Recognizing our graduating seniors

Who doesn’t remember the rite-of-passage rituals from senior year of high school? Prom, senior day for sports, senior skip day and, of course, commencement.

This year’s graduating seniors didn’t get any of that. Someday they’ll wear it as a badge of honor, but for now it just stinks.

We wanted to do something celebratory for these young men and women of our community, which is the point of the “Senior Shout Outs” on pages 14 and 15 of the Heights Observer's June print edition.

This idea came together at the last minute. The opportunity was open to anybody graduating from any high school in the area—public or private. Unfortunately, we only had a week to get the word out, which wasn’t enough time for it to filter through the contacts at the many schools that kids in our community attend.

But let me know what you think of the feature. If people appreciate it, we may make it an annual thing—even when proms and commencement ceremonies resume. And we’ll start publicizing it earlier.

The shout-outs were paid for by parents and friends, which helped cover the cost of printing the paper at a moment when ad sales are at their lowest point since 2010.

Which brings me to the state of the Heights Observer during this pandemic. The paper is supported entirely through advertising revenue. The biggest advertising losses for us have been the many special events that get promoted in our pages, plus, of course, bars and restaurants.

A few advertisers have come back with this issue, and we’re glad to see them open again for business. A few others have already told me they plan to be back in July.

But even with commerce slowly ramping up, we’re a long way from holding the amazing variety of festivals, benefits, fundraisers and special occasions that usually fill the Observer’s pages.

I’m certain better days are ahead, but it’s going to take the Observer a long time to get back to where it was before the pandemic.

For those who have been able to keep advertising throughout, we can’t thank you enough. You’ve made it possible for us to continue providing this community asset.

Please, everybody, be proactive in supporting local, independent businesses. They give the Heights its character. Their owners are neighbors and friends, and the money we spend with them recirculates in the community to enrich us all.  

Bob Rosenbaum

Cleveland Heights resident Bob Rosenbaum is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and is responsible for its advertising sales and market development.

Read More on Opening the Observer
Volume 13, Issue 6, Posted 9:20 AM, 06.02.2020