"Do it with love."
It's the Frances Smith Herron Dance Studio's motto, and Northwest Florida State College dance faculty take it to heart.
"It's about doing what you do with grace and love for both the art and the student who creates the art — to help make our students become better persons and live life to the fullest, just as Frances did," professor of dance Joseph Taylor told News Bulletin reporter Brian Hughes.
The motto — which embodies Herron, the studio's late founder and former department head — offers words to live by.
People who put passion into their work tend to leave a mark with ripple effects that last for days, months, years and even generations.
An endowment to name NWF State College's dance studio in Herron's memory has surpassed $105,000 and funded $5,000 in dance scholarships and program support, according to Hughes' report.
And this past weekend's American Cancer Society Relay For Life definitely left its mark.
The Crestview Relay committee's efforts, led by event co-chairs Megan Bowersox and Loney Whitley, attracted just under 300 participants, 37 teams and, as of this writing, more than $87,000 for cancer research.
The spirit came alive during Relay's opening ceremony as we watched residents from different walks of life unite to fight cancer. Walking for loved ones with cancer, remembering those who died from it, and working together to raise money and one day beat it.
It was truly inspiring.
Knowing the great commitment involved — particularly from Bowersox and Whitley, who worked tirelessly raising all that money and handling the main event's logistics; spending a full 24 hours at Shoal River Middle School for event preparation and breakdown — there's no doubt that they did it with love.
I've always believed businesses should operate similarly.
Over the weekend, a reader asked, "How long does it take to produce an article?"
Well, reporters get a news tip, test its accuracy by making several calls to various sources to corroborate it, call more sources for depth, write an outline of the story's key points and draft the article before spell-checking and submitting it.
The editor reviews the article to ensure it's complete and has substantial support, offers follow-up questions to fill in the blanks, and checks for clarity, style and flow, making changes or, requesting them to be made, along the way.
The copy desk receives the next version of the story, lays it out with pagination software, checks for style and cuts for space.
Finally, the news team receives proof pages to review the story's final version, as it will appear in the paper, and checks for spelling and style. (You'd be surprised how many things you could miss just by seeing a story on the monitor; something about the hard copy changes that.)
Stories never die on the web, so something in the print edition might be tweaked even more for clarity or ease of reading.
Done right, it's definitely a labor of love — you usually see the fifth or sixth version of a story when you open the paper — and that passion surpasses the newsroom's walls.
To properly cover the community, you have to love the community — and take all that goes with it: the long hours, the sleepless nights and ramping up community involvement to enrich residents' lives.
Soon, we will release a campaign that shows you how much our staff loves the Crestview area, and how that helps us better able to serve you.
Keep reading the News Bulletin for more on that campaign, which kicks off Saturday.