Stop. Think. Remember the reason for Memorial Day

In today’s commercial world, some might think the reason for this holiday weekend is to give retailers a chance to sell mattresses at a discount or more beer for your holiday cookout.

A visit to the Lawton House in a Oviedo brings this weekend into sharp focus. For the second year in a row, the historic house in Oviedo is hosting a tribute to the men and women of Florida who have paid the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country.

There will be a Memorial Day service at 9 AM Saturday to honor all of our fallen heroes. The crosses on Lawton’s front lawn are an important reminder of the dedication and sacrifice Americans are willing to give to protect our freedom – both here at home and around the globe.

 
Jim Vanderbleek built more than 370 crosses – one for every military member from Florida who died while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each cross holds a wreath created by 17 year old Conner MacFarlane and refurbished by his 14 year old sister Chloe. One of the crosses is in honor of their father, who died in Afghanistan in 2012.

The Memorial Day events are a joint effort of the First United Methodist Church of Oviedo’s Military Support Team, area churches, Jim Vanderbleek and Girl Scout Troop 538.

The Lawton house is located at 200 West Broadway.

 

In the News business, you get what you pay for

Back in the day, gossip rags and celebrity media were frowned upon as second-tier. In the new age of citizen journalists, bloggers and a shrinking traditional media – the celebrity press is acting like the leaders of the pack.

All hail TMZ – the entertainment medium is the industry standard in breaking stories that people actually talk about and share on social media.TMZ exclusively released the audio tape of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling sharing his feelings about who should attend basketball games for his NBA team.  This led quickly to Sterling’s banishment by the NBA.

Then, the media company followed that up with the release of the elevator fight seen around the world between Beyonce’s sister Solange and rapper Jay Z.

These are just two examples of TMZ lapping the field in “talkable’’ stories. Of course, they do come with a price. The company pays big dollars for quality content that will raise their brand above the competition.

What can normal businesses take from the TMZ model? To start with, it shows that quality stories may very well be worth the investment; and it does not hurt if that content has star appeal, either.