We made it. Forty-eight years is nothing to sneeze at when it comes to the longevity of a small business, especially a newspaper and especially during these days and times. And, looking back over 2012, it's clear that a lot of energy on behalf of each staff member from the editors and reporters to the delivery team, went into not only making this a year of survival, but one of The Washington Informer's strongest years ever.
We are proud to have led the team that revived the annual Martin Luther King Parade in January. It was one of the largest parades seen in Ward 8 in recent years and reminiscent of the glory days when the parade was first initiated in the early 1980s. We are also proud to have hosted more than 300 history buffs who joined us for our annual African American Heritage Tour last February. Men, women and children joined us for a tour of the District that ended at the city's newest museum, the Civil War Museum with host Frank Smith.
Washington Informer publisher Denise Rolark Barnes was honored in February by the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the organization founded by Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month. But the highlight of the year was the compelling conversation Rolark Barnes had with civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis (D-Ga.) in front of an audience at THEARC in Southeast, as well as a spirited conversation with Shirley Sherrod, former Department of Agriculture state director who penned a book about her forced resignation and the firestorm that followed at the Oxon Hill Library in Oxon Hill, Md.
This year marked the 30th anniversary of The Washington Informer Spelling Bee and the 29th year it was sponsored by NBC4. Once again, record numbers of D.C. students participated.
We shared stories from the front row seats of the opening of the new Howard Theatre, the groundbreaking of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the World AIDS Conference, the Democratic National Convention, and the grand opening of the Maryland Live! Casino in Arundel Mills, Md. We are still focusing our attention on Redskins' pick Robert Griffin III and Washington Informer photographer John De Freitas has kept his lenses focused on the star athlete along with other local winners including the Nationals, D.C. United, the Kastles, Pop Warner and the Howard U. Bison, winners of the AT&T Nation's Classic.
We suffered the summer heat, weathered a derecho and ducked Hurricane Sandy, then wrote about that, too.
Thanks to a grant from the Ward 8 Main Streets, the building The Washington Informer occupies received a facelift, including new windows and a new storefront.
We loved producing our annual Dr. King supplement, African American History Month sections, along with our special supplements addressing health, financial literacy and homeownership. It was rewarding to partner with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) to produce a special publication distributed to more than 5,000 CBCF Legislative Weekend attendees.
This year proved that The Washington Informer is more than a newspaper. We have made tremendous strides on our online publication and we have broadened our presence on social media by increasing our number of Facebook fans and our followers on Twitter. Our television show on DCTV continues with new shows at various remote locations coming in the fall.
It's been a very good year, despite our legal battle against the District of Columbia in which The Washington Informer prevailed, thanks to the support of our readers and advertisers.
In the end, we want to say thank you and ask you to keep reading The Washington Informer in print, online, watch us on TV or join us for some of our educational, entertaining and inspiring events.
We wish each of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!