Letter from the Editor

My oldest child started his freshman year of high school this fall and is running cross-country. I have always enjoyed cheering him on and watching him run, but I have such a deeper appreciation and love for this sport after experiencing what it means to be part of a high school cross-country team. The sportsmanship, camaraderie, encouragement from upperclassmen and the peer support for each other throughout every step of a race has left me so inspired and proud to be part of something so positive and dynamic.

The thing that impresses me the most is the attitude and culture across the board with every school at every meet. These kids are a tight group and want the utmost success for their own school, but there is a sense of respect and appreciation for all runners regardless of where they are finishing and what school they are from. To see competing schools cheering in unison to encourage a struggling runner who isn’t from their own school or congratulating the success of a competitor at the medal ceremony is something I see on a regular basis, and it is such a lesson that can be applied in so many areas of life. The lesson to strive for greatness and reach your personal best, but to appreciate the good others are doing is so worthwhile.

This month we are revealing our winners from our Readers’ Choice competition, and I couldn’t help but think about my takeaway from high school cross-country when working on this issue. The winning businesses should be very proud of this accomplishment, and we commend each one of them for a job well done, but to even be nominated for this is a huge honor and shows the support and love of your business by the community. In every category, all businesses nominated were in good company, and regardless if you are the winning business or a runner-up, we can all celebrate each other from the “sidelines” for a job well done.

Congratulations to our winners! We celebrate each one of you in this issue.