Happy Patchiversary! Oak Forest Patch Turns 1

Can you believe it? It's been a year of weaving this little piece of web space. Of all the words you have read and will read on Oak Forest Patch, today these count most: Thank you.

I have never considered myself "lucky." I don't gamble, because the few times I have, I have never won. Red lights don't flash into green as I'm approaching (yeah, yeah, I know this is more of a timing thing. But we've all tried to 'will' a red light green). I never find money in the pockets of my winter coats (who doesn't love that?).

Nope. I would not say that Lady Luck and I were ever buds.

Until now. Today, as Oak Forest Patch officially hits its one-year Patchiversary, I'm feeling pretty darn fortunate.

A few years ago, I left behind my passion for journalism for a new career path. I resigned from my position as editor of a weekly newspaper for an editing role at a textbook publishing company. More editing, less writing, less personal interaction.

No problem, I thought. Piece of cake. I can do this.

A year later, even my subconscious was telling me, "I told you so." I was itching to be back in journalism. And luckily for me, Patch was popping up everywhere. So, I took a quick look, and then I leapt. For a girl who's never met a risk she didn't run away from, this was a bold move.

I knew little about Oak Forest, I knew a teensy bit about websites—but I also knew I just had to try. 

And I lucked out.

The days and weeks leading up to the site's launch, I tried to hone in on the essence of —who lives there, what matters to you, what you want from a site like Patch. I learned about your businesses, , , schools, and your neighbors. It's been a process, and you've been patient.

The day we flipped the switch and Oak Forest Patch went live, I held my breath with my hopes high. And luckily for me, you welcomed me and your Patch with open arms. I burst onto the scene in your community, and you've embraced me as one of your own.

Thank you.

You've helped make Patch what it is. And there's so much more we hope to become. You and I make a good team, Oak Forest. It's been a wild ride and I can't wait to see what's ahead.

But for now, let's take a look back:

  • How about the? Remember him?
  • Or what about that
  • And don't forget the chronicle of his fiancé's recovery.
  • And then there was the , which left many speechless.
  • Have you met Isabella, the beautiful little girl born to the ?
  • Together, you and I welcomed home , , and .
  • You and I have hashed out issues about and , and . We kinda rock.

Thank you for this first year. I'm blessed to have not only found my place back in journalism, but even more so to have found a place in your hearts, homes and community.

... I think I'll go buy a lottery ticket.




If you haven't already, find us on Facebook and Twitter, where the Patch party never stops.

Drew Richards December 02, 2011 at 04:27 PM
Congrats Lauren!
Dennis Robaugh (Editor) December 02, 2011 at 04:34 PM
Hi Lauren. Patch is better for having you on board. Congratulations on the one-year Patchiversary!
Carrie Frillman December 02, 2011 at 06:47 PM
Congrats Lauren!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 02, 2011 at 06:55 PM
Thank you, everyone! I'm tickled pink! :)
Stephanie Pifko December 02, 2011 at 08:42 PM
Congratulations, Lauren! As someone who's watched over the years as you've grown into your profession, I can only imagine how proud you must be today! I saw how hard it was for you to leave journalism, but I also saw how scary it was for you to take that leap of faith and get back into it. I think you'd agree with me when I say that it was so very worth it. It's clear that journalism is what you were born to do... so just keep doing it! Happy 1st Patchiversary! I'm so proud of you!
Danielle Abendroth December 02, 2011 at 09:18 PM
Who lves patch? I do! Keeps up to date on happenings in the town, very important in today's world!
Krista December 02, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Lauren, thank you for being "our town's" Patch Editor! The Patch fills a gap that other news outlets do not. It is "super" local. I like that a lot. As a lifelong resident of OF, I enjoy reading the historical pieces, the local community happenings - whether it be for kids in school, seniors, or sports - it's good to know what is going on in OF. I also love the human interest stories - discovering people right here in our little town making a big difference. I also enjoy seeing our local businesses spotlighted and promoted. Keep up the great work! Happy Patchiversary!
pat traut December 02, 2011 at 10:06 PM
Lauren Happy Anniversary to Patch!! You have done a wonderful job with all the stories. I have known all your life as you were growing up that journalism was your passion in life. All those trips to the library for more books (practically every other day) was the tell tale sign I think. Thank God it was in close distance from home. I am so very proud of your work and the lovely person you have grown into. Keep following your dream. I am so PROUD of you!! Love Mom Huck looks great in his celebration hat and streamers!
James Traut December 02, 2011 at 10:18 PM
I second what Mom and Steph both wrote. I want to know how did you keep Huck so still to take that picture with hat on. Maybe he really is a calm dog...
LISA HINES December 02, 2011 at 10:57 PM
Great work, Lauren. You must be very proud. You have made many loyal Patch fans and we look forward to much more !!! Thank you !!!!
Steven Nendza December 03, 2011 at 06:13 AM
Lauren your hard work and dedication has really paid off. Keep up the great job.
Renita Young December 03, 2011 at 06:54 AM
Congrats Lauren! Oak Forest is very fortunate to have you. Keep up the great work =)
Chuck Ingwersen December 03, 2011 at 09:28 AM
Congrats on the anniversary and on the stellar job you do, Lauren! (I love that photo. It needs to be a greeting card!)
LAURA DLUSKI December 03, 2011 at 02:02 PM
Happy Patchiversary Lauren, You have an awesome way with words telling the story, getting the information, letting the public know!!! You've done a great job, continue to work hard in keeping us all informed . I love getting the Patch daily, really enjoy the stories and the pictures. Love the picture of Huck, he is adorable....
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Thank you, Shannon! :)
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:46 PM
Thanks, brother!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:47 PM
Aww, gee. Thanks, Drew!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:47 PM
Thanks, Dennis. Wouldn't be able to do it without the greatest boss ever.
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:47 PM
*blush.* :)
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Danielle, you're such a loyal fan! Thank you for being such a devoted reader and Patch follower! You make my job fun and easy!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:48 PM
Krista, you're the best! Thank you for all your support of Patch. You have been there from Day 1, and it's been a pleasure getting to know you. I hope you continue enjoying Patch, and if you ever have any suggestions for stories or businesses you'd like to see featured, please email me! :)
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:49 PM
Ohhh, I remember all those trips to the library, Mom. I just couldn't get enough of books. Thanks for all your support of my work with Patch. I couldn't do it without such a great pair of parents in my corner!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:51 PM
THANK YOU, Lisa! This first year has been a blast and has totally flown by!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Thanks, Mr. Nendza! Thank you for being such a loyal fan! It's been great working with you!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 05:59 PM
Thanks, Renita! :) Happy Patchiversary to you over in EP!
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 06:01 PM
Thank you, Chuck! I'm glad to hear that a fellow Patcher (and OF resident) likes the site. :) And I mean, don't you design greeting cards? :)
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 03, 2011 at 06:02 PM
Thank you, Laura! And thanks for reading, even though you don't even live in Oak Forest. :)
Pat Suchocki December 05, 2011 at 02:57 PM
Lauren, Congrats and thanks so much. I love the patch, keeps me up on Oak Forest, your doing a great job.
Lauren Traut (Editor) December 05, 2011 at 03:36 PM
Amanda A December 07, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Lauren, you're doing a fantastic job! The Oak Forest Patch is the ONLY way that I get news from the community. You've made it fun and even gave my husband a foot in the door in writing as a local voice... something he needed to put back on his plate. Thanks for supporting my husband's talent and especially for being to voice of the community!


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something