Tuesday, December 6, 2016

HEADS Up! A win for HEADstrong in Swarthmore

One of the challenges we face in putting together our print edition every day is something we call our 'black line.'

That's how we refer to our lead headline on Page One.

If you're a fan of 'The Paper,' the Michael Keaton movie based on a New York City tabloid newspaper, you'll remember they refer to it as 'The Wood.'

Both terms are part of old-time journalism lore. Today, in the face of breaking news online, posting on Twitter and Facebook, we still take a lot of time in crafting our front page presentation every day.

For tabloids like us, which do not use text or stories routinely on their front page, as opposed to our broadsheet print counterparts, that means we often are left trying to deliver what can be very complicated stories and breaking them down to just a few precious words to deliver the story with as much impact as we can.

I think we did just that again this morning.

Today's front page delivers the result of last night's much-anticipated Swarthmore Borough Council meeting with just two words: HEADS Up!

That, of course, is a reference to the HEADstrong Foundation's push to use a sprawling old home in Swarthmore Borough as a temporary residence for cancer patients and their families who are receiving treatment in the region.

It is the legacy of Nick Colleluori, a former star athlete at Ridley High who conceived of the organization as he was battling the non-Hodgkins Lymphoma that eventually took his life.

After they got the initial OK from the borough's Accommodations Board, the HEADstrong request was met with opposition from a group of neighbors.

Last night Swarthmore Borough Council voted to reject their appeal and allow the use by HEADStrong.

The story has probably generated more response and interaction on social media than any story we've done in recent memory.

Give a big part of the credit for that to Cheryl Colleluori, Nick's mom and the head of HEADstrong.

She probably put it best, describing herself as a "mom on a mission."

You can get all the details here.

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