My team was especially excited about creating this holiday issue! Of course, a December magazine gets printed in November, so the holiday celebration is just getting started in town and in the Flint area. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy the many amazing events and traditions that make our city great this time of year – check out our “Can’t Miss List” for more details.
This month’s content has a focus on giving – a concept we’re naturally drawn to at the holidays. But what we need to do is think about what each of us can do to help our city and its people all year long. We’ve featured stories about many local residents who do just that; this month, “Pay it Forward: Local Volunteers Give & Receive” (pg. 18) salutes a group of citizens who give of themselves for the sole purpose of improving the lives of others. (If you’re wondering why we didn’t include their photos, it’s because they wished to preserve a level of anonymity.) The many stories in the “My Giving” category are proof positive that Flint takes care of its own in ways that might surprise you.
Team MCM was surprised to be nominated for an Outstanding Service Business Award by the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce. There wasn’t an award category that seemed to fit what we do, but I think we provide a valuable service – from the feedback we’ve received, I think we give people some hope and a renewed energy about Flint. While we didn’t win the award, it was very gratifying to be nominated after publishing only five issues. My team and I attended the banquet, very proud to be recognized with other area businesses and people who work hard to provide jobs and make good things happen. (See story, pg. 64.)
One business featured in this issue is certainly known by all and very popular this time of year – Bronner’s CHRISTmas Wonderland. It definitely brings back fond memories for me. The world’s largest Christmas store is just outside of Flint! We went to Bronner’s for a beautiful hand-painted ornament, took it Downtown and hung it on a tree for our great cover photo. For so many of us, a trip to Bronner’s is a tradition that awakens our holiday spirit. I know this story in our “My Holidays” section will do that for you, too. Also check out the “My Eats” feature on Italia Gardens – some of you have probably enjoyed their famous family recipes since the restaurant was located Downtown on Court St. back in the 80s. And Tailoring by Blackwell is also featured, offering another great story of a multi-generational family business that’s thriving in Flint.
Our Flint history stories continue to be favorites – this month, the two-part series on Michigan’s governors from Flint continues with Josiah W. Begole (you know, like that street Downtown). We’ve got big plans for our upcoming history features; there’s so much to write about. And, Peter C. Cavanaugh’s Local DJ music history series rocks on, as well!
Until the launch of this magazine, I didn’t fully realize the true dynamic of my city; it’s like a patchwork quilt made up of different ethnicities, races and faiths. In order to create a better city, we all need to work together. During the week this issue went to press, our nation observed the 50th anniversary of the loss of John F. Kennedy, a man who had a great vision for our country. He said, “If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.”
Of course, we always revisit Kennedy’s most famous quote: “My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.” This holds true for our city! Though it’s a reality for so many, we shouldn’t depend on our government to take care of us. We need to rely on our relationships, family, faith and fellow citizens to help in times of need. Something to think about as the New Year approaches.
On a happier subject, our first issue of 2014 will include a special bridal guide. I think you’ll be surprised by the fantastic resources to be found locally – and a focus on weddings might make it feel like spring is just a little bit closer.
At the holidays, I get sentimental when I count my many blessings. I encourage you to reach out and give what you can to those less fortunate – your time, your money, yourself.
From Team MCM, I wish you all healthy, happy holidays.
Vince Lorraine, Publisher & Editor in Chief
PHOTO BY SARAH REED-SZUMANSKI