by MELODIE DAVIS
Has advertising ever moved you emotionally? Ok, yeah, the Hallmark TV commercials do that sometimes, and there have been great Super Bowl commercials that tug at the heart strings, but I’m talking print ads, like you see here in Valley Living.
I recently paged back through some 20 years of Living (we added the “Valley” to our name later) and was overwhelmed with the sponsors that have been with us that long. Notably many of our local educational, retirement and radio facilities have advertised for over 20 years, but also: LD&B Insurance and Financial Services, Houff Corporation, The Dayton Market, Landes Heating & Air Conditioning, Miller’s Cabinets, Maust Enterprises, Dan’s Body Service, Family Life Resource Center, and E & M Auto Paint. I did not take time to page through every issue from the last 20 years. My apologies if I missed someone.
I’m incredibly moved personally because these faithful advertisers have literally supported my family; I work for Valley Living approximately only ten percent of my time, but that extra paycheck has helped pay for braces, surgeries, groceries, house payments and electric bills. And I’m not the only employee or contractor who can say that: Living has been a helpful supporter of numerous valley families through the years. How cool is that?
But you know what? These sponsors have supported YOUR family too even if you’ve never worked for Valley Living. They have helped provide meaningful and well-told articles, columns and stories to undergird the foundations we all believe in: work hard as you are able, hold on to faith, keep your family together if at all possible, share generously with one another, encourage positive and helpful love for others, and care about this community.
I was fascinated to sit down with the president of one of our local family-owned businesses that is included in the above roster, Houff Corp., formerly known as Houff Fertilizer, based in Weyers Cave. Jonas Borntrager, a long time board member for Living had urged me to write such a piece for years. We tend to use family stories and the Houff enterprise is indeed a family story (see p.10). Obviously there are other companies named above who have similar roots and provided long term ethical and honorable services that deserve to have their stories told too.
More and more of our readers have also become financial supporters, even if they can only send $10. This is not a plea, but a heart felt thank you for all who have given. We do depend on contributions for this magazine in addition to advertisers. We cannot exist without both arms of support. We are guided by a talented board who generously donate their time.
I’m especially proud of the generosity demonstrated in the local stories found in this issue. The article on the Virginia Mennonite Relief Sale by contributing writer Lauree Purcell, speaks of the huge amount of money the auction and other activities raise for those with acute needs around the world and here locally. In a sidebar, columnist Harvey Yoder issued a challenge for relief sale goers to give generously beyond their purchases. Editorial intern Stephanie Hertzenberg helps us be mindful of local veterans by highlighting some delightful artwork they’re producing.
Finally, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for you loyal readers. Many of you have responded to our Word Search “favorite articles” question that helps guide us as we make article selections. Thank you and we’ll keep sharing your names!
Feeling very grateful today! Perhaps you can spend some time counting your blessings, too.
Melodie Davis, editor, firstname.lastname@example.org