Waitsfield resident Russ Bennett offered a fundraising challenge for The Valley Reporter. He made a sponsorship contribution of $200 and will match the next $200 in sponsorships made to the local newspaper.
"Let's turn that $200 into at least $800 to support The Valley Reporter and critical community journalism," Bennett said on Friday, April 24. By press time, his matching challenge had resulted in $445 in PayPal donations.
"We appreciate Russ' generosity and support and are humbled by his contribution," said Valley Reporter publisher Patricia Clark.
Clark noted that The Valley Reporter, like many community newspapers, had been hard hit by COVID-19 with most businesses closing and advertising disappearing. That, coupled with the loss of newsstand sales, has made for a very challenging business climate, she noted.
“We were encouraged by readers to create a way for PayPal donations and we’re so appreciative of the support of our community during this difficult time, especially since we know that all of our local businesses are impacted. We’re doing our best to support our local businesses by offering free web advertising to our print advertisers to give their businesses greater visibility during this pandemic,” she continued.
PRODUCT THINK TANK
Valley Reporter has also received a generous donation of 100 cloth face masks made by Annemarie Furey and Kris Chamberlain at Product Think Tank in Waitsfield.
“We’re contributing face masks to the Mad River Valley Health Center each time we receive a contribution from our community. The community support is incredibly helpful. We feel that COVID-19 is the story of the century and we are committed to recording the history of our community, our successes, our pain and how we work our way through this,” said Valley Reporter editor Lisa Loomis.
“Since this crisis began, we have completely changed our production model from a weekly print edition with a strong social media presence and a great website that we updated a few times a week to a seven-day-a-week production model with the website and social media updated multiple times a day. And we did it without a single planning meeting. We’re committed to providing critical information to our community while sharing the stories of the people who live here,” Loomis added.
Like many businesses in The Valley, The Valley Reporter has applied for help through the CARES Act and the Payroll Protection Program as well as the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Contributions can be made via PayPal at www.valleyreporter.com, by credit card by calling 802-496-3928, or by check, mailed to P.O. Box 119, Waitsfield, VT 05673.