The New Year is here, the celebration is over, and we are in the midst of the January doldrums. It's cold. Really cold. It seems like spring break is still a long way off, and it's still dark in the morning when I get up. That being said, this is a good time to share our TownSquareBuzz.com (TSB) news! Thanks to you, our readers, TSB has experienced phenomenal growth. I am excited to share that in 2012 we had more than one million page views.
TSB's mission continues to be twofold - to provide objective, relevant and accurate news and information to our community, and to be an avenue to connect McKinney citizens with city leaders, city organizations and with each other. We continue to be the independent voice of our community, and are committed to all things local. Shop local and read local!
As a result of our growth, I am pleased to introduce a new face around TSB. Meet Ben Lane, our news reporter. Ben has spent his entire life in Texas. Born and raised in Dallas, he is new to McKinney, which we think will add a pair of fresh eyes to our team. After several years in sales and marketing, Ben decided that he wanted his life to take a different path. He always had an interest in writing, going back to his days on the high school newspaper in Richardson. In 2009, he decided to return to school and pursue a degree in journalism and graduated from the University of North Texas in 2012.
A sports fanatic (supporting all the Dallas teams through good times and bad), a music lover, a decent cook, an avid reader, Ben is a married guy, and the father of a furry dog son. He can also be glued to his Twitter account.
Ben said he "is tremendously excited to join TownSquareBuzz.com, and the McKinney community as well. I plan to serve the people of McKinney with integrity and honor."
We are very excited to welcome Ben (pictured right) as a member of our news team and encourage you to contact him with your news tips.
TSB's Heroes Hall of Fame
Music, for me, is often a source of inspiration. It is part of my daily life, and our TSB's Heroes Hall of Fame concept was an inspiration born from the song Hall of Fame by The Script. As I was listening to that song when it first was released a couple of months ago, I was struck with the notion that everyone - teachers, preachers, students - has the potential to be a hero to someone. Many within our community work behind the scenes, quietly contributing to making a difference with little or no recognition. They are everyday people making a difference in McKinney.
The following lyrics of the song prompted me to think about the many talented, selfless individuals we at TSB had interviewed during the past year.
Standing in the hall of fame
And the world's gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
And the world's gonna know your name
And you'll be on the walls of the hall of fame
On the walls of the hall of fame
Be true seekers
I thought about the many stories our TSB staff and I had heard over the months. Those stories included tales of heartache, of joy, of perseverance, of caring, and of love for others and for our community at large. We have come across dozens of deserving individuals who serve others, who make significant contributions toward making the City of McKinney a great place to live, who give of their time, talents and resources to make a difference.
Our selections were difficult and easy at the same time. Once we came up with the idea for the TSB Hall of Fame, the names simply spilled out during our staff meetings. The most difficult part was convincing those we had selected to actually accept the honor and be interviewed. I am very glad we were able to convince each of them to share their story.
The five individuals who were selected for our inaugural 2012 class will be honored with a photo and a plaque in our new office space, which is located at 201 N. Kentucky St. in downtown McKinney.
If you missed the video interviews of our first Hall of Fame selections, please check out the links below. The honorees are in no order, they are simply deserving of recognition for their good works in the community.
Delphia Adeogun: Case Manager, Community Lifeline Center
Kathy Moore: Community Leader and Volunteer
Tracy Rath: Community Crusader and Volunteer
Geordon Cox: Founder of Strikes Against Cancer
Shelai Mullins: Juvenile Case Worker for the City of McKinney Municipal Court
Our New TSB Office Will Open in February
Lastly, a bit of more good news....our office space in downtown McKinney, at 201 N. Kentucky St., will be open to the public sometime in February. We look forward to having a presence where citizens can pop in and visit, share a cup of coffee, and discuss community news. We will be announcing our open house very soon.