by Calvin Ishee

Justifiably so, Pass Christian Mayor Leo “Chipper” McDermott has become Mississippi’s biggest cheerleader for “buy local, buy often”.  With rare exception, he never lets an opportunity go by without encouraging folks to buy local.  Local businesses need the support and appreciate the Mayor’s never ending efforts to promote their businesses.

Having said that, supporting local businesses also means supporting your local newspaper, like the Gazebo Gazette.  The Gazebo Gazette is the only local newspaper that covers Pass Christian, Long Beach and West Harrison County.  Hunter Dawkins, Owner and Publisher of the Gazebo Gazette gives his heart and soul to the paper as well as local residents.

Unbeknownst to most folks, he works 80 work weeks for very little pay. He also works weekends and holidays and hasn’t had a vacation since he bought the paper. Why? Love, devotion, dedication and commitment to his readers. Whether it’s sporting events, art and social events, politics, etc., he’s there providing coverage for local residents. Although he’s now got several volunteer reporters, his massive workload continues: covering events, taking pictures, selling ads, attending endless meetings, laying out the paper, delivering the papers, collecting bills, maintaining subscribers and even has to take unnecessary crap from folks who just need to complain about “stuff”.

Would you do it? I seriously doubt it. I know for sure I wouldn’t!  If you like having a local newspaper with a local owner and a local perspective, that means supporting the paper via subscriptions and buying ads even if there’s no perceived return on your investment. Your investment is in your community and if Hunter ever decides to quit, it’ll be the community’s loss and not his.

Please note that Hunter didn’t ask me to do this, I did it of my own accord. I’ve personally watched him struggle to not only keep this paper alive, but also to make sure it’s a high quality product.

So when the Mayor promotes local businesses, that also means the Gazebo Gazette. I personally admire and thank Hunter for his tireless efforts to provide a local media source to our little piece of the Mississippi Gulf Coast.