I'm taking a look back at 2012 and remembering the great times I've had while working for Patch.
I've been with Patch for more than a year and a half now. I spent the first year as the editor of Lake Zurich Patch. Then, the editor spot opened up for Libertyville Patch and I jumped at the opportunity. I've always loved Libertyville. I grew up in Lake County and always loved Libertyville's beautiful downtown.
At the same time, I was presented with the opportunity to launch Vernon Hills Patch. The site launched on May 31, 2012, and has been growing ever since. I've spent so much time in Vernon Hills over the years; Westfield Hawthorn Mall is, after all, our local shopping mecca when it comes to malls.
These past several months in Libertyville and Vernon Hills have been fantastic, and I look forward to many more years covering these two communities. I feel at home here, thanks to all of you.
So here's a look back at some of the things I've enjoyed in Libertyville and Vernon Hills so far (in no particular order):
- The launch of Vernon Hills Patch. Challenging? Yes. Rewarding? Absolutely! I've enjoyed meeting residents and local leaders alike, and it's been fun to watch the number of Facebook "likes" rise. Haven't liked the site on Facebook yet? Please do so! And sign up for our free email newsletter!
- Libertyville Days. Wow, what a great time! I've been to Libertyville Days in the past, but I've never covered it as a reporter. Doing so this year gave me a totally different perspective, as I got the chance to see the fun through residents' eyes.
- Vernon Hills Summer Celebration. Another great event! Everyone enjoyed it so much that even the rain couldn't stop the annual fireworks extravaganza.
- "Exploring Our Faith" series. I've been slowly making my way around Libertyville and Vernon Hills, writing stories about the various places of worship. It's been an educational experience for me, and I hope you've enjoyed it as well. I'll be continuing the series in 2013.
- Downtown Libertyville business series. I'll also be continuing this series in 2013. It's always important to shop local. I used Small Business Saturday as a springboard to write a series of features about downtown Libertyville businesses. I encourage you to take the time to read the stories in this series, if you haven't already, and shop (and dine) local!
- Village-park district partnership. I loved watching the cooperation between the Village of Vernon Hills and the Vernon Hills Park District in the purchase of the Central Lake YMCA.
- 'Painless' Parker retirement ceremony. Libertyville resident Steve 'Painless' Parker, who owns a dental practice in Vernon Hills, retired from the Navy in September after a 27-year career in the Navy. I felt fortunate to be able to attend the beautiful, moving ceremony.
- Libertyville's Person of the Year. I definitely didn't expect to get such an awesome response on this story, where I asked readers to submit the names of people they'd like to see selected as Person of the Year in Libertyville. You should check out the list, and feel free to add more. In 2013, I plan to write profiles about each of this individuals to give them the recognition they deserve!
- A teacher's students help with her marriage proposal. Taking place just a week after the tragedy in Newtown, this moment struck me as particularly beautiful.
I can't wait to see what's in store for 2013!