Your turn for stories

Jan. 05, 2013 @ 04:09 AM

I read with interest the Courier’s recent New Year’s Day editorial.

The gist was that, in addition to our personal resolutions for the upcoming year, we should also resolve to put ourselves out there a little more in our neighborhoods or the community at large. To do our part to keep the bonds of our close-knit county strong.

The editorial reminded me of how much I like to write about people who are already doing just that. And one of my own resolutions for 2013 is to feature more of their stories in my columns.

I had the privilege last year to write about two such women in separate feature articles for the paper. Interestingly, both of these women were relative newcomers to Rutherford County when they launched projects that have ended up touching the lives of countless people.

Beverly Kalinowsi’s Spindale Dairy Goat Festival has brought thousands of visitors to my town. It’s generated thousands of dollars in revenue for Main Street merchants and local vendors. And it’s created memories for our county’s children – including my own son – that I know will last long after they’ve grown up.

Marsha Daves was fairly new to Rutherford County, too, when she launched the “Rutherford County Interacting” page on Facebook.

To date, this one page – which now has well over 5,000 “friends” – has raised funds and donations for a number of families in crisis, including an entire neighborhood that was devastated by a freak tornado last January. Marsha’s also sponsored a Small Business Expo at ICC that introduced citizens to dozens of local merchants and organizations they might not have been previously aware of.

What really comes to my mind when I think about these two women is a paraphrase of John F. Kennedy’s famous challenge to Americans. Neither has ever asked what Rutherford County can do for them, but rather, what they can do for Rutherford County.

Instead of griping about high unemployment rates in the county, both have held events which created revenue for our local economy. Instead of complaining about lack of opportunities or resources, they’ve simply plowed straight ahead and made things happen.

Like I said, I want to write about more people like this. And frankly, I think we are living in a time where it is especially important to read their stories.

But I’ll need your help to find them.

Do you know someone who is getting real things done in our county; someone whose story could inspire others to try their hand at doing so, too?

Maybe it’s someone who got well out of his or her comfort zone, and ended up making a profound difference. Maybe this person made – or is making - a positive effect in a school or a neighborhood or even just within their own family. But there’s something about their character and their actions that strikes you as exceptional. Something you believe merits re-telling to a wider audience.

So get in touch with me. I’d love to learn why you think their stories are so inspirational.

And I’ll look forward to featuring some of these stories in 2013.


Stephanie Janard is a mother and full-time copywriter. She lives in Spindale. To reach Stephanie, email