A Brazen Anniversary
An Editorial
By Kerri Snowdin

What is the significance of the number 21? For some, it is formerly the legal coming-of-age when you received the `key to the door.' In the game of table tennis, the first player reaching 21 points is the winner. We live in the twenty-first century. And I am told that a 21st wedding anniversary gift should be something made with brass.

The number 21 has a different meaning to different people, but to me, the number 21 is the reassurance of knowing that The Observer has made it through another year.

Yes, this February, we will be celebrating our 21st anniversary in publication. Several readers have grown up with us and we have become a trusted source for your local information. As a young woman, turning 21 years old in America, gave me more freedoms but it also gave me more responsibilities. Likewise, I feel that my 21-year journey with you - the reader, as well as the advertiser - fulfilled my passion for writing, but also gave me a greater respect for the obligation I need to meet with you.

The Observer staff is even more committed to the ideals of this newspaper. By reporting the life events of local citizens, we serve an important function in the community and the economics of keeping it afloat. Small town newspapers can reflect, affirm, and build a positive community atmosphere and we strive to do just that - - even as larger, corporate newspapers are downsizing and disappearing, we are maintaining and remaining.

Just as I had acquired new rights associated with becoming an independent 21-year-old, my new responsibilities held me accountable for my actions. Similarly, as an independent newspaper publisher, I hold that accountability very seriously.

We, at The Observer, feel privileged to publish a well-accepted newspaper. And I believe that as long as we provide a product that informs the community of the positive things that happen in this area, with respect, accuracy, and integrity, (while providing our advertisers with results that make their businesses successful), we have accomplished our goal for another year.

Author and Civil Rights Activist Maya Angelou said it best and I quote: "I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel."

And that is truly what we strive to do with this feel good, hometown newspaper. Our role is to make people aware of their surroundings and the changes that are taking place. Many people who live here went to school with one another. We are mindful of the readership and the community, so we write things that other papers won't. It's important if someone won an award and we do a lot of chicken dinner and community activity public service announcements. That's our purpose.

As we look forward to 2017, I would like to personally thank all of you: the dedicated advertisers, faithful readers, and especially volunteer subscribers. We owe our successes to every one of you. Many of you realize you don't have to contribute 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!"

We are approaching that time of year that is known for decreased advertising revenue for all newspapers and we try to prepare for it. At the same time, our postage and printing costs have once again, increased. This is why we conduct our annual Volunteer Subscription Drive at the end of one year, into the new beginning of another. And this is why we are so thankful to you - - our volunteer subscribers. Your past donations have truly gotten us through the slow winter months, and I hope you will continue to show that support this year.

If you would like to make a donation as a "Volunteer Subscriber" please see the form below, or go to the "Volunteer" page of this web site.

In closing, the staff of The Observer and I wish you a New Year filled with cheer, good health, and a long life surrounded by your loved ones.

Most Sincerely,
Kerri Snowdin, Publisher

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Enclosed is my contribution to: The Coopersville Observer in
the amount of: $25 _____ $30 _____ Other _____

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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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