Through comments on stories, Tweets and emails, you've told us how what Patch has done here has made a difference. Some of you have asked if you could write letters or start a petition. We're flattered.
In addition to reminding you that our sites will remain open for you to contribute blogs, announcements, calendar events and to access our coverage, what I wanted to do in this space was share some of the thoughts of my other colleagues here in St. Louis. You've seen their bylines on this site and others over the years, and I thought you should see what they're telling readers too.
"People would see the Patch sticker on my laptop at Starbucks and stop to ask me about it, because they subscribed to their local Patch newsletter and loved it.
I met readers at local events such as the Clayton Art Fair or the Wildwood BBQ Bash who could describe Patch to their friends better than I could — and why they should be reading it. Even the people who complained about the mistakes (and sure, we made a few) cared enough to say something because they appreciated what we were trying to do."
--Kurt Greenbaum, on Chesterfield Patch
"This town is filled with people who are passionate about the community about seeing it grow and add new development, while respecting the history. Telling stories about St. Charles has been interesting and fun. I hope I helped foster community discussion and provided a virtual space for neighbors to connect. That was always the goal for Patch."
--Kalen Ponche, on St. Charles Patch
"...thank you for believing in Patch and sharing it with others. I only share things I hold in high regard and like to think that's how you all felt about Patch.
So know this is farewell as your Patch editor, but not goodbye.
I'll still be around. I'm still your neighbor."
--Candace Jarrett, on Hazelwood Patch
"Good journalism doesn't exist in a vacuum. Patch readers have been quick to share their opinion, let me know if I didn't have the whole story or express thanks when they thought I got it right. Thank you for that.
Local news is important. I hope Patch has served you while I've been here and I'm sorry I won't be able to be here to cover the next city council election or to see the completion of the all the new construction work in the Delmar Loop. How will the Loop Trolley construction impact residents? I will be watching on the sidelines with the rest of you."
--Maggie Rotermund on University City Patch
"I just want to say thank you to everyone who's read, contributed, or reached out to me with feedback. Being in St. Louis this past year has been a great ride, and I feel that the Patch experience--which included meeting many of you--has allowed me to feel like a true St. Louisan, instead of just a transplant. I'm looking forward to whatever's next."
--Karlie Baker on Sunset Hills-Crestwood Patch
"It’s been crazy at times, but this job gave me the opportunity to meet some truly amazing people and work with the most creative and professional team. In addition to practicing the journalism and writing I love, Patch also taught me how to build a business from the ground up and gave me the opportunity to explore two amazing communities."
--Gabrielle Biondo on Town and Country-Manchester Patch
"It’s meant a lot of long hours. Dropping everything to cover breaking news. Being at city hall until almost midnight (and after midnight a couple of times). Covering local events on my weekends off. Answering the question “So what IS the Patch?” more times than I can count.
But looking back, I wouldn’t have traded it for anything.
Over the years, I met some AMAZING people and I'm proud of what I accomplished. We told stories that would never have been told without Patch and gave the community a voice so that people could not only share information, but also their experience, their knowledge and their opinions."
Tamara Duncan, on Wentzville Patch
I'm also happy to report that Doug Miner, my colleague in Maplewood-Brentwood, has decided to launch his own hyperlocal news outlet serving that area and beyond.
You Stay Patchy, St. Louis!