Two years ago today, Wyandotte Patch was launched.
"Huh? What's Wyandotte Patch?" was heard countless times during our first year.
"Oh, yeah. The Patch!" is now what we hear and we couldn't be more proud.
Proud of the warm welcome that you've given us. Proud of the stories that you've shared with us. Proud of the way that we've become a part of the community.
It was a Sunday night in 2011 when the latter part became crystal clear to me. It was June 10. I received a couple calls about a small fire at Lions & Tigers & Beers Sports Club.
"Nothing big. Just wanted to let you know about it."
Within minutes, that small fire turned into an inferno that's since changed the makeup of downtown Wyandotte. The popular bar was destroyed. Nearby businesses were affected.
But on that night, thanks to dozens of readers, we were able to document what was going on, hour by hour, flame by flame. Readers shared more than 100 photos with us as crowds of people lined Biddle, mesmerized by the scene. Others stopped me on the street corners to ask questions as firefighters from area departments converged on the area to help out.
On that night and into the following morning, we connected through our smart phones and laptops to rally around what was happening in Wyandotte. On that day, Patch is where you came to for updates on the affected buildings, and then in subsequent days, to offer work for those who lost their jobs in the fire and to remind others of the good that can come when people support one another. And we couldn't be more proud that you trusted us to provide that information and to be that online gathering place where you turn to on all things Wyandotte.
That was but one issue that brought people together over the last year. There were many more, including the heart-wrenching tale of Jacob Marion, the Roosevelt High School freshman critically injured after being struck by a train. His story resonated with readers who wanted to help by attending fund-raisers, by holding community prayer gatherings and by rallying behind Jacob when he was released from the hospital.
We're honored to have been able to bring you those stories.
From day one, you have invited us onto your computer screens and into your inboxes. You've stepped up to the plate to help with charity events and you've played along with our online contests. You've helped us build our Facebook following up to 3,148 friends (as of midnight today) and our Twitter followers to 1,938 (as of midnight today). We genuinely enjoy bringing you Wyandotte news each and every day and appreciate the support you give us with sharing our news and letting your friends and family know about us. It's all about building a comprehensive community conversation that everyone can get involved with and benefit from.
So, on our birthday, our wish is continued success in building that community feeling in and around Wyandotte. But to do that, we need your help. Tell your friends about us and more importantly, tell us about your friends. Let us know about that exceptional person who deserves to be recognized or that heartbreaking tale that needs to be told. Let us know what you like about our site and what you'd like to see a little bit more (or less) of. Join the conversation to ensure our third birthday is even more enjoyable than our first two.