Letter From The Publisher
It seems the summer is flying by! I hope you are having a wonderful summer and have been able to find time to do the things that you love with your family and friends. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful area with so many options to enjoy nature, outdoor activities and the Sunshine State’s healthy foods. Whether you took a family vacation while the kids were out of school or just hung around your home and backyard, what’s most important is spending time with your children.
I’m always excited to see what the staff at Heartland LIVING has created for you in each issue with their writings, photography and Bridgette Waldau’s amazing creative designs. To share a little of the past, Bridgette and I worked together on a smaller coupon magazine before creating Heartland LIVING. After a short couple of years, I needed a different challenge, a new goal. I had been hearing from some of my advertisers and the community that they felt we needed a local magazine showing what is going on in our Heartland community. Bridgette was one of the first I shared my vision and goal with. Her comment was “your community deserves it’s own Lifestyle Community Magazine, so you should do it.” I prayed hard about it and now with my team and the support of all our advertisers and readers, I get to put my heart & soul into something I love and I thank all of you for that.
With kids going back to school I wanted to do a back to school feature story but I knew I wanted something meaningful and not just a photo shoot about fashion. I reached out to our writer Katy Fassler who is a school teacher with my ideas on the importance of reading and sharing it with my readers. Katy took some of my ideas but immediately had her own and started researching. With her excellent ideas on how to showcase the story I turned my backyard into a backyard reading gathering. We invited friends, parents and children to enjoy the day of gathering together, reading, eating snacks and lunch and then ending with the kids playing and swimming while parents visited.
Katy also joined photographer Caroline Maxcy Fox and spent an afternoon with the Kane & Summer Sodrel’s family in their backyard garden. Summer and I had talked over the summer about her garden and how she started it and what it has grown into today. She can provide her family, not only organic food, but also quality time she spends with her children outside each day sharing with them where their food comes from. Thanks Summer for sharing your family with us.
Heartland LIVING is happy to share the milestone of Okeechobee Main Street’s arts and culture program. A public work of art in Okeechobee caught the attention of the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs and Okeechobee Main Street was invited to become a local art agency for Okeechobee County. We hope you enjoy their story and also the photos of the beautiful butterfly sculptures in downtown Okeechobee’s Flagler Park that started it all.
As we get ready to once again attend the Florida Magazine Association Charlie Awards Gala in August, we want to thank all our advertisers and readers for all your support. We wouldn’t be attending this award’s event if it weren’t for you.