In every town there are special people who contribute to the success of the community through the giving things they do. These folks - whose selfless contributions make life better for others in their hometowns - sometimes go unacknowledged. That's unfortunate because many of the people who work without much fanfare to enhance the lives of others truly are accomplishing exceptional results.
That's one of the reasons that each year The Messenger publishes a magazine supplement called Hometown Pride. The goal is to recognize some of the individuals who help enrich life in north central Iowa. It is also hoped that these tales will inspire others to find ways by which they too can improve the quality of life in the communities they call home.
The 2012 incarnation of this celebration of some of the most outstanding people in Messengerland is included with today's newspaper.
Each year, our news staff solicits suggestions from people throughout the region regarding individuals whose lives make a real difference to their neighbors and whose stories warrant telling. Learning more about these extraordinary people is a highlight of the year for many Messenger writers. It's a chance to tell about some of the good things that transpire in a world with all too many sad events.
Hometown Pride 2012 includes many fascinating portraits. The more than 30 individuals featured this year are a diverse group.
The people singled out are varied. Their stories are far from uniform. There is, however, a common theme. Each of the Hometown Pride honorees has found a way to put their special talents at the service of others.
The Messenger applauds these superb individuals. They are enormous assets not only to their respective hometowns, but to our region as a whole. It's fitting that we all take pride in these lives well-lived.