By MARY BETH DENOMY
We asked you to fight for your Beach Metro News – and you came out swinging!
When your volunteer Beach Metro News Board of Directors launched the “Become a Supporter” campaign in March 2022, we did not know what to expect.
For 50 years our community newspaper had been covering the stories and events that mattered most to our community. But like other local news outlets, we were (and still are) facing unprecedented financial challenges. Advertising alone will no longer solely support operations. As we looked ahead to the next 50 years, we wondered if our community still cared? Did they still believe in local journalism and the need for local connections? We got our answer – loud and clear.
Since the Supporter campaign launch in March 2022, almost 1,000 Beachers and east end residents and businesses have made an online contribution, hosted a fundraiser, mailed a cheque or walked through our front doors on Gerrard Street East and quietly dropped off a donation. We’ve received cards and letters of support. A handful of larger $1,000+ donors adamantly insisted on anonymity. Wow.
Every dollar came together to a total of almost $70,000. More than half of the donations were for $50 or less which reinforced the depth and breadth of community support.
Thank you to each and every single donor who gave a dollar.
And thank you to our valued advertisers, some of whom you see every single edition and online – and some who came forward to recognize our milestone anniversary.
Thank you to local businesses like Fearless Meat and to Breakwall BBQ and Smokehouse who were hit hard by COVID-19 and still stepped up to raise money for Beach Metro News. Thank you to The Beach BIA who creatively organized a silent auction where dozens of local businesses generously donated auction items. (I won a gift card for the Beacher Café and the heartfelt letter enclosed thanked ME for participating in such an important event!) We are humbled.
Bottom line, your donations will help secure our future. A special shout out to recurring annual donors as your yearly contributions will help us greatly with a reliable source of funding.
Because we are a non-profit, every dollar will be put back into serving our community and our readers, not a corporate owner. We plan to upgrade our technology and add new online services to expand our reach. We plan to evolve our offering including more local coverage with more diverse voices. We will recruit more journalists who will dig into the issues that affect our community.
Many communities today have no local source of meaningful reporting. The pace of media closures is only accelerating. Once a local news outlet is gone, it probably will not return. The health of local news should be a national concern to everyone. “A vibrant, responsive democracy requires enlightened citizens,” said a PEN 2019 Report on the Decimation of Local Journalism. But that’s a bigger subject and another column.
Today, on behalf of the Beach Metro News community Board of Directors, our hard-working staff and hundreds of dedicated volunteers who deliver the paper to your door every two weeks: a heartfelt, thank you.
Thank you for trusting us and for believing in us and for investing in our next 50 years.
Mary Beth Denomy is the President of the Beach Metro News Board of Directors.