The owner of The Cedar Springs Post, Lois Allen, has been publishing the “small town” newspaper with stories and information relevant to families in the northern Kent County area for over twenty years.
Starting publication in the late 1980s, Allen is hoping to get a well-deserved rest from the newspaper business. “I could use a vacation,” said Allen. “I haven’t had one in 25 years.”
She continued, “I set out to create the best local newspaper I could, and I think I’ve done that. The Post is great. I think it’s the perfect reflection of the community spirit here and I’m proud to be a part of it,” said Allen.
But now after decades of working to keep the struggling newspaper going, she is considering her options. “I’ve tried to get in contact with Warren Buffett to see if he’s interested in adding to his collection,” Allen explained. “I’d like to retire with about a million or so, but his people told me not to call back.” With no millionaires knocking down the door, Allen has even considered possibly closing The Post. She continued, “But then I thought, why not raffle it?”
According to Allen, the holder of the winning raffle ticket would “win” the newspaper. “Just think. You’d have your very own newspaper! You could put yourself on the front page every week. Or you could oust your neighbor for letting their dog crap in your yard. Think of the power you would hold!”
“You could say, ‘Stop the presses!’ every single day!” said Allen.
Readers or non-readers of The Post are eligible to enter and get their once in a lifetime chance at winning a real newspaper. And, as Allen says, there aren’t that many left. “They’re practically a collector’s item for the rich and famous.”
For just $10 a ticket, anyone can have a good shot at being a big shot in a small town. You could call Donald Trump and offer to “Do lunch.” And, unlike the lottery, the odds are very good at winning. Almost as good as hitting a pothole on your way to work.
Although the newspaper would be “free” to the winner, keeping it would not. According to Allen, the new publisher would be responsible for the operating funds needed to keep the weekly paper going once they took possession. She explained, “You’ll need money for stuff like, you know, rent, payroll, postage, printing five thousand copies weekly, the insurance, utilities, internet, office equipment, computer hardware and software, and stuff like that.”
“You might want to start with some serious operating cash,” she explained. “Or you can save a ton of money if you just do everything yourself.”
For a chance to enjoy ownership of a real newspaper and live the dream, that never, ever ends, look in The Post, April 1st issue for special details on, “I want to win a newspaper!”