Some notes from around and about the Mirror newsroom to help keep you abreast of what we're doing and what we're trying to do:
The newspaper's role in the community goes well beyond just gathering the news.
We're often called upon to provide sponsorship and support for various causes.
Enter sales representative Valerie Walls, captain of our Relay For Life team and master organizer of the Mirror tent, T-shirts, fundraisers and assorted props for Friday night's opening ceremonies.
As one of 55 teams on hand, we sat in the Mansion Park stands and listened as both Relay ambassadors spoke beautifully and drew standing ovations.
Allison Schmitt, the Altoona Area High School student who has overcome ovarian cancer, talked about how cancer "opened my eyes" and made her appreciate all that she has.
Allison's speech set the stage for one of the most moving performances I have ever seen in Blair County.
After her own inspirational verbal message, with her family standing behind her, adult ambassador Karen Walkney Mrdjenovich, who is deaf and has overcome breast cancer and more recently the loss of her right eye due to cancer, performed a musical sign-language version of "The Rose" by Bette Midler.
The crowd was mesmerized and deeply touched, a moment I'm guessing no one in attendance will ever forget.
We then lined up and marched the track and supported the survivors on their lap, including our own Gretchen Sell, the Mirror's front-desk receptionist who brightens our day every day.
On a lighter note, Thursday brought some commotion to the Mirror when a rather large-sized bat suddenly was spotted flying through the newsroom.
This thing wasn't quite eagle proportions but boasted an impressive wingspan as it sailed back and forth, cutting a wide swath over the Copy Desk, toward the Life Department, back to Outdoor Times and around the room.
Most of us are only trained in reporting, editing and pagination but, led by graphic artist Tom Worthington II, who seemed to get the biggest kick out of the break in routine, we cornered the varmint in the conference room.
Now the dirty work.
We called pressroom foreman Dave Mentzer Jr. and chief deputy Jeff Brown.
They tag-teamed the bat and, within a few minutes, emerged from the conference room with it in a box and set it free - outside.
Veteran reporter Phil Ray will represent the Mirror on the Pennsylvania Cable Network's "Journalists' Roundtable" for a program to air later this week.
Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel can be reached at 946-7527 or firstname.lastname@example.org.