In this edition of The Sopris Sun, we announce our Fall/Winter 2019 fundraising campaign, as we finish celebrating our 10th year of providing news, views and other information about Carbondale, the town where we rose out of the ashes of the old Valley Journal to keep the idea of local journalism alive and active.
Conceived and created by a dedicated group of local residents, many of whom had prior journalistic experience, The Sopris Sun strives to tell readers all it can about the lives, interests, actions and hopes of the growing population of our town and its environs.
In keeping with the nonprofit vision of that founding board of locals, The Sopris Sun is once again counting on help and encouragement from its readers and other supporters, with the goal of raising $15,000 by Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice. Thanks to the generosity of donors since our last fundraising campaign, we are already collected more than $5,000 towards that goal.
The Sun rises each week as a vital component of local community, a fact borne out by our annual survey of stories published the previous year, conducted by a panel of Sopris Sun board members, staff and helpers.
Our review of 2018’s output revealed that our connection to the community remains solid, as shown by the 364 stories that appeared in our pages last year about local residents, businesses, ranches and history; 88 stories concerning numerous other nonprofit enterprises in the area; and 113 stories about the town’s vibrant local arts scene.
The youth of Carbondale, who will forge the town’s future and live through it, showed up in 182 stories about our schools, and another 144 stories about what kids and families in general were up to last year.
And finally, The Sun fulfilled one of the fundamental jobs of the news business by providing readers with 166 stories about the activities undertaken by local, regional and state governmental agencies.
For a full accounting of the range and numbers of stories presented in the pages of The Sopris Sun, see our annual report for 2019, currently posted on the paper’s website (soprissun.com).
The paper’s continued vitality and growth can be seen in the annual budget, which this year calls for more than $301,000 in income and about the same amount in expenditures.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to our advertisers, donors and sponsors and most especially, our roster of Honorary Publishers (named on the masthead of each edition) for providing the bulk of the financial support that keeps the Sun shining.
Blowing our own horn a bit more, we note with pride that The Sopris Sun earned 13 awards at the 2019 Colorado Press Association awards ceremony, thanks to the hard work, talent and creativity of our staff, which currently includes Editor Will Grandbois, Ad Executive Todd Chamberlin, Reporter Roberta McGowan, Graphic Designer Ylice Golden and Distribution Chief Tommy Sands, as well as a stable of about a dozen freelance writers and photographers.
And finally, The Sun is up to about 2,200 visits per week on its evolving website, which comes on top of roughly 3,500 printed copies that we produce each week, all of which attests to a firm and deep bond between The Sopris Sun and the town it serves.