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[dropcap letter=”W”]e editors spend a lot of time thinking about stories. In an ever-changing and more competitive media market, what stories we tell — and how we tell them — makes all the difference. We don’t choose stories on a whim. We choose stories that we hope will enhance the lives of all of us in this community of people who love Maine.
The story about LifeFlight in this month’s issue started in the fall of 2013. In fact, it was the day that I was promoted to editor in chief. I went to a hot yoga class at the Penobscot Bay YMCA in Rockport (by the way, that’s a great activity for these cold months!). Elated by my promotion, I erupted with the news. The only other student in the class was Amy Root, the development director at LifeFlight. She smiled and shared in my excitement. We vowed to get together for lunch.
Over the next few months, Amy told me her story: she works at LifeFlight in part because the organization saved her daughter’s life. Amy spoke of it with not only professional knowledge but also the passion of a grateful mother. I was touched, and so I started paying more attention to the way LifeFlight helps sick and injured people in Maine’s challenging and largely rural landscape.
Three years later, the story came together with just the right writer (Jesse Ellison) and just the right photographer (Gabe Souza). Great stories are often works of creative gestation: the basic DNA is there from the beginning, but they take time to become fully realized. The result in this case is a beautiful and in-depth look at a unique organization. I hope this story is the closest you will come to knowing LifeFlight, but more than 1,500 Mainers will need its services this year.
Great stories put you in someone else’s shoes and deepen your understanding of life beyond your experience and perspective. And when empathy spreads, we all benefit. – Kathleen Fleury