Submitted by Brenda Duke, Co-Ordinator
So, we have an “ask” …… Can you help? Do you want to continue getting your news regularly? What do you know about the Breezes? Do you value what we do and look forward to the new issue each month?
The North End Breezes started as a small community newsletter over 45 years ago. A six page, typed document with hand drawn ads published in May of 1972.
Over the years, it grew, took on new designs and layout and continued to publish monthly. Bringing news of the North End to The North End. Many people, primarily volunteers, had a hand in that growth. Why? Because it was important to you!
The Breezes still exists today because of the volunteers who make it happen through contributions to our copy. Many of you still wait anxiously each month to see what Pam Winter wrote about, what Brian was busy researching, what books are popular with Kit and the book club and what Ken discovered on his “Walkabout”. It exists because of the Community Partners who sponsor us yearly and it exists because we offer low cost advertising that promotes your business and attracts customers.
This is the time of year that we reach out to our Community Partners and ask for their financial assistance. And, we look for new Community Partners to join us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out what that means.
We also ask people who receive the Breezes delivered to their homes free of charge to consider a contribution. There is no set amount and we accept as much or as little as you are comfortable with. Tax receipts are issued for contributions over $100.
Have you moved away but still carry the North End in your heart? We will happily mail you a copy each month but do ask that you contribute to the postage and supplies by sending us a contribution for your yearly subscription.
Does this sound like we are asking a lot? Consider the value you are receiving and consider what we, the publication team put in to give you that value.
We have changes happening in the North End. People are starting to recognize the potential of the North End and we are seeing a change in the demographics as people move in and bring their families. Changes in the development and changes in what we value to create neighbourhoods and community. Parks, greenspaces, recreation, adequate housing.
What does that mean for The Breezes? We need to change too! We need to bring the history of the past to new residents so they can appreciate the North End and we need to offer information to those who are still learning the about the neighbourhood. You need to know what happened and what is happening now and how it might affect you and more importantly, where you can get involved to shape their future.
And that leads to your next question I’m sure. What do we do? This year in December of 2017, we had to replace Wendy Collins who retired after thirteen years of putting it all together. And that is where I came in. A bit of experience in community publications and no knowledge of The North End.
But, I was tasked to take the Breezes to the next level and make it sustainable. Thankfully, I had those dedicated volunteers and people who shared their expertise to help me along. I shared my visions and we changed!
We now have a new size, still reader friendly but more space, we offer colour on the front and back pages, our logo is being revamped from the original designed by Ed Stewart but keeping the “flavour” of our Breezes. More articles are coming in that showcase what is offered in the North End and advertisers are noticing us.
And while I was finding my feet, our Board of Directors and our volunteers were busy too. Our web site was upgraded and redesigned, we have a new Facebook Page and our social media platform was expanded to include Twitter. The voice of the Breezes is well heard through social media and reaches beyond the North End and increasingly, that audience is a younger demographic.
Does all of this translate to sustainability so we can continue forever? Unfortunately, no. Our bottom line increases as we bring these changes about and we still need your help. Please consider joining us as we grow though one of the opportunities offered. We are happy to answer your questions by email at office@northendbreezes or through our website www.northendbreezes.com
“This has been a challenging year for the Breezes. The board has been a hands- on working board and each person has dedicated and contributed their valuable time and expertise during the transition. The new design was a vision that came to fruition because of persistence and passion. The volunteers worked hard to fold, deliver, submit articles, and spread the news of our fabulous community newspaper. I am proud to work with such dedicated and professional volunteers who give their time to the Breezes”. Sharon Clark, Chair, Board of Directors