Celebrate our common bonds with Profile

Published 12:39 am Sunday, February 28, 2010

If you heard a collective sigh late last week, from the general direction of North Canal Street, our staff might be the source.

A bunch of our folks are pretty worn out after burning the midnight oil for the past few months.

After months and months of work Profile 2010 was officially finished last week and is published with today’s edition.

Profile has been around for more years than most of us can remember.

It’s become an institution for our newspaper and for the community.

Every February, Profile hits the doors of our community with a great bit “thud.”

At 136 pages, it’s our biggest, most interesting special magazine publication we produce.

With dozens of stories and photographs, Profile should provide readers with lots of reading enjoyment.

We think Profile includes some of our best work. And we think this year’s is among the best, but we’ll let readers decide that for themselves.

Profile is possible only through the dozens and dozens of local businesses that help sponsor the magazine.

Their marketing efforts help offset the cost of producing the section.

Each of them is appreciated and serves as a reminder of just how important it is for each of us to shop at home as much as possible in support of local businesses.

Their success helps us all by employing local people and contributing to the tax base.

Internally, Profile requires lots of hands and brains.

From our marketing department and newsroom personnel to the circulation, billing and production folks, Profile 2010 was truly a team effort.

Profile 2010 started back in August as we began working on creating this year’s theme: Common Bonds: Our essential elements.

As much work as Profile is for our staff, it’s also a lot of fun, too, mainly because it’s a chance for our staff to get to know the community a little better.

And this year’s edition is no different.

From figuring that mathematically, we’re all likely connected to one another by just a few connections — no need for the famous “six degrees of separation” in the Miss-Lou — to the mysteries of a church’s antique Bible, this year’s edition has a bunch of interesting tidbits inside.

The bonds that connect our community are wildly diverse: fried chicken, the Mississippi River, good friends, family, school pictures, even bonds formed at work.

Perhaps one of the more interesting and touching stories in Profile 2010 reports on the bonds that form in a doctor’s office while cancer patients take chemotherapy treatments.

Cancer doesn’t see race or economic status and neither do the patients who sit together, facing the disease. They see humanity and hope and neighbors.

These patients and their families form a unique bond with one another. That same bond can be seen in May at the Miss-Lou Relay for Life’s survivor’s walk.

Their courage is truly amazing, as is the daily work done by the 10 people honored in today’s Citizen of the Year/Unsung Heroes section, that we traditionally publish on the same day as Profile.

From Citizen of the Year Mamie Lee Mazique to the nine people who were nominated as Unsung Heroes, all of them also have amazing stories, each giving back to the community.

Those people and all of the others featured in Profile are key in bonding our community together and making our neck of the woods a pretty special place to call home.

Thanks for all who helped make Profile 2010 a success and a big thanks to our readers, too.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.