Hard Times: Overcoming Adversities
An Editorial
By Kerri Snowdin
        

This February, The Observer - your bi-weekly community newspaper - will be celebrating its 23rd year in publication. That equates to 26 published newspapers a year, delivered free to every home in our circulation, for a total of 598 uninterrupted issues. Whew!

I admit that it has not always been easy or without difficulties, but whether we like it or not, adversity is a part of everyone's lives. Perhaps Henry Ford said it best and I quote: "When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it."

When I stop to look back at those 23 years, I am amazed and so thankful that we have never missed a publication date that we had set for ourselves. There were, however, a few very close deadlines that we wondered how (or if) we would be able to do it, financially.

I clearly remember the day we agreed to take over ownership of the paper, and I said to my husband, "God-willing, I sure would love to keep this going for at least 25 years." Little did I know at the time just what I was asking, but I truly am glad we took on the challenge.

We, at The Observer, feel privileged to publish a well-accepted newspaper. Our staff is committed to reporting the life events of local citizens, as well as the occurrences among local government, schools, churches, businesses and organizations. I do believe that as long as we provide a product that informs the community of the positive things that happen in our circulation area (with respect, accuracy and integrity), while offering our advertisers results that make their businesses successful, then we have accomplished our goal for another year.

As we look forward to 2019, I would like to personally thank all of the dedicated advertisers (especially those who have been advertising with us from day one). We do believe The Observer is a good way to share your goods and services with our readers, but we also realize some of you place an ad in our newspaper to solely support our efforts. Small town newspapers can reflect, affirm and build a positive community atmosphere and we strive to do just that. Regardless of the reason you advertise, we are thankful.

If you are an area business owner who hasn't advertised with us before, you should give us a try. You'll "feel good" to know you are supporting the "feel-good" newspaper, while making yourself well-known to our readers. Don't forget, advertising is a great tax write-off, too.

We also thank our faithful readers and contributors. We are mindful of our readership and the community we live in, so we write things that other papers won't. In this community we rally together with support, prayers and even fundraisers when someone has fallen ill or suffered a tragedy. We share happy blessings like the birth of a baby, a marriage or anniversary. And we grieve with our neighbors and friends when a loved one has passed away. The Observer is the bridge that connects us all together.

We would be remiss if we didn't thank the volunteer subscribers who donate to our Volunteer Subscription Drive year after year. You encourage and keep us going especially during our slow times.

We owe our past successes to all of you - the advertiser, reader and volunteer contributors. Many of you realize you don't have to donate to our cause to receive the paper, but you do it because you believe in our mission of bringing you the "community paper with the positive difference."

As we approach that time of year that is known for decreased advertising revenue for all newspapers, we also feel the increase of mailing costs, once more. But our biggest struggle, to date, has been printing costs that have increased substantially, due to the tariffs that have raised the price of newsprint. Our printer has had no other choice but to pass their added costs on to us.

This is why we conduct our annual Volunteer Subscription Drive at the end of one year, and into the beginning of another. And this is why we are so thankful to those of you who have donated in the past. Your gifts have truly helped us and I hope you will continue to show your support this year. Most people are surprised to know that on average, the amount we receive in volunteer subscriptions each year covers the cost of approximately one month of expenses. Did you know that if every family that receives the paper would donate just $20, annually, we could cover all our expenses for a full year? Since this isn't possible for every family, would you consider doing just a little more to help those who can't give? Every donation helps!

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 2019.

In closing, the staff of The Observer and I wish you a happy new year, filled with new dreams, hopes, experiences and joys.

Most Sincerely,
Kerri Snowdin, Publisher
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