By Jason Sethre
Fillmore County Journal
Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day is one of the busiest times of the year.
At the newspaper, we have so much going on. And, I’m thankful we have such an incredibly talented and energetic team managing the workflow of the season. When I look at the schedule, I often say, “next week will be easier.” If I keep saying that, one of these times it will be true, right?
On Thanksgiving Day, our family hosted the 14th annual Fillmore County Turkey Day Run that started in Fountain, Minn., and descended upon the Root River Bike Trail to Lanesboro, Minn., a total of 11.2 miles. Thank you to everyone who donated to the Fillmore County Food Shelf that day, both with non-perishable food items and monetarily. And, thank you to each of the participants for making the journey together. There were lots of encouraging words shared that day. We had many reasons to be thankful.
The 2023 Fillmore County Journal calendar appeared in this week’s newspaper, which was a pleasant surprise. This year, we were lucky enough to have paper in stock at our printer and get the calendar printed earlier than usual. Last year, many of our readers called our office, because the calendar went out a week later than normal. They were worried they weren’t going to receive a calendar at all. The reason we had a delay last year is because there was a huge paper shortage for glossy stock paper that we use to print the high quality calendar you see in this week’s newspaper. I’m hoping things are getting better with the supply chain. We are certainly not back to normal, but I’m crossing my fingers that supplies normalize and prices come back down. We hope you enjoy this year’s calendar, as it represents the unspoiled beauty of Historic Bluff Country. We have incredibly talented photographers among us! Please keep sending us your photos all throughout the year, so we can keep sharing them with the rest of our readership.
In this issue, you’ll see the Letters to Santa ad to encourage children to send in their letter to get published in the December 19, 2022, issue of the Fillmore County Journal. We’d love to see your letters, so please send them to us as quickly as possible.
But, kids, wait! There’s more! This issue of the newspaper also includes the Christmas Coloring Contest page. This is one of our most popular contests, with coloring pages come in from children near and far. And, one lucky winner will be drawn for a $25 gift card to use at one of the businesses that sponsors the coloring contest.
We are accepting nominations for the “Business Person of the Year,” due in our office by December 31, 2022. We started this important recognition a couple of years ago. Past recipients of the award have been Todd Jones (Spring Valley ACE Hardware) and Alex and Jenn Slifka (Stellar 181 Taphouse, Some Like It Hot, Chic by Chateau, and Chateau de Chic) in Spring Valley, Minn. Along with presenting this award to the Business Person of the Year, we publish a front page story about the business owner and why they were selected. Each year, we have received numerous nominations for business owners/operators all throughout the region, and we publish all of those words of support to share with readers, as well. If you’d like to show your support for one of your favorite local business owners who you feel makes a difference in the community, this is your chance.
Sports coverage has been crazy busy lately, too. We had teams and individuals going to state in our region, which made for an exciting fall. And, now we launch right into winter sports mode. So, our sports photographers and writers will be quite busy. You can look forward to the winter sports section appearing in the newspaper soon. Winter sports team posters will be appearing in local businesses, as well.
Last, but certainly not least, we just conducted our annual $1,000 Shop Local Gift Card drawing. We kicked off the contest right before Small Business Saturday, to encourage people to shop local. Now that we’ve conducted the drawing with 10 winners each receiving five $20 gift cards ($100 per winner), I’ll be running around the countryside buying up a total of 50 gift cards from local businesses. For each $20 gift card purchased, we hope that $20 turns into $50 or $100 spent at each of these businesses.
While American Express can be credited for launching the idea of Small Business Saturday, which is commendable, local chamber of commerce organizations have launched a collaborative branding campaign that extends the idea to entire season. The chamber of commerce organizations worked together to promote “Small Business Season.” So, shopping local isn’t dedicated to one day in late November. Rather, it is a season. Our local merchants will greatly appreciate your support now and throughout the winter months. And, with all of us keeping it local as much as possible, we will be keeping our communities thriving.