Some days, the phone rings off the hook and the e-mails come in non-stop. “The Brookside Elementary School is putting on a show. We were hoping to get a reporter and a photographer.”
“Hi, Dennis? This is Joyce at the Council on Aging. Our seniors are giving ballroom dance lessons to some of the kids from the Junior High School. Could you come out? Oh, and could you bring a camera?”
There is a special speaker at the library. The Garden Cub has a new feature they’re excited about. The Historical Society is always doing something great. The middle school is having a clothes drive. The food pantry is having a food drive. The Dracut Police and Fire departments are involved in the community and deserve more than just a little good publicity. Dracut High School Class of 1948 is holding its 60th reunion. I’d love to accept all your invitations and attend all these events. I really would. I feel terrible when I have to tell somebody I don’t think I can make it. I feel even worse when I tell somebody I’ll be there and I don’t show up, either because something came up at the last minute or I simply forgot to write it down.
So here’s the deal. As you probably read, we are getting ready to launch MyDracutDispatch. I’m excited about this and I think it has great potential. This is news about you, submitted by you. In other words, you do the work. I get to put my feet up on the desk and wait for my paycheck. I wish.
The Dracut Dispatch has gone through several incarnations and I think I’ve been around for most of them. I started out at the Dracut Dispatch back in 1995. Several years later I jumped over to The Sun in 2000. The Dispatch followed me. It’s gone under the banner of the Valley Dispatch since 2003, serving Dracut, Pelham, Tyngsboro, and then Methuen. And now it’s coming full circle back to Dracut exclusively.
Plans call for MyDracutDispatch to come to your home via the daily newspaper if you’re a subscriber. It will land somewhere near your doorstep with some advertisements if you’re not a subscriber. So, got a new business opening up? Write a brief story, let’s say 200 to 300 words, snap a few photos and send it in. Our crack team of editors will fix your spelling and grammar and crop your photos so they look almost professional.
Your son wins a special Boy Scout award. I’m not there for the big ceremony and the party that follows, but you are. Let me know about it. You daughter’s softball team won their recent tournament. I hope somebody had a digital camera. Send those pictures along, with a little description.
Got a compelling story that is just begging to be told? Tell it, with words and pictures. Memorial Day is just a few days away. Are you part of the American Legion group that visits the cemeteries early in the morning? There’s a story. What’s it like behind the scenes at the Memorial Day Parade? There’s a story.
Prom pictures. Graduation night pictures. I want it all. Send it in.
Summer is right around the corner. Going somewhere? Can we go? Please, take us with you. Did you pull that big bass out of Peter’s Pond? Did you take a picture? What’s your neighborhood like? Do you get together for block parties when the nice weather rolls around? Tell us about it. I see activity all the time at Veterans Memorial Park, Carrick Field, the Daoulas Complex. What’s going on there? Let me know.
Got a son or daughter heading off to college in the fall? What’s that experience like? Planning a fundraiser? Let me know. Hey, we’re also looking for guest columnists. What’s on your mind? Have a gripe? Have a praise? Write it up.
I learned early in my career that everything is a story, as long as you have a storyteller’s mindset. So, come on Dracut. Make it happen.
You’ll be doing me a big favor. You get the good, juicy, fun stories and I’ll head over to the selectmen’s meeting to hear them talking about cell towers and zoning ordinances.
You can send me your stuff at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.thevalleydispatch.com/community and fill out the form. You could also win four tickets to a Lowell Spinners baseball game in our amateur photo contest. Deadline for entries is July 1. No pros, please.
So, what do you say, we got a deal?