volunteer subscribers. We owe our successes to every one of you. Many of you realize you don’t have to advertise or contribute to our volunteer subscription drive in order to receive the paper, but you do it because you believe in our mission of bringing you the “community paper with the positive difference!”

If a “Volunteer Subscription” return envelope is missing from your paper, please use the form below to show your continued support and mail to: The Observer, P.O. Box 111, Coopersville, MI 49404. Be one of the first 100 volunteer subscribers and receive a FREE “classified ad” to be used anytime during 2016.

I consider it an honor and a privilege to have worked for this newspaper for the last 20 years (with my mom at the helm). I have been blessed by each and every issue that has gone to print in those years, and I look forward to being a part of many more. From the staff at The Observer, to each and every one of you: we wish you health, happiness, and many blessings in the coming year. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives.

Beki Rotman
Graphic Designer/Layout Artist

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*(If you live outside our circulation area of Coopersville, Conklin, Lamont, and Marne, please call for special fees.)

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