We Could All Use Some Good News


For those of you who have not been counting, it’s been 270 days since we first started 15 Days to Slow the Spread, so I figured it’s a good time to bring you some Good News in the hopes of lifting your spirits this holiday season. I was inspired by Andy Williams and I just finished belting out “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of The Year” alone in my car as I made a 27-mile drive in 30 minutes flat with no traffic. In the early days of the pandemic, I was inspired by John Krasinski’s Some Good News” program on YouTube. At the time, I tried to lift the spirits of friends, family, and coworkers with stories of positivity in the Weekly Report. In the early days of the pandemic, I even hosted a daily update as Captain James T. Kirk on my Facebook page. Apparently, some of you found that amusing, but I quit after a couple of weeks because I found it exhausting. 


In this newsletter, I got help from my diligent staff and we scoured the web for Good News stories to share with you. 


Good News Item #1: A 91-year-old woman named Margaret Keenan, a retired jewelry assistant from Coventry, England, became the first woman on Earth to be vaccinated for COVID-19. In the USA, it’s estimated that 25 million doses or enough to vaccinate about 12.5 million Americans, will be available before New Year’s Day. #hallefrickinlujah


Good News Item #2: Just in case you missed it in the news or haven’t logged into your 401k in a few weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit an all-time high on November 24th and the NASDAQ composite set a new record on Tuesday. Despite a global pandemic, your retirement savings should be sitting pretty in 2020. 


Good News Item #3: A 9-year-old Maryland boy named Tyler Stallings has helped aid homeless veterans since he was only four-years-old. Recently he raised over $100,000 for his cause. Here is Tyler’s recent appearance on Good Morning America. I am loving the bowtie, dude. 


Good News Item #4: Seniors in long-term care facilities are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and many of them have suffered months and months of isolation, cut off from friends and family. That means frontline health care workers have had to get creative to keep spirits bright this holiday season. Many of our clients at Lucy Corr, Hermitage Richmond, Hermitage Roanoke, Hermitage NOVA, Cedarfield, Birmingham Green, and Williamsburg Landing have done a great job with this. Recently I discovered a viral video on Facebook that will put a smile on your face. The activity staff at Blanchester, Ohio’s Continental Manor turned their activity room into a forest with undecorated Christmas trees. Staff put on reindeer antlers and armed residents with Nerf guns so they could go “deer hunting.” Quite honestly, I don’t know who was having more fun, the residents or staff members. Either way, this might be the video of the year


Good News Item #5: As a long-suffering fan of the NFL franchise formally known as the Washington Redskins, I was thrilled Monday night to see the unnamed team from Washington beat the previously undefeated Pittsburgh Steelers 23 to 17. When I saw linebacker Jon Bostic pull down big Ben Roethlisberger’s interception to seal the deal, I jumped for joy. It was the happiest moment I have felt in the last 270 days. 


Good News Item #6: Do yourself a favor and Google the phrase “Operation Giraffe Raft.” Local community members of the Ruko Community Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya came together and built a giraffe raft to ferry eight endangered animals trapped in the middle of a flooded lake that was surrounded by hungry crocodiles. There are only 1,600 Rothschild Giraffes left in the world. They can grow up to 20-feet tall and some weigh as much as 3,000 pounds. 


And finally here’s some bad news about John Krasinski’s “Some Good News.” Apparently, the former The Office star sold his idea to ViacomCBS, who is now developing the show, but that means there hasn’t been a new episode since May 17th. Come back John, the world needs you now more than ever.


However, there was Good News at Madison+Main this week…Check it out.


Monday, December 7 — On The (White) Board


On Monday, we launched an informative whiteboard video that answers essential questions about Continuing Care Retirement Communities for our friends at Williamsburg Landing. Special thanks to Chance Godwin at Godwin Media for his hard work helping us with this project. 


Tuesday, December 8 — Winter Smash



Our very neat friends at A. Smith Bowman Distillery were featured in MetroCooking DC’s lovely Holiday Recipe Collection Cookbook for their delicious Bowman Brothers Winter Smash we helped create. Do you have any holiday or New Year’s plans yet? Whether you’re going out or staying in, they’ve concocted the perfect drink for your stay-at-home, sofa soiree. Go on — get to mixin’! P.S. A. Smith Bowman Distillery will even ship a bottle of their award-winning spirits to couch potatoes anywhere in Virginia. My order is already in.




Wednesday, December 9 — Wythken.com


Now that I am trying to unplug from all things social media, I wanted to reiterate that printed materials are still a very important part of marketing strategies — even in today’s digital world. That’s why we rely on Wythken Printing. Ric Withers, owner, operator, and client whisperer, is our go-to partner at M+M for all things printing. Thanks, Ric, The Doorways direct mailers we got last week look hot…off the press. 


M+M recently completed a new website for Wythken that makes it easier than ever for small businesses to get the printed materials they need. Check out Wythken the next time you need something and use their handy dandy contact form. By the way, I haven’t gotten a printed holiday card from you yet. #hinthint Expect mine to arrive before Groundhog Day.


Thursday, December 10 — Thinking Outside The (Mail)Box

Speaking of The Doorways, this week M+M sent some cheer to people’s mailboxes with a holiday-themed direct mail campaign. We created these lovely letters to bring awareness to The Doorways’ mission and help secure donations over the holidays! We think we delivered.

Their mission? Provide a healing and emotionally supportive environment for those who need housing close to a Richmond hospital. The Doorways is one of the largest hospitality houses in the country and operates primarily on donations. Looking to get on Santa’s Nice List? A year-end contribution goes a long way — donate today!


The Doorways Direct Mailer


Friday, December 11 — Keep Your Nose Clean

Working from home has its benefits and drawbacks. This week I spent my days on the Tug Life, taking video conference calls from the helm. When I wasn’t working, I was enjoying the 60-degree weather of charming Charleston, SC. But I still miss the office. That formal space keeps your professional life separate from your private life…or in my case, my boat life. On Zoom calls, I forget I’m on video. Trust me, no one wants to see you blow your nose in 17 X 34 inch HD. Number one rule of video conferencing? Turn off your video. Rule number two? Mute your mic. It’s like the 2020 equivalent of responding “Reply All” to a company-wide email thread. So I would like to apologize for the big blow on Wednesday’s production call. I sincerely hope my amazing staff doesn’t start calling me Phlegmy Leader instead of Fearless Leader.


A Few of Our Favorite Events

Festival of Lights at Hermitage Roanoke

1009 Old Country Club Rd NW | Roanoke, VA 24017

December 5 – January 1 | 6 – 9 p.m.

Hermitage Roanoke is inviting everyone to warm up the car, gather the family, and explore thousands of twinkling lights and holiday magic at their inaugural drive-thru Festival of Lights! The upscale senior living community is inviting all Roanoke residents (and visitors) to join them in a new COVID-friendly holiday tradition. This ongoing nightly event is free to the public to attend.


Illumination on the Lawn at Hermitage Richmond

1600 Westwood Ave. | Richmond, VA 23227

December 5 – January 6 | 6 – 9 p.m.

Hermitage Richmond is inviting everyone to enjoy a little physically distanced fun and holiday magic this season. From December 5 until January 6, the grounds at Hermitage Richmond will be transformed into a spectacular winter wonderland display of holiday lights and reindeer. Include your family pets in the festivities! The ongoing event is free to attend and guests are asked to wear masks and practice physical distancing.


Christmas Lights at Compass Mini Golf

100 Entertainment Dr. | Irvington, VA 22480

November 26 – January 1 | 5 p.m. – Close

Gather the entire family and jingle all the way to Compass Entertainment Complex this season! They’ve transformed their Mini Golf course into a winter wonderland — and all proceeds will support various local charities. Questions about this event? Call them at 804-884-4FUN!


CowanGates Memorial Blood Drive

13620 W Salisbury Rd. | Midlothian, VA 23113

February 16 | 2 – 6 p.m.


CowanGates, in partnership with Village Bank, is sponsoring a blood drive at Salisbury Country Club. Bring your mask and donate — giving blood will help save a life. Sign up today!

Got an upcoming event you want to share? Can we come? Send us the deets!


“Good news is rare these days, and every glittering ounce of it should be cherished and hoarded and worshipped and fondled like a priceless diamond.” – Hunter S. Thompson