I-M thankful for community support

Saturday, on the occasion of The Inter-Mountain’s 125th anniversary of publication, the air was filled not only with the pleasant aroma of Lions Club chicken, but it also was filled with the sounds of congratulations and heartfelt thanks.

It’s not often these days that a business can boast they have navigated the choppy waters of economic ups ands downs to arrive at a milestone of the magnitude of the one celebrated this past weekend.

A century-and-a-quarter certainly is something to be proud of; however, The Inter-Mountain would be amiss if we didn’t offer the appropriate and much-deserved thanks to all those who have made our journey possible.

First off, we would like to thank our readers — both past and present — for their support throughout the years. Without an audience, this newspaper — and any newspaper for that matter — would not be able to publish for 125 days, let alone 125 years.

We also would like to thank our many business partners and advertisers for supporting our mission of making this community a better place to live and work.

You see, a healthy and free press can make all the difference in the world when it comes to the vibrancy of small and large towns alike.

Newspapers are defenders of people, defenders of what is right, defenders against tyrants and radicals, defenders of free speech, defenders of the Constitution and — in a way — cheerleaders and champions of change that can transform cities, regions and states into great institutions.

Some may think that newspapers are only after catchy, attention-grabbing headlines and are out to ruin careers and catch politicians in compromising situations. While we do consider ourselves watchdogs of the public good and for defending the best interests of the community, we also are here to present the facts on key issues and cheer those who are making a difference.

Many of those faces were seen during Saturday’s ceremony. People like Mike Ross, Bill Hartman, Lynn Phillips, Phil Isner, Butch Antolini, Willard Herron, John Henning, Mike Taylor, Mark Scott, Julia Elbon, Van Broughton, Linda Vest, Rob Elbon, David Wilmoth, Rhett Dusenbury, Harold Elbon, Raymond Godwin, Julia Stephenson, Dr. David Turner, Karen Carper and many, many more.

These people, and the many others in attendance have had a lasting impact on our community that is beyond measure.

The Inter-Mountain also would like to thank the Honorable Gov. James C. Justice Jr. for taking time out of his busy schedule to stop in Elkins to not only congratulate this newspaper, but also to offer words of thanks, encouragement and praise to this great city.

In addition, The Inter-Mountain also would like to honor the many community members who made congratulatory phone calls, sent flowers and letters and those who assisted in providing information for the 125th anniversary edition.

Much thanks also is extended to all current and former employees of this newspaper for their part in helping to chronicle the happenings of Elkins and Central West Virginia. Without our employees — and our many independent contractors who deliver our product on a daily basis — The Inter-Mountain would not be the beacon it has become.

Special thanks go out to the Lions Club of Elkins for preparing lunch; Jaimie Ross for preparing the anniversary cake and cupcakes; Byrd’s House of Donuts for the pastries; Masterpiece Rentals for the tents, chairs, tables and sound system; WDNE for the live remote; Aaron’s for the furniture; Elkins Mayor Van Broughton for providing the flags from City Council chambers and for the wonderful proclamation; the Rev. Raymond Godwin for leading the prayer; Hartman for leading the Pledge of Allegiance; the West Virginia Highlanders of Davis & Elkins College for the amazing music; West Virginia University for organizing the visit of its mascot, Musket; and for everyone else who had a hand in making Saturday such a memorable day for us all.