My View – November 2015

As fall colors abound, much of our attention now turns toward celebrating the holidays, making this a good time to express my gratitude for those who make the Jacksonville Review possible. With an incredible team of volunteer contributors, Andrea and I are able to produce a magazine reflective of everyday life in Jacksonville. As you turn the pages and read the diverse columns, join us in thanking our wonderful slate of volunteer journalists who give so much back to the community. In an age of “digital-everything,” the print issues of the Review remain a relevant and valued community resource, due in large part to this incredible group of local contributors!

Every day here in our micro-village of a town, I witness and hear about good people doing good things for others—from neighbors helping neighbors to citizens volunteering and making a difference on commissions, committees and non-profits. As I’ve said over and over, the “V” in Jacksonville is for “volunteer!” The amount of local volunteerism is staggering and is done selflessly and in an effort to improve the lives of others, by good people giving back to the community with no expectation of anything in return. For me, they are our local heroes and deserve our “thanks.”

Another group I’m grateful for is our local merchants and businesses who bring so much energy and character to town. In an effort to thank them for all they do to support the community, the Review is proud to bring you an informative and fun Merry Merchant spread on pages 34-35. As always, I encourage you to get to know your local merchants and then Shop Local this holiday season and year-round.

With recent events at UCC dominating the national and local news and with the passing of several friends, I was recently re-reminded about what’s most important… especially in a small town. How we live our lives and how well we treat each other AND what kind of friend we are is what matters most. With the holidays upon us, I think this is a good time to take stock of this notion and practice “neighborliness.”

Please enjoy this Thanksgiving issue and have a wonderful holiday season. Now more than ever, I encourage you to reach-out and give back by helping a neighbor or a stranger in our Small Town with Big Atmosphere!