More good independent journalism coming … stay tuned
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — A few weeks ago, I posted the 1,000th story on Summit Voice. This story took an interesting look at how the lodgepole die-off is dramatically changing habitat conditions for the local elk herd. It was a story that wasn’t reported anywhere else in Summit County, or Colorado for that matter. It was exactly the kind of story I hoped to write and publish when I started Summit Voice in early December, 2009.
And thanks to the support of Summit County readers, as well as businesses and organizations that have generously stepped up to support independent journalism in Summit County, I plan to continue reporting these types of stories for many years to come. I haven’t come close to fulfilling my ultimate vision for Summit Voice, but I’ve taken a few small steps in the right direction. Not only is Summit Voice a source for local news, but thanks to social media, it’s becoming a Summit County source of news for readers all over the country and the world.
Again, I couldn’t be doing any of this without your support.
The biggest thanks go out to Copper Colorado Condos, the best vacation rental management company in Summit County. As some of you may know, Copper Condos is owned and operated by Leigh Wadden, my significant other, who is the biggest booster for Summit Voice, and has been from day one. Please visit Copper Condos on the web and pass the website info along to anyone who might benefit from it.
Our newest sponsor is locally owned Wilderness Sports. Tom Jones Jr. was an early supporter and this month signed on to sponsor the weatherblog. I try to go beyond the standard forecast and explain easy terms why the weather is the way it is. our weatherblogs also include notable stats, like record highs, and regional trends. Subscribe to the blog (right sidebar) to get the weather blog sent via e-mail every day, or as part of weekly summary.
A big thanks also goes out to the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s Randy Hampton, who not only encouraged me to stick with wildlife and environmental reporting, but stepped up with a supporting sponsorship for the Bear Aware program during the early months. The same goes for Tom Jones, Jr., of Wilderness Sports, the Wellington Neighborhood and Jim Pokrandt, of the Colorado River District, who all helped at the very early stages.
Around that same time, a number of individual readers sent checks or made donations via PayPal to help with the launch. I won’t list all the names here; you can visit our sponsor page to see the list. Not only did that grassroots support help pay some of the bills, it helped make me realize that there are people out there who value good journalism, which is quite inspirational.
Then, Breckenridge resident Jenney Coberly contacted me with an incredibly generous offer of support, both financially, and to help produce videos for Summit Voice to enhance our multimedia coverage of Summit County news and beyond. Check out all Jenney’s videos at the Summit Voice YouTube Channel and look for more in the coming weeks and months.
Murray, of Mountain Public Radio, agreed to give me air time each and every day to let me ramble on about my top two or three stories. You can hear MPR at 88.7 on the local FM dial or click on the website to stream Murray’s playlists via the internet. I don’t how often he’s hit exactly the right chord for me, but it’s kind of uncanny … Monday morning, driving across the Dam Road with ripples on the reservoir gleaming, and all of sudden, there’s Don McLean singing American Pie. Or winding down from A-Basin on a cold, snowy evening, with Bob Seger runnin’ Against the Wind to keep me company.
Holly Resignolo, of Colorado Summit Magazine was also full of support and encouragement in the cold days of late winter and helped Summit Voice move to a new level of developing sponsorship relationships and partnerships with local businesses.
And in the last few months, the Summit County Wildfire Council partnered with Summit Voice to help create more awareness about forest health and wildfires and the the I-70 Coalition’s Go I-70 website teamed up with Summit Voice to help emphasize coverage of transportation issues.
Finally, in the next logical step, a few local businesses have stepped in as sponsors and supporters of Summit Voice.
Don Sather, of Bighorn Materials, which has been established as a locally owned business for 25 years, and Eric Westerhoff, of Breckenridge-based Innovative Energy, both approached me with offers of sponsorship support. Bighorn is one of the best places in Summit County to shop for eco-friendly building and household supplies, and Eric has been building and installing renewable energy systems around the High Country since long before renewable and sustainable became everyday buzzwords. Summit Voice is proud to feature these environmentally and socially conscious businesses as supporters, sponsors and advertisers.
I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. If I have, please let me know so I can correct the error.
It’s been a whirlwind seven-plus months! I’ve been keeping my nose to it and spending a lot time behind this keyboard. And Summit Voice still needs your help. We’re going to thrive on a combination of grassroots support and donations, sponsorships and partnerships … all built on a foundation of solid, honest journalism.
If you like what you read at Summit Voice, please consider direct support. Send us a check for $10, $20, $30 or $50 and you’ll be at the top of the list when we start getting some Summit Voice schwag to hand out. If you’re feeling spendy and can afford more, we’ll give you a special place of honor in our pantheon of independent journalism supporters. Here’s the address: P.O. Box 340, Frisco, CO 80443.
If you know of someone with a printing or T-shirt business that might want to help by donating some T-shirts or bumper stickers, send them my way. For other businesses, consider talking with us about sponsorship advertising. We’re really starting to leverage our social media presence into some solid exposure and you could be part of that.
Other ways to help: If you’re a social media whiz with some spare time on your hands, let me know. We’d like to explore all the channels out there and could use someone for a couple of hours a week to expand the Summit Voice presence in the ever-expanding universe of StumbleUpon, Digg and all the countless others.
We’d also like to have a few regular community bloggers and op-ed writers, so if you’ve got something on your mind, or you’re just itching to get published, let me know. I’ll try and find a place for it.
I’m also looking for some good ideas for a community fundraiser for Summit Voice, and more importantly, someone who would like to organize such an event. If you have any thoughts or ideas, please send them my way, email@example.com.
And most of all, keep reading and sharing the stories you like with friends and colleagues. Help spread the word. Good journalism is alive and well in Summit County, and will continue to grow with your help. You can also help by visiting our sponsors online or in person and letting them know you appreciate their support of Summit Voice. Here they are again:
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