They Say It's Your Birthday...
Norton Patch celebrates one year, thanks readers, staff.
It’s hard to believe that Norton Patch is celebrating it’s first anniversary today, marking one year of bringing you news, entertainment and as much useful information as possible.
Before I really start this letter FROM the editor though, I apologize for the length. There are a lot of people who have helped to mold this site into what it is.
First and foremost, my boss, Mike Hardman, gave me encouragement when I needed it, and even when I didn’t. He made the launching process go as smooth as possible. A year later, he is helping in other ways, so that I don’t have to live and breathe Patch 24/7. And if it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be your Norton Patch editor.
Ever wonder how the calendar was so populated with events going on in town for months at a time? That was due to Corinne Lunnin, who I’m happy to call one of my best friends. She was probably feeling just as stressed as I was at times, figuring out the behind the scenes aspect of Patch and working to flesh out the site as much as possible. I’ve got to say, I miss her dearly, now that she is focusing on her work as assistant company manager for Sesame Street Live.
My Directory team also did a great job collecting information and photos from all the businesses in town. And there are a lot more of those than I initially thought!
I also must give props to my ad manager, Brian Hemmert. I’ve known him for years, and that open line of communication we have is key to keeping the site going.
Other Patch editors have also helped me a great deal. Canton Patch Lisa Gentes-Hunt started the same day as me, and ever since has been the person I go to when I need to vent...either her or Plymouth Patch editor Casey Meserve. Sharon Patch editor Mike Gelbwasser was my launch buddy, going through my checklist and introducing me to key players in town. Patricia Resende, the Attleboro Patch editor, made my first day exciting as she took the lead on a breaking news story involving both our towns. And she is always thinking about her neighbor when Norton connections arise, as do Mike Gleason (Wrentham), Courtney Jansson (Foxborough) and Jeff Sullivan (Mansfield). Stoughton Patch editor Jeffrey Picket is the voice of our group, speaking up for injustices and coming up with creative ways to do our job. Pat Maguire, the Easton Patch editor, was the first to step up and help me when I was tasked with the Daily PatchCast, with editors Kelly Glista (Norwood), Ben Paulin (Dover-Sherborn) and Jeremie Smith (Medfield) hopping on board soon after. And these are just some of the ways this team of people has come together to make working for Patch enjoyable.
The site wouldn’t be where it is today without the freelancers who have helped me along the way. The very first person I onboarded as a freelancer was none other than Town Moderator Bill Gouveia. Bill was an essential aspect of the site, providing insight into Norton politics and humorous anecdotes. Of course, not everyone loved Bill, as his columns were sometimes controversial...but love him or hate him, An Inside Look was a must read.
Since I don’t come from a sports writing background, it was important for me to have someone with those skills in my corner. Kevin Labounty was that person. A Norton resident, Kevin is very familiar with coaches and teams in town, and was able to write engaging stories about our athletes.
Other freelancers who are no longer writing for me, but I could count on every week, include Lisa Livingstone, Craig MacCormack and Jeff Rothman. There may have been more, and my deepest apologies if I missed you.
Most Thursdays, Meredith Holford does me the extreme favor of attending and reporting on selectmen’s meetings. I can tell you from experience that a lot of times these meetings can be trying. I cannot begin to tell you, however, how grateful I am to have her expertise.
Occasionally historian David Lambert delves into the pages of Norton’s past with century-old excerpts from the Taunton Gazette. A town rich with history, and people who love hearing about the past, his work fits right in.
Now sports writer Dan Libon and columnist Bob Havey join the ranks, adding their own special flair to Norton Patch. Dan, who has been spread thin between Norton, Foxborough and Wrentham sports, has slid into the pool with ease. Bob, staying true to his nature, dove in head first, making as big a splash as possible. If you have not checked out their work, I urge you to do so.
The future of Norton Patch now lies in the hands of our readers more than ever, as we aim to focus on user generated content. We want you to tell us what’s important, and we want you to to share your stories, photos, events and more. Some of you have already made your voice heard, and that is what makes this site so special.
Norton Patch has built a community of bloggers with Annemarie Holloway, Kevin Mulligan, Susan Rooks, Andrew Mackie and Chris Rappold. I can always count on Aimee Kolf to send me photos when I call out for them. She also helped stir up conversation in a weekly column we did called Parent Talk, along with Tom Golota and Sheila Gaudet. If there’s an accident in town, Tina Mace Melberg probably told me about it via Facebook. With the help of Ted Kane, director of publicity for Norton Pop Warner, readers were kept informed about the football teams’ games. There are so many ways you all have helped me keep other readers in the know for everything that is Norton. And I thank you for that.
Whether it’s for the love of writing, keeping people informed or just to promote an event, I strongly encourage you to join us in this journey and help make Norton Patch your community website.
This past year, with its ups and downs, has been a blast for me, and I hope it has for you too. On to the next!
Kelly A. Mello