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At just over the halfway point through calendar year 2018, and heading toward our 10th birthday, our valiant, little, nonprofit newspaper is well on its way to meeting its ambitious fundraising goal of $41,500, thanks in large part to an $8,400 donation by the Sopris 100 Who Care group (as reported in a prior edition of the paper.)

We also are pleased to confirm that we are only $3,700 from meeting our Summer Solstice fundraising goal of $10,000, as denoted by the half-sun icon that graces page 3 of each edition.

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Please note that I described The Sopris Sun in terms that, if applied to a bigger, daily paper might have seemed insulting, but in our case it’s both accurate and meant as an endearment.

The Sun decidedly is valiant (it has managed to keep its head above water despite being surrounded by highly competitive dailies), little (we managed to bounce between 16 and 24 pages per week, a pretty good level of operation given our circumstances) and nonprofit, meaning we are in thrall to no corporation, we cut checks to no stockholders, and we respond to the needs and preferences only of our readers and advertisers, all of whom are intensively local and community-bound.

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What have we done (or will we be doing) with all that cash, you ask?

I’m glad you did.

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To begin with, the grant from the Sopris 100 group has proven that the board was on the right track last year when it voted approval of raises (not big ones, unfortunately, but enough to let our hard-working staff know they are appreciated).

The fiscal boost from the women of the Sopris 100 also has allowed us to start the process of upgrading our computer equipment, which is showing signs of its age and hard labor, and to upgrade the paper’s website.

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The influx of cash also has given us a little breathing room in paying off a considerable debt to Colorado Mountain News Media, which prints the paper each week at a plant in Eagle County and which has gracefully allowed us to take some time in paying while simultaneously raising our printing fees by 5 percent thanks to the prospect of President Donald Trump’s tariffs on foreign goods.

Finally, the paper plans to beef up its roster of contributors, freelancers and paid interns as its page-count edges upward with each passing year.

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What all that means is readers can expect to discover in the pages of The Sopris Sun more of what you have come to depend on through the seasons and the years:

  • Coverage of Carbondale’s town government and, to a less comprehensive extent, the policies and actions of county, regional and state governments and agencies that affect life here in the Roaring Fork Valley;
  • Stories about the local schools, whether it’s the sports teams, the mock trial competitions, the achievements of individual students or classes, or select deliberations and decisions by the local school board that affect students, parents and the whole community;
  • Features about the people, organizations and non-governmental facilities that thrive in Carbondale and the surrounding areas;
  • Accounts of the doings at businesses new and old in and around town, as well as advertisements highlighting the activities of the local businesses our readers frequent and support;
  • Space for letters, columns and other expressions by our readers, who like to air their views whether they be political, social, artistic or economic;
  • And stories about the artists and craftspeople whose creative endeavors liven the town in uncounted ways.

In short, we here at The Sopris Sun are gratified and encouraged by the financial support and creative contributions we receive from our community.

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And we remind all our supporters that we are not here to make money, but we need money to make the paper thrive and grow.

So, whether you are a business or organization that declines to advertise for whatever reason; a regular reader who has not yet sent us a check to help bolster our bottom line; or simply someone who likes the fact that Carbondale still has its own paper despite some difficulties — please, remember us when you have a little extra cash and would like to do something (if possible by our June 21 Summer Solstice deadline) to help The Sopris Sun continue to serve our community into the future.

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