Saying Thank You and FarewellJan 01, 2021 08:06PM ● By Elena Hutslar
Saying Thank you and Farewell
By Elena Hutslar, Community Focus Co-Publisher
It is time for The Community Focus to bid farewell. It has been an amazing ride and we will treasure the experiences we’ve had and the people we’ve met along the way. This paper has been a collective effort, and we want to take this space to thank our loyal readers, writers, and advertisers.
Jennifer, Becky and I met through many shared baseball seasons with our sons who played in the Pleasant Hill Baseball Association. I approached them one afternoon with a crazy idea to run a newspaper for Pleasant Hill, and I am honored they were willing to join me in this daunting endeavor. With all our kids in school, sports, and various after-school programs, we encountered a variety of great stories not being told and felt inspired to highlight the many organizations, individuals, and businesses that shape our community. This was our focus, and we have enjoyed sharing these stories for 11½ years.
Many tried to dissuade us from taking on this project, but we truly felt our community would ultimately benefit from positive news and bring us closer to our neighbors, schools, and businesses. Over the years, we have been fortunate to receive thank you cards, emails and phone calls. Those meant a great deal to us. Thank you! We even received awards from the county and our chamber of commerce. We enjoyed the recognition and building wonderful relationships within our city and neighboring cities as well as with the school districts, local non-profits and civic leaders. But the lasting memories will be of the people we met who worked tirelessly to make a difference. Our takeaway is there is no shortage of individuals helping neighbors, and when we join in their efforts, the results are immeasurable.
Negative stories continue to dominate our media sources and it’s a struggle to avoid them. But we all know stories of support and resiliency. We just have to work to hear and see them. I hope that our readers will continue to find the good news. Please seek it out and share it on your favorite platforms. Spread the good vibes.
We can’t say goodbye without sharing our deep gratitude. This paper would not have existed without the help of our generous community columnists, some who have written over 100 articles, and our loyal advertisers, many who’ve been with us since the beginning. We are so very grateful for your support and could not have managed this without you.
Much gratitude to Trish Heaney, our dear friend and magical graphic designer who understood our vision and created our layouts for ads and written articles, took photos, and put up with us and our deadlines every month. Thank you for always making us look good, working weekends and crazy late nights, and doing it all with a sincere heart and wonderful sense of humor.
Thank you to Alison Clary, our gatekeeper of grammar. You have read through articles and checked for everything from typos to nonsensical sentences to errant commas. You’ve written meaningful articles and also gave life to our words, and we are forever grateful for your dedication to the paper. We have appreciated your help more than you will ever know.
Thank you to Susan Wood, who has been so generous with your time and talents. Thanks for supporting us by submitting fun articles, hunting down the perfect shot and supplying beautiful photos for our covers and articles. We are grateful for meeting you along the way and treasure our relationship.
Thank you to all our kids and spouses, who have supported us throughout this endeavor. You have taken photos, written stories, pitched article ideas, and posed for cover photos. But most of all, thank you for being supportive of the time required to create this publication.
THEN AND NOW
2021: Stephanie Neys, Kevin Neys, Jack Coburn, Brandon Hutslar, Dane Hutslar, Ben Coburn, Devin Hutslar, Madeline Weiss (Coburn), and Cole Hutslar.