Help Celebrate a Year of Dunedin Patch

Dunedin Patch celebrates its first birthday today. Here's an look back through the eyes of its editor, and an invitation to join her in celebrating the milestone.

Relative to the universe, one year is such a puny amount of time.

Even so, today is a monumental day. Dunedin Patch turns 1 today.

I had only been on the ground in Florida two weeks on the day .

I left a perfectly secure, well-paying job, left my good friends and memories, packed up my life in Virginia and moved to Dunedin (sight unseen), where I didn’t know a soul. Many of my friends and colleagues thought I was crazy, but the path seemed clear to me. I was en route to fulfill a mission to serve my new community in whatever capacity I could.

In the beginning the Patch job was tough, I slept very little and spent countless hours in the community and behind my laptop. I felt that no matter how much I accomplished in a day, I could never be productive enough.

“One particular day, when I was feeling especially overwhelmed and frustrated, I actually cried and then called out to the empty, blue sky, hoping that whatever invisible, all-knowing force known as God might be listening,”  .

That's when I saw hope in an osprey building a nest outside my home. I watched the bird pick up sticks day after day with faith that it was building for something greater still to come.

I took a page from the osprey's book and kept picking up my own "sticks" (sometimes ad nuaseum).

In July, Dunedin Patch achieved a huge milestone. We published . It was about a Dunedin man keeping his mother's legacy alive through generous acts, and it inspired Patch to make a , which in turn inspired me — the humble editor — to keep forging ahead, obediently picking up my sticks.

The universe didn't stop there.

I found more inspiration in the stories of hope, healing and unity in Dunedin:

I listened to a  from friends during a battle against cancer. I  every day through an outpouring of love in its smallest actions. I saw how  from unimaginable tragedy. I to protect one of their prized natural treasures. I as she struggled to restart after losing everything in a fire and a proud veterinarian who released  into the wild.

What my life could have been if I'd stayed in Virginia seems so puny in comparison.

So while I can’t exactly dress Dunedin Patch in adorable clothes and snap photos of it smashing cake in its mouth (like at most 1st birthday parties), we can mark this monumental occasion with a party to thank all of you, its loyal users.

Cake-smashing is not required, of course.

Want to go?

  • What: Dunedin Patch Turns 1 Birthday Party
  • When: Today, Dec. 29, 2011; 5 to 7 p.m.
  • Where:
  • Details: Open to all; Patch swag, snacks and cake while supplies last.
  • Cost: Free
Stuart Castillo December 29, 2011 at 04:29 PM
Happy Birthday and keep up the great work! I've been following for the last 3 months and can't say how informative the site is and just a great show for all of Dunedin!
Katie Dolac December 29, 2011 at 07:33 PM
Thanks everyone! It's been a pleasure so far. Please feel free to stop by this afternoon!
Ron Barnette December 29, 2011 at 10:40 PM
Happy Birthday to the Patch, Katie! My, how time did fly. As a Dunedin resident and as our city's Vice-Mayor and Commissioner I have followed and appreciated much your stories and hard work. You have provided a great service to our community and I thank you for this. Cheers! Ron Barnette
Katie Dolac December 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM
Thank you, Commissioner! Here's to many more years!
Chris Sansbury December 30, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Well I have written 3 comments and keep accidently erasing them. Agrhhh. Happy Birthday Patch! Katie you are a wonderful writer and a great editor. Here is to another successful year!


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