CULTON: It’s the most wonderful time of the year

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. No, it’s not Christmas. It’s Horizons time!

If you are not familiar, Horizons is an annual publication put out by Leader Publications to serve as a community yearbook for southwest Michigan. Our staff spends months selling and reporting features to tell the stories of our residents during the past year.

Now after months and months of hard work, the time for Horizons to publish is almost here. Mark your calendars, because Horizons will be published inside your newspaper on Feb. 27.

This is one of my favorite times of year. Sure, it may not be a holiday in a traditional sense, but I still get excited for Horizons’ publication day as though it were Christmas morning. There’s just something so special about being able to share something you are so proud of with the community, and this year, the community took the focus of Horizons.

With a theme of “Putting the Unity in Community,” you will find more than 100 pages filled with stories about the resilience our communities during the COVID-19 crisis. We will have stories of residents spending months making masks to go across the country, nurses who put their health and safety on the line to help others, teachers who put in extra time and effort to ensure their students got the education they needed and many more.

I’m not going to lie, putting Horizons together is a lot of work — even more work when in the midst of a global pandemic. However, being able to tell the stories of all of the amazing people in our communities makes it all worth it.

I hope you all will be just excited to read these stories as I — and our whole team — was to write them. While not everyone will go as far to call opening up their papers next week just like Christmas morning, I hope we can all agree that taking time to celebrate our communities makes any time of year the most wonderful time of year.

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles’ Reske takes home Cass County cat show title

Berrien County

Berrien County commissioners pass resolution supporting Indiana Michigan River Valley Trail project

Dowagiac

Dowagiac schools make masks optional for students, staff

Dowagiac

Ascension Borgess Lee Foundation golf outing raises $19,000

Cass County

Two injured in Howard Township crash

Cass County

Cass County Fair hosts Law Enforcement Day

Berrien County

Heroin, meth, firearms seized during search warrants in Niles, Buchanan

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles teen takes home three first place wins in Cass County Fair youth horse, pony show

Dowagiac

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac Police Department hosts National Night Out event

Berrien County

Junior Achievement of Berrien, Cass counties announces Tapas on the Green event

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: NTPA Tractor Pull wows crowd at Cass County Fair

News

Niles Riverfest begins Thursday

Cass County

Cass County Conservation district announces 2020 awards

Berrien County

Spectrum Health Lakeland Foundation awards $75,000 in scholarships, grants

Giving

Niles church nearing fundraising goal for new community playground

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Michigan reports 906,538 cases, 19,947 deaths

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Dowagiac’s Stockwell named champion swine showman at Cass County Fair

Berrien County

Registration now open for Lory’s Place Run, Walk, and Rock

Berrien County

BCF Arts Challenge seeking support for Berrien County arts venues

Berrien County

Community members encouraged to donate blood, save lives

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Police Log: July 28-Aug. 2

News

Niles Township reconsiders document scanning project, rescinds special meeting vote

Giving

Niles church to host Family Fun Fest Saturday

Cass County

PHOTO STORY: Niles’ Tharp wins Cass County Youth Dairy Show