PUBLISHER’S LETTER - Joanna Hayes

PUBLISHER’S LETTER – Joanna Hayes

The debut of our newest issue is always a time of personal celebration for me, and this time is certainly no different. In addition to our rockin’ “Music Issue” we’re celebrating our 5-year anniversary, and did so in great style with a celebration on Feb. 3 that was also a fundraiser for CURE Childhood Cancer. You can enjoy the photos in this issue’s Simply Charitable section and the gallery on our website at simplybuckhead.com.

Simply Buckhead continues to flourish, our team continues to grow, and our magazine is seeing 25,000 to 35,000 website hits monthly— astonishing for a regional publication. We’re grateful to every reader for your continued support and your letters and tweets, many of which make it into our magazine the next issue.

We also launched our very own radio show last fall, Simply Buckhead Radio, airing weekly on Tuesdays from 2 to 3 p.m. at simplybuckheadradio.com.

But my cause for celebration at this moment is personal on another level. As most of you know, we are Hawks fans, tried and true. We very rarely miss a home game and the opportunity to see our beloved team battle on our home court. Even when we are not there, we are there, watching every away game from the comfort of our living room, clapping and shouting at the TV, listening intently as Hawks Announcers Bob Rathbun and Dominique Wilkins call the game.

The day our magazines began distribution this cycle, our friend Dominique Wilkins was also being honored with the unveiling of a 13.5-foot-tall, 18,500-pound, larger-than-life granite statue at Philips Arena, featuring him in one of his signature explosive poses. The statue was created by Brian Hanlon, the official sculptor for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and we were there to witness the unveiling.

Quoting Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena CEO Steve Koonin: “Dominique Wilkins has represented the Hawks organization and the city of Atlanta in a first-class manner for over three decades. He is synonymous with Atlanta sports greatness and this statue and week-long celebration is fitting for his contributions to Atlanta and his place as the greatest player in franchise history.” No truer words have been spoken about Dominique Wilkins.

This University of Georgia grad and NBA Hall of Famer is the most prolific scorer in Hawks history, with 23,292 points. He is also the Hawks’ all-time leader in points, games played, field goals and average points per game (24.8). He is a nine-time NBA All Star, and most recently (at the age of 55) the “Human Highlight Film,” as he’s affectionately known, proved he still has it when he won his third straight NBA Shooting Stars Challenge at the All Star weekend, with teammates Chris Bosh and Swin Cash.

And while Nique, as we know him, is the most passionate basketball fan and NBA veteran I know, he is also a wonderful family man, and we’ve been blessed to get to know that side of him as well. I couldn’t be happier for, or more proud of, our friends Dominique and Sunny Wilkins and their family.

I encourage every one of you, our readers, to support your Atlanta Hawks and see a game (or two) this season, and be sure to see this permanent tribute to Dominique Wilkins on your way into the arena.

Go Hawks!

Joanne Hayes
publisher@simplybuckhead.com