By Shellie Miller-Farrugia

When was the last time you changed your telephone? Not the number… The actual phone. I’m curious; did you change it because it was broken, or because one with more features came along?

When dirt roads get paved over for easier transportation, or when they discontinue 411 for telephone information, you can bet there’s an upgrade that has taken the place of your old modus operandi. Many of us call it progress, regardless of inconvenience.

More than 20 years ago, our oldest son was an active adolescent who was excited for flag football. Because the Internet wasn’t being used to its present-day standards, the only way we could find out about sign ups was a cardboard sign planted on the side of the road. That sign was far away from my usual route, so by the time I found it, sign-ups had been concluded. Scott and I decided there had to be a better way for families to connect with other leagues and activities. The Spectator was born from that inconvenience, and we are proud that our place in the community has become more relevant and necessary than ever!

Through that simple inconvenience, we were able to create this community magazine that connects people throughout Coral Springs and Parkland, along with people all over the world! ‘Connection’ has been one of the most important words as we grew this brand. Connecting you and your children to activities that can enrich the entire family has been our aim from the beginning.

We have been blessed to bear witness to the positive changes throughout our lives in the last two decades. When tragedy struck in September 2001, Americans rose up and formed a solidarity that was awesome for the world to watch. It was in that same month that we began drawing up our vision for the Spectator. In early years we were encouraged by people who were touting what we stood for. One of the families we featured were spotted by an estranged brother, and then reconciled! Who would have seen that coming?

While on assignment at Incredible Ice, I bumped into a young boy who was dreaming of becoming a player one day. He had lost one of his eyes in a freak accident, and knew that he could never be a professional player, but who cares? We were thrilled to buy him equipment and enroll him in a league… He and his team became champions their very first season!

So… Upgrades. My paved street is one that I appreciate much more than the gravel road that used to be in front of my house filling it with dust. If my watch stops, I can glance at my phone, and if I’d like to make a connection in the community, all I need to do is open the latest Spectator to find new friends, neighbors, fun things to do, and maybe even a long lost sibling.

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