Overbrook Community Association launches newspaper
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Oct 05, 2012  |  Vote 0    0

Overbrook Community Association launches newspaper

Ottawa East News

The Overbrook News, an Overbrook Community Association initiative, had 4,000 papers published of its inaugural September issue.

Spearheaded by association board members Wendy Dennys and Martine Joly, the two women took a newsletter and turned it into a 16-page broadsheet newspaper.

Looking at their first attempt at building a newspaper, both are thrilled with the finished product.

“On a scale of one to 10, I would give this paper a 10.5,” Dennys said.

Joly agreed: “Seeing the final product has been the best part for me.”

Dennys credited the rebirth of the paper to a community partnership with the Community Development Framework, a non-profit organization which focuses on community initiatives and projects. The organization gave the association $2,000 to help fund the paper’s production.

The rest of the funding came through advertising with local businesses.

Dennys said one of the original papers from 17 years ago featured some of the same advertisers.

“It is great to see everyone come back together,” Dennys said.

The Overbrook-Forbes Community Resource Centre and the Overbrook Community Centre, which has a spread promoting the centre’s recreational activities, also contributed to the inaugural edition.

Association president Sheila Perry said it was wonderful to see the entire community work together on the project.

Dennys estimated 250 hours of volunteer work was put into the creation of the first issue.

In an attempt to gain interest and help from residents, Dennys and Joly sent out an email to the community seeking sales representatives, columnists and reporters.

The paper has a heritage, cycling and community columnist, all of who will feature regularly, the editors said.

Residents who had helped with the association’s newsletter helped track down advertisers.

The association will print the paper three times a year - in September, March and June/July.

“At the moment, I see this paper as a reflective journal of Overbrook,” Dennys said.

She said the team will be looking ahead to get more youth-oriented copy in the paper, including puzzles, cartoons or even a student contributor.

The goal is to make the paper self-sustaining, with funding coming solely from advertisers. The idea of adding an additional four pages is also being considered for the March edition.

Distribution is near complete thanks to volunteers from all around the community and Dennys said she barely has 20 copies left. Ottawa Community Housing will also be distributing to its homes in the neighbourhood.

“We are getting our community message out,” Perry said.

The deadline for submissions for the March 2013 edition is Jan. 28, 2013 and people can contact the Overbrook News at info@overbrook.ca.

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