I considered lots of options for this first blog post here at Foothills Forum. As we launch this new nonprofit venture, though, the right start is to thank the folks who inspired it from the beginning:

— The residents of Rappahannock County. All of you. This is for you. Step up. Speak up. Join the table with your neighbors.

— Thank you, Rappahannock News, for holding the monthly Fourth Friday coffee open houses. It was at one of those sessions last summer, at Tula’s Off Main, where several of us joined the frank conversation that led directly to getting started.

— Thank you, Jill and Jed Duvall, who gifted us with the Radii Foundation — the nonprofit base we rebuilt/refashioned as Foothills Forum.

— Thank you to the hard workers who joined our board of directors and advisors, dropping their political baggage and agreeing to work toward a future goal and higher purpose. Thanks to Beverly Atkins, Stephen Brooks, Bill Dietel, Beverly Jones, David Massie, Molly Peterson and Al Regnery for serving as directors. Judy DeSarno, too.

— Thanks to the dozens who patiently listened and advised, then offered suggestions, cautions and encouragement. Though there are too many to cite, I’ll start with John McCarthy, Roger Welch, John Lesinski, Donna Matthews, Toni and Mike Massie, John Fox Sullivan, John Kiser, Cole Johnson, Jim Blubaugh, Ben Jones, Demaris and Jim Miller, Monica Worth, Matthew Black, Bette Mahoney, Mike Mahoney, Harold Beebout.

— Thank you Dennis Brack, for being open to crafting an agreement that is a win/win/win for the community, the newspaper (and website) and its reader-citizens. Thanks, too, to Jay Ward Brown.

— Thanks, too, to the many who have pledged financial support allowing us to move forward with purpose.

— Thank you, Center for Survey Research and the University of Virginia. Your expertise is helping us prepare the best, fairest, most scientific Foothills Forum survey possible.

Going forward, the biggest ask I can make of those above and anyone else I might have missed: Join us! Add your name and contact info to the right. Follow us here; Like us on Facebook.

Let’s have fun!