Help us search for hidden treasure

Published 9:28 am Thursday, October 15, 2015

If you were in Niles Friday, it’s likely you saw a number of people running around town in grey shirts taking selfies with statues, chasing fire trucks, sitting in the back of police cars or asking strangers for hugs.

If you saw any of these seemingly deranged people, congratulations. You can tell everyone that you were part of the very first step in Leader Publications’ biggest project of the year.

Yes, those wild and crazy people belong to us. That team-building exercise was designed to get everyone excited for the 35th annual Horizons, and we plan to make it the best edition yet.

This year, our theme will focus on uncovering community treasures. Similar to the literal approach we took in the scavenger hunt Friday, our staff will spend the next few months uncovering figurative treasures of all shapes and sizes.

A theme that truly embodies what Horizons was designed to do, through the process, our staff will find the treasures within, and use those skills, connections and hard work to create a product that displays as many treasures as they can in the communities they cover.

Plenty of people helped in our search Friday by posing in photos, taking team pictures or even lending us their babies to pose with.

As our editorial staff works to create content for this year’s issue, we encourage everyone to continue helping us on our mission.

Following the theme, we will be working on stories that show the valuable people, places and opportunities in Niles, Buchanan, Dowagiac, Cassopolis and Edwardsburg. As we use our skills to dig deep into stories and illustrate them with words, photos and other artwork, we invite all of you to continue helping us on our treasure hunt — because the best resources for any mission are the people who know the land best.

For one team project, each member of the newsroom will interview a veteran of a different era. If you know a veteran with an awesome story to tell, let us know. We’d love your nominations.

As with past years, we will continue to recognize our region’s unsung heroes — people who selflessly give to others. If you know someone worthy of this acknowledgement, look for the form in your newspaper in coming weeks, or send a nomination to Michael Caldwell, publisher, at 217 North Fourth St., in Niles, or email it to

We’ll showcase hidden gems of all shapes and sizes — from restaurants people may not know about to natural resources everyone should take advantage of to amazing people. We’d love recommendations for any of these.

Look for upcoming opportunities to be a part of Horizons on social media and in the newspaper in the coming weeks. We’ll offer ways you can be featured in this milestone edition, and even a chance to win prizes of your own.

We’re excited for the journey ahead, and we’re glad to have you along for the search.


Ambrosia Neldon is the managing editor at Leader Publications. She can be reached by phone at (269) 687-7713, or by email at