This is a big week.
Not only is The Greater New Milford Spectrum celebrating its 15th anniversary, but I'm celebrating my 15th year with the newspaper.
It's hard to imagine it's been that long since I joined the staff and helped put out the first edition of a brand-new weekly paper in the community.
It was a privilege to be part of the creative team that designed the paper from scratch, and it was exciting to watch the paper evolve and develop an identity in the community.
While some of the staff may have changed over the years -- though two of the original five staff members remain (Editor Norm Cummings and me) -- some things have remained the same: The staff's passion for and dedication to the community, and its commitment to quality journalism.
As a New Milford native, I'm proud to say I'm a part of this community, and I'm just as proud to be a part of this newspaper.
I've had the honor of sharing my writing and photographic skills with the community over the years, visiting schools as a guest speaker and reader, making friends with colleagues and the people I have met through work, and being the point person many people turn to when they have a question, concern or story idea.
Of course, there have been times of stress -- that comes with any job -- but somehow my commitment to do my job well and represent the organizations and groups in our community pulls me through those challenging times.
After all, we are here for you. We are your community newspaper, and we want to hear from you.
We do our best to represent the seven towns we serve -- New Milford, Washington, Kent, Sherman, Bridgewater, Roxbury and Warren.
It can be challenging at times, though. There are a lot of things happening out there that are worthy of stories, be it on the municipal, business, school or feature level. And there are a ton of civic activities, art shows, fundraisers and other events that must be represented.
While we know about the majority of civic events that happen in the community, it never hurts to contact us to be sure we know about something.
As I'm the one who processes the press releases for the paper, among other things, I invite you to let me know about an event as soon as possible. I'd rather be notified two or three months in advance, rather than the week before. Advance notice helps residents plan ahead and attend events.
And if you have a story idea, don't hesitate to let us know.
Well, I must end this here. There's more work to do.
Thanks for a wonderful 15 years!
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 860-355-7324.