Congratulations Wednesday Journal on your fantastic 40-year run! I feel so lucky to be among we elders who were there at the birthing. At the time, a young Dan Haley was a very persistent young idealist, asking if we could consider supporting his idea for an alternative to the well-established Oak Leaves. I remember urging my very skeptical (late) husband, Monroe Sullivan, to join me in helping out — and he did — and eventually he even served on the WJ Board of Directors.
Those early years were so very crucial, and I still cannot believe the hours that Dan and Eric Linden and other staff spent to get an issue out the door each week. Did they ever sleep? It was akin to starting a restaurant with no prior experience and praying that somehow the books would balance — and often they did not!
However, with the very special talents of such rescuers as Ed Panschar, Patrick Janus, Sharon Phillips, Galen Gockel, Bob Downs and other early investors who also served as board members, the Journal somehow began to grow and flourish and even win special press awards. In addition, by purchasing Chicago Parent and local Austin and Forest Park newspapers, Wednesday Journal expanded its mission of serving the larger community.
By also joining the digital age, WJ now provides us with local news wherever we may travel. A grand 40-year record!
However, I also realize that newspapers are indeed an endangered item, and it is almost miraculous that this paper has survived these many decades. Have we even begun to realize what a special treasure it is and has been for our village?
Can we as a committed community keep this newspaper alive and well? This truly is a super-challenge and difficult, but we must prevail. Forty years ago, a young man had a dream and convinced some of us that it could happen. Some of us believed it was needed and might succeed and it did. We need to keep that dream alive as the Wednesday Journal is such a very precious asset for our community and we need it now more than ever.