Dear St John Lover –
If you have visited St. John, you have likely referred to News of St. John and Jenn Manes to stay informed and revisit the island you love from afar. Jenn has diligently reported the happenings on St. John, in good times and bad, hurricanes and calm seas, economic boom and recession, and yes, even during the COVID-19 crisis. While many people have been stuck at home, she has been working hard to bring the island sights and information of St. John to you. We want to extend our gratitude to her for all of her hard work and dedication…and for her love of St. John!
As we have transitioned, Jenn has worked alongside our team to ensure that we continue in the tradition of bringing you, our readership, up-to-date news, real estate reports, happenings and vacation guidance to maximize your St. John experience.
We made the decision to purchase News of St John to ensure that it continues to be a resource to everyone who loves our island and appreciates the amazing things it has to offer. As well as to share the amazing natural beauty, personality, and culture that makes living here so amazing.
One of the things we like best about what Jenn has done is her charitable work. It is truly amazing how much money she has been able to raise for charities that are important to her, and the island. Since 2014, she has raised over $500,000 for 12 different charities. And we intend to continue in this tradition.
Most recently, she raised $83,000 for the Animal Care Center (ACC) in her raffle. The ACC is very important to our family because of our love of animals. It is also close to our hearts because our dog, Kamea, won a contest at their annual Wagapalooza fundraiser a few years ago. She unfortunately passed to doggie heaven literally on the road outside the ACC, unexpectedly, at too young of an age last month.
In response to her passing, we asked our facebook friends to donate online to the ACC and they generously donated $5,385. We are proud to announce that we will make a significant additional contribution to this effort. Thank you to everyone who helped out.
Our mission with News of St. John is to emphasize the “LOVE” in Love City. We want to continue to report on island happenings in a positive light (where possible) and bring more “good vibes” to your time spent online each day. We recognize that not everything in island life is rainbows and painkillers, but there are plenty of other outlets online for people to express negativity.
The quarantines have impacted people mentally, socially and economically and we want our writers to put forward positive voices to put some sunshine in your day. In addition to the news you are used to, we will shortly begin reporting on the good work that people do on St. John during these difficult times and developing a profile series featuring long time STJ residents. The people of St. John are wonderful and friendly and have amazing stories to tell about life on-island.
It was interesting to read Jen’s letter and hear of her less than friendly encounters with some readers. Unfortunately that is the direction some people choose to go in today’s social media world. I will not be heavily engaged in the day to day running of these sites. News of St. John and STJ Media has a team of writers, editors, salespeople and technical support who will be running the day to day operations and have their own opinions about the management of the sites. I have grown thick skin over the years, but we aren’t going to allow our site or pages to be platforms for attacking anyone, myself and family included. It is important to realize that the negativity you sometimes experience on facebook is not representative of the vast majority of people who live on the island and are kind, generous, and treat one another with respect regardless of differences. It’s one of the things that makes St John so special.
So, what does all this mean for the website you know and love? It means continuing its great day to day coverage, but adding some new functionality. In addition to expanding our content, we are developing some new things that we believe will enhance your knowledge, perspectives and vacation experiences. Jenn has made an amazing amount of music as a one (wo)man band and we are confident she will still be writing for us on occasion. But we are also recruiting many other voices so that this site becomes a platform for many points of view but who share in our mission of bringing love to the island and this platform. We are looking for more experienced writers and fresh perspectives so please email us if you live, or have lived, on St John and would like to contribute to the News of St John. We will be announcing our initial writers very soon.
This purchase is part of a merger of multiple mediums that will work together to promote local businesses and charities while enhancing the guest experience. STJ Media will include News of St. John, a local radio station (to be announced soon!), a new site called St. John Deals, and additional properties. St. John Deals will help visitors get more value out of their vacation to St John and experience more of the wonderful businesses and unique opportunities offered here. It will offer discounted gift certificates for dining, lodging and activities and last minute deals that will both promote the businesses and help you plan for vacation long before you arrive. Soon we will have a very exciting announcement regarding integration with a prominent local radio station. It has been a long time since there was a radio station that was St John-centric. Most important, you will be able to listen both online and in your island car (jeep). So whether you are on-island or not you can tune in! This will also provide additional media reach for small businesses and charities.
Our first project is to try and help as many small businesses on the island survive as possible. We will be pre-purchasing gift certificates from area merchants in an attempt to fiscally support them as they open their doors to limited capacity this month. If you are a business that is interested in selling gift certificates, please contact us today by filling out this form.
Our team is composed of people who live on and love St. John. I would appreciate everyone’s consideration in treating them in a respectful manner. That being said, we do value the opinions of our readers and would love to hear how we can improve things along the way!
We hope that you will continue to read and support News of St. John. In following Jenn’s lead, we promise to provide you with daily insights about Love City and keep you informed and entertained.