I love this time of year for all the obvious reasons — holiday bling is everywhere, families are gathering, children are wide-eyed and excited, and the air smells of snow and wood burning in fireplaces. I also love this issue of the magazine because we focus on people who are doing interesting and amazing things in Carroll County. We love to shine a light on the heart of Carroll with this issue.

Figuring out who to highlight as Person of the Year is no easy task, and the editorial team works for months to decide who deserves the honor. I love our choice for this year because she has been impacting the citizens of Carroll County for decades, but she often chooses to do it quietly, behind the scenes. Lynn Wheeler has no qualms with putting in the work and taking none of the credit.

In this “Heart of Carroll” issue we also tell the stories of individuals who have gone out of their way to do good for others. In a time when it seems there are plenty of things to pull us apart, I think we can all agree that small (and large) acts of kindness really do go a long way. There are many among us who volunteer their time and “pay it forward” in small ways every day; it is these gifts of time and energy that fuel the spirit of generosity that make Carroll County a special place to live and work.

As we turn the page to a new year, it’s also important to mention our vibrant small-business community. Small-business owners have had to face unprecedented challenges over the last few years — some thrived as they found creative ways to operate and provide services, others barely survived, and some were forced to close their doors. The holidays present the perfect opportunity to support those small businesses that keep our local economy churning. Shop our Main Streets, eat at locally owned restaurants, call on small businesses when you need a plumber or electrician. We need to support those businesses that sponsor our school functions and sports teams all year long.

As we march into 2023, we want to hear from you. In addition to the stories on the pages of Carroll Magazine, we also launched Carroll Magazine Live! this year to highlight stories digitally — available for viewing at www.carrollmagazine.com. Please share your stories of amazing people, places and events — email readerswrite@carrollmagazine.com.

Cheers to a magical holiday season and a safe and healthy New Year!

Kym Byrnes

Have feedback? Email your ideas to: readerswrite@carrollmagazine.com