As we head into 2023, The Active Age is inviting readers to tell us what kinds of articles and other content you want to see in this newspaper. The contact information for editor Joe Stumpe is at the end of this column, and you are also welcome to drop by our office at 125 S. West St.
This newspaper always has served a very specific audience — people 55 years and older living in Sedgwick, Butler and Harvey counties. But that’s hardly a homogenous, one-size-fits-all group. Within it are all sorts of different people with different needs, interests and passions.
Isn’t that what makes the world such an interesting place?
We hear from a lot of readers already, and we like to think we have some idea of what they’re looking for in a publication. But there’s always room for improvement, and as the saying goes: You don’t know what you don’t know. And we want to.
We also ask for your continued financial support. Some readers may not realize it, but we are a nonprofit newspaper with a small staff, some part-time workers and twice that many volunteers.
Last year, reader donations provided about 21 percent of our revenue. Advertising accounted for 75 percent, and a grant through the federal Older Americans Act supplied the rest.
It’s no exaggeration to say that The Active Age would not exist without those donations, at least not in its present form. The only way we could continue to publish would be to cut back on the size of the newspaper or reduce the number of people we send it to.
The board and staff of this publication are determined not to do that, if at all possible. This nonprofit newspaper has been around 43 years, and we are dedicated to its mission. Our former editor, the late Fran Kentling, stated our goals best: Educate. Entertain. Empower.
Last year was a challenging one as inflation and an increase in postage rates drove up our costs. But readers responded in a way that frankly left us a little humbled.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our advertisers, who kept doing business with us during what was a very uncertain 2022 for many of them as well. Patronize them if you can (and don’t forget to tell them you saw their ads in The Active Age!).
Unfortunately, our cost of doing business will not go down any in 2023. On the contrary, it’s likely to rise. We have set our fundraising goal for 2023 at $100,000. We understand that not everybody is in a position to offer support. But if you can, please consider doing so. And if you have donated, know that you have our sincere thanks.
Before closing, we want to wish you and yours a happy, healthy 2023 from the staff and board of The Active Age.
Tim Marlar, Board President
Joe Stumpe, Editor