Newly-named Executive Director Todd Chamberlin works on new projects to expand the advertising and reach throughout the valley. Photo by Roberta McGowan
Newly-named Executive Director Todd Chamberlin works on new projects to expand the advertising and reach throughout the valley. Photo by Roberta McGowan

By Todd Chamberlin
Executive Director

To inform, inspire, and build community… that was a lofty mission in 2008 when a group of Carbondalians founded The Sopris Sun as a nonprofit community paper. 

Over a decade later, The Sun continues to strive to fulfill this mission.The past 10+ years would not have been possible without the help and support of our advertisers, contributors, board members, volunteers and of course, you, our readers. In an era, when many print publications have struggled to survive and many have given up and either folded or gone to a digital only platform, the Sopris Sun continues to thrive. Thanks to you!

Reflecting back on 2020, there was something extra special about waking up on Thursday morning and going in search of a Sopris Sun. It not only has provided a great excuse to get out of the house and go for a walk, but reading it each week, helped me stay connected to the community and the people I truly miss during these COVID times. Reading and connecting in this way, inspired me during some very rough patches this year.

Through our nonprofit sponsorship program individual donors and companies provided funding that enabled us to provide tens of thousands of dollars of complementary advertising to support struggling businesses and nonprofits in our community. As the ad manager, being able to offer complementary ads to so many struggling businesses and nonprofits this year gave me a huge sense of joy and happiness. It is a program we truly cherish and hope to continue and expand in 2021.

In the coming year, we look forward to continuing to strengthen and building more bridges between communities. I’m not just talking about the towns within the Roaring Fork, but the many diverse communities that make up our larger Roaring Fork community. Having understanding, empathy and compassion for all people and each other, enriches, strengthens and empowers us all and provides a unique legacy for future generations to build upon.

There is a group of shining stars that are exceptionally special to The Sopris Sun and I would like to give them a very special shout out and a heartfelt Thank You. They are our Honorary Publishers. Honorary Publishers contribute more than $1,000 each year to support our mission and bring the Sopris Sun to you each week.  

Without these Honorary Publishers, who provide the reliable foundation we need each year to help fill the gap between our expenses and revenues generated by advertising sales, our quest to inform, inspire and build connections within our community would not be possible. 

Beyond the Honorary Publishers, there are many others to thank. The paper you are holding on average costs $1.80 to produce. Advertising only covers about 70 to 80 percent of that cost, the rest is made up of donations and grants. As I previously mentioned, Honorary Publishers provide a critical foundation to our fundraising needs each year, but there is always more need.  This fundraising gap is filled by hundreds of readers like you who donate $5, $10, $25, $50, $75 on a monthly basis or as a one time payment each year. I can’t understate how much a difference these small donations make each year. So Thank You to all those who have given.

As an organization we try and leverage all donations by getting matching grants. This month we currently have a matching grant from the Colorado Media Project, which will match the first $5,000 of donations during December. We are more than half way through our fundraising goals. We need your help to close this gap. 

If you would like to become a Honorary Publisher or would just like to make a small donation there is still time to help ensure the Sun keeps shining bright for 2021 and for years to come. We realize there are thousands of other worthy causes out there, especially this year, and so any and all support no matter how big or small is immensely appreciated and highly valued.

From all of us here at The Sopris Sun, Happy Holidays! May we all prosper with abundant happiness, good health and greater compassion and empathy for one another in the New Year.

To make a donation visit, or send us a check to PO Box 399, Carbondale, CO 81623.