New venture brings “first day of school” butterflies

Debbie Goetz

The first day of school is this month, and I am right there along with the kids. Anticipation, butterflies and trepidation are building up in full force. I’m not going back to school, but I am starting something new and big this fall.

After 28 years of sharing good news in College Park, the Community Paper brand is expanding. Next month, we are launching the Downtown Community Paper covering Orlando’s historic downtown area.

The response from the residents and businesses downtown has been overwhelming, which is making us super pumped and confident that the community is going to love the new paper. They are excited at the thought of having what we’ve had here in College Park for so long — a conduit for bringing together those who live and work in the area, even if just on a page.

The feedback we regularly receive from you, our readers, has given me the courage to take this leap of faith with a new paper. Thank you.

Over and over, you write to us sharing how much you appreciate hearing about the positive things going on in our community with our residents, businesses, schools and community organizations. And you LOVE learning a little about the history of College Park each month.

Whenever we start to wonder whether we should be covering more “hard” news, you remind us that what we do is a welcome respite from the negativity coming at us from every direction these days. We appreciate you taking the time to let us know how we’re doing.

I happened to meet Michelle Rocheleau, the person who will be the editor of the new paper, by pure happenstance at a College Park restaurant one night back in April. It’s truly as if fate brought us together. I was dreaming of how to make another paper work, but without the right person in place — someone who lives in and understands the community — I knew it wouldn’t work. (And, oh yeah, most people need to earn a salary. There’s that.)

Michelle lives downtown, has a successful background in publishing, and is taking this leap with me. She’s confident that by staying true to what we stand for, her bills will get paid. Finding someone with her talent — who believes in the Community Paper concept as much as I do — was a true gift.

Our “first day” will be September 1. Keep an eye out — Michelle is going to do great.

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