We would like to take this time of the year to thank all of our readers, sponsors, writers, and graphic artist for another wonderful year!

When several community members met in late 2014 to embrace the challenge of continuing to provide local news to our community after the sudden and heartfelt loss of Larry Simpson, there were many obstacles to overcome. 

Well, we are pleased that thanks to your interest in our project, the endeavor has been very successful. Much has been accomplished in four years. We have had well over 1 million page views and posted close to 3,000 articles. As of now, we are at 1,438 Facebook likes. Obviously, there is a high interest in what is happening in the Hope community.

Our sincere appreciation goes to Heritage of Hope for taking us under its umbrella. We cannot thank Tim Andrews enough for providing a $10,000 matching fund in 2015 to get us going with several individuals helping us quickly match it. The Hawcreek-Flat Rock Area Endowment grants through the Heritage Fund and the Town of Hope EDIT monies have been a tremendous boost for four consecutive years. Businesses have sponsored ads which have been extremely helpful. This year, we had our first HSJ Online Benefit at WILLow LeaVes of Hope starring Julian Smith and Bud Herron while portraying two local men who served in the Civil War which generated over $4,000.

When our HSJ Online team worked with a small group of IU Kelley students in 2016, they encouraged us to incorporate more pictures and videos. In 2018, we launched a newer version of the website from 1up! out of Kokomo, under the capable leadership of David McChesney, which provides us with those recommended options. For our readers that prefer a physical copy, you can find it in the Hope Library as well as Reflections thanks to the efforts of the Hope Library staff.

We also offer a weekly emailed newsletter (you can sign up for here) that provides links to the stories from the past week. And, we are pleased to announce we now have a free mobile app which you can download from the Google Play store for Android and the iTunes store for Apple.

Moving forward, we ask that you continue to read our stories, to like and share our work on Facebook and to let others know that a source for Hope news still exists.  Despite efforts to get the word out, there are many who are still not aware HSJ Online is here. Even though we are covering a lot, we are aware that we could be covering even more. If you have an interest in writing local stories for us, then you should by all means contact our Content Coordinator, John Clark, at john.clark@hsjonline.org.

If you would like to help us with our yearly operating expenses of around $18,000, we would love to share information about your business and would eagerly accept your sponsorship of our site. As you consider your year-end giving, or plan for next year, you can also mail individual or group donations to the attention of our business coordinator and former long-time Hope Star-Journal employee, Stephanie Shoaf, at HSJ Online, P.O. Box, Hope, IN 47246. If donating $25 or more, then we will make sure you receive a copy of Bud Herron's "Once A Soldier" CD.

In the meantime, we wish all of you the very best as 2019 quickly approaches and once again thank you for all of the great support!

Michael Dean, Bud Herron, Don Hewitt, David Webster, Terri Young, Howard Zachariah, John Clark, & Stephanie Shoaf