“Your publication has helped to rehabilitate me …”

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by Melodie Davis

I was quite stunned, pleased and moved to read the letter from an inmate, “Gene” over at Coffeewood Correctional Center in central Virginia, one line of which is my headline above. He says reading Valley Living for the last couple years makes him feel “I will be a better grandfather, father, son, uncle, nephew, cousin and citizen” as he leaves incarceration soon. You can read the rest of the note on page 5 of the magazine. You may also recall an article five years ago we did about the chaplain from Harrisonburg who was ministr over at Coffeewood, Robby Burke.

Thank you so much for your note, Gene! It is so perfect that the founder of this magazine, 25 years ago, goes by the informal name “Gene,” Eugene Souder. He too will be delighted to read your note. (Find more about Eugene and how he started Living, http://www.valleyliving.org/about/history/media-pioneer-eugene-sounder/)

This is exactly why we write, edit, design, publish and distribute Valley Living: to help make better fathers and mothers and sons and daughters and all the rest. This is also why our advertisers support us.

In June we celebrate Father’s Day. Summer is a perfect time to kick back and throw a softball, go to the playground, camp out, take a real vacation together if possible, and make sure Dad is connecting with the kiddos on an every day basis as often as humanly possibly. An actively involved father adds so many strengths to a child’s life: attention, love, stability, fun, his gifts (not the kind you buy), and many other intangibles.

Announcing contest #2

Along these lines, we’re pleased to announce the second contest in our year of Celebrating 25 years publishing Valley Living. Pull out your cameras and grab some stunning or funny or heartwarming photos of your family enjoying summer; it can be a vacation photo, but keep it local as explained below.

The theme is “Favorite Family Vacation Photo – Virginia” which means the photo needs to have been taken in Virginia. Of course Virginia is a big state with much to enjoy: mountains, beaches, rivers, hiking, caverns, waterfalls and farms, not to mention cities like Arlington, Richmond, Williamsburg. This contest is for teens and adults from 13 through 100+. We hope you’ll enter your best shots and if we find one that works for the cover of a future issue of Living, we may pay $75 for a suitable cover shot. You will find more details on p. 9. Contest winners will receive other prizes regardless of whether the photo works for a cover shot.

Enjoy your summer and thank you for reading and supporting Valley Living in many ways!

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