From the Editor

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The level of charitable giving that exists in Southwest Florida is truly impressive, especially in recent years as the tough economy has limited the ability for some to donate at previous levels. This month we offer several examples of the benevolent many, from large companies and small businesses to employees and volunteers, who selflessly step up to help others, despite challenges that have tightened the purse strings.

One such story involves 16-year old Sierra Alexa Hixenbaugh, an Ida Baker student who committed suicide in September. Sierra’s family was unable to pay for a proper burial, and when word of that got out, the generosity poured in. More than 60 businesses and individuals gave time, resources and donations so that she could be laid to rest in peace. The actions comforted the grieving family, which now wants everyone to know how much they appreciated the acts of kindness.

The feature called “Benevolence Reigns, which starts on p. 26, provides many other accounts of charity— some that are familiar but several you may not have heard about.

Meet the Press

A big part of a journalist’s job is fielding story pitches and then deciding which ones will be published or played on the air. But when those stories don’t materialize, it can be frustrating for those who put in the hard work and passion to submit their proposals.

When that happens, we are often asked, “why?” There can be many reasons, so we have included in our Business Intelligence department a primer on strategies to convince editors and reporters to give your pitch the green light.

'Silver Tsunami'

In Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, 26.5 percent of the population was 65 and older in 2011, compared with 17.6 percent statewide. The “silver tsunami” of baby boomers and retirees hitting the region creates opportunities for entrepreneurs and big business, not to mention significant economic potential—think jobs—in an area that was hit hard by the housing crisis and high unemployment.

We cover the positive impact that the wave of retirees has on Southwest Florida, beginning on p. 18.


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