Our Story

Donna’s story…Read all about how Chesapeake Family started

It all started in my kitchen almost 25 years ago, after a summer of planning and preparation, the first Chesapeake Family (then called Chesapeake Children) hit the stands. My daughter, Janet, was seven and my son, Tyler, was just six months old. Frustrated by the fact that I couldn’t find information relating to the children in elementary school, I followed in the footsteps of my grandparents who owned a newspaper in North Carolina and started my own publication for local parents. My mom says that publishing is “is my blood.”

The startup wasn’t easy, to say the least. Our longtime babysitter fell and broke some bones so she couldn’t lift the baby. My parents were on an extended vacation and the neighborhood teenager was away for the summer. I was desperately dialing for babysitters. My husband, Jim, came home for lunch once or twice a week so I could run out and talk to potential advertisers. At other times, I put Tyler in his baby swing and made calls or worked on the computer. I’d work at night when the kids were asleep. Jim also reluctantly helped by doing the desktop publishing. I missed the first deadline with the printer and pulled an all-nighter to finish production.

As I pulled out of our driveway, I was so excited and tired that I backed into the neighbor’s car. (Fortunately, there was no damage!) In record time, the printer completed the job of printing 10,000 copies with 12 pages and 20 advertisers. We stuffed them all into the back of my SUV and then I drove around passing them out. And here we are 21 years later, with a staff of 27, 40,000 print copies per month and 60,000 plus ChesapeakeFamily.com pageviews. Thank you for making Chesapeake Family the #1 resource for helping parents raise their children.