'Twas two days before Christmas and all through my house, the computer keys were clicking. I didn't have a mouse.
Pine-Richland Patch was launching, it was quite an event.
Readers got tons of information about the community ... and it didn't cost them a cent.
OK, I can't keep rhyming in telling you my big news:
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Pine-Richland Patch's launching!
It has been an action-filled year during which we have published nearly 1,700 articles, averaging more than four articles a day.
I would love to tell you which ones were the best or most important, but I'm a little prejudiced. As far as I'm concerned, they all are important.
But I can tell you about a few that touched my heart.
One of the first people about whom we wrote was Matisse Reid, a little girl who turned 10 on Christmas Day 2010 and had spent her entire life battling a rare intestinal disease that prevented her from eating.
In early December, she finally received the organ transplant for which she had been waiting. We followed the story of those tough days and weeks she spent in the hospital, battling pain and potential organ rejection.
We followed Matisse's story through her mother, Jodee, who writes eloquently about life with Matisse in a journal on CaringBridge.org.
Early in January, the community came together for a blood replenishment drive in honor of Matisse. Donors told us they wanted to do "something" to help the brave little girl.
We published many of their photos and quotes in the hopes that Matisse and her family would click on the story and see how many friends and strangers came out to support her.
Another little girl's story filled our website, too.
Singing prodigy Jackie Evancho was born the same year as Matisse, and somehow the stars aligned to bring both of these children to Richland Township.
Jackie's story is known internationally. Quickly rising to fame through her performances on America's Got Talent, she has performed at venues all over the U.S. as well as Canada, Great Britain and Japan.
Just this week, Jackie performed at the Benedum Center in Pittsburgh, again wowing the hometown crowd as well as avid fans who traveled long distances to see her show.
Monitoring Jackie's journey has given us the pleasure of watching her many TV interviews, in which she always comes across as the same sweet kid with a close-knit family. In fact, she was named recently to a list of well-mannered people.
Another person who touched my heart was someone I did not have the pleasure to meet and interview.
The late Ken Young was a police officer for Northern Regional Police Department and fire chief for Wexford Volunteer Fire Co. Writing his obituary and creating a video of his funeral was an incredible honor and privilege, knowing that someday his grandchildren might view it to get to know the man roundly praised as a great police officer, fire chief, family man and incredibly good person.
JulieHera DeStefano is a person I did have the pleasure to meet, and I don't think I'll ever forget her. She traveled to Afghanistan to capture the stories of female soldiers as she prepared to film “Female Veterans on the Long Journey Home: A Documentary.”
DeStefano drew her inspiration from an episode of "Oprah" in which a female war veteran was the guest.
“She said that when she went to make her 4-year-old a peanut-butter sandwich, she realized she could never make a sandwich like she did before she went to war, because she had lost her arm in combat,” said DeStefano. “That moved me so much, and I wanted to do something out of that story.”
We have written about the weather, crime, court cases and roadwork.
During the past year, Chatham University's plans to create a sustainable campus in Richland Township have been approved; Wexford VFC moved into a new fire station; Pine-Richland High School is being renovated and expanded; and North Park Lake restored.
We gave you local-angle stories on the Steelers' run to the Super Bowl, restaurant reviews, recipes, day trips and business profiles.
Then there were taxes, elections, schools, township governments, community days, sports and the arts.
Patch.com is constantly evolving, always with our eyes on the goal of being your online source of information for the Pine-Richland community.
We hope you've enjoyed seeing us online as much as we've enjoyed being there for you.