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Help us celebrate Rising Stars

The huge baby boom generation is retiring in droves, and their parents’ generation has largely passed away. It’s part of the cycle of life, and it presents a great opportunity for a younger generation to step up and fill its roles in our society.

Some of our younger community members are already stepping up in ways big and small, doing things that need to be done or that benefit their neighbors, whether they get a paycheck for it or not. Some bits and pieces of those people’s good work are captured in the daily newspaper, but much of it is not. So this year we decided to make an extra effort to focus on it.

Rising Stars is what we call them, and tucked inside today’s newspaper you’ll find a special publication with that title. In it you’ll find the stories and photos of 10 local people in their teens and 20s, nominated by others as being worth celebrating.

We solicited nominations from the Tri-Lakes area for several months, starting late last year. Then we honored them by telling their stories. Our reporters interviewed, photographed and wrote about these Rising Stars for the special publication inserted in today’s print edition. (We have copies to spare at our office for anyone who wants one.) On Thursday night we honored them and their families, friends and co-workers at a special dinner at the Red Fox Restaurant in Saranac Lake, sponsored by Adirondack Health. A group photo of them appears in today’s paper, and on Monday we will publish a picture page of them receiving their awards at the banquet.

They range in age from 13 to 30 (the oldest was 29 when she was nominated, so she made the cut), and they range in role from students to teachers, volunteer fundraisers to to executive directors.

There’s no easy way to define what a Rising Star is, but you know one when you see one. Maybe the best way is to say, we’re looking to see who the next community leaders might be.

Obviously, there are more than 10 people under 30 who fit this description — which is good, because we plan to do this next year and every year afterward, for as long as people in the community support us in doing so. So please, as you read these Rising Stars’ stories, be thinking about who might deserve your nomination next year. Others might consider supporting this effort with advertisements in next year’s booklet. We are grateful to those advertisers who backed this year’s project.

As the local community newspaper for 125 years, the Enterprise reflects the people in the communities we serve. We do that with lots of help from our readers. As long as you keep telling us about news and feature ideas, we will never run out of local stories to tell about you and your neighbors. Your challenges, your triumphs and your defeats are all part of the historical record of this area, which we add to every day.

We are happy that these 10 Rising Stars are all going down in the historical record as being good citizens at a young age. Hopefully they are on course to accomplish good things — some from center stage, some behind the scenes. Hopefully many of those accomplishments will take place here in the Tri-Lakes area, but then again, we won’t mind too much if some of them go elsewhere and make their hometowns proud.

Please remember, readers young and old, what you do as an individual makes a difference to the people around you, and ultimately ripples throughout the world. You matter. Your life matters. Use it wisely, to benefit those around you.

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