Around this time last year, I was attending the annual Christmas tree lighting at the Coventry Community Center as one of my first coverage responsibilities of my new job.
"Hi, my name is Lauren Costa and I was wondering if you'd like to have your picture taken for Coventry Patch," I said enthusiastically to several parents who had brought their children to the event.
"Coventry what? Patch? No thank you, I've never heard of it," said one mother as she took her child's hand and walked away.
This was the reaction I had quickly become accustomed to hearing at the beginning, and to be honest, I really couldn't blame residents, especially those with children, for not wanting their picture taken and posted on "some website."
Not to sound trite, but what a difference a year makes.
With every week that goes by, it seems that my well-versed spiel of "Well, Patch is a hyper-local news and information website, dedicated to individual communities…" is being used less and less. Coventry residents now know what Patch is, and most importantly, use the site on a regular basis.
On that note, I'd quickly like to thank each and every person who has logged into Coventry Patch, read the stories, contacted me with ideas and tips, sent in feedback, spread the word about us and contributed in any way to the site.
It is also important for me to express my gratitude to all of the public service, education and administration departments within the town, along with residents and employees for being so helpful and welcoming not only myself, but also my dedicated contributors, into your homes, offices and lives in such a gracious way.
Coventry Patch is not just an informative website, but also a meeting place for you to share your concerns and opinions about the things that are important to you. Above everything else, it is your website.
I will wrap this up by saying thank you so much for making me love my job and by wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season!
Check out the attached slideshow for highlights from the past year.