It’s the time of year when change is in the air. The days are shorter and, occasionally, a bit cooler. School schedules and fall sports are taking over family schedules. The lake is quieter. A number of Canyon Lake clubs start meeting again after taking a break for summer, and several major changes are taking place at the Property Owners Association.
At The Friday Flyer, no change feels bigger than that of the staff change that will see Canyon Lake resident and The Friday Flyer contributor Donna Ritchie take over as editor of the community newspaper. Taking the place of Sharon Rice, who has been with The Friday Flyer 20 years, Donna is just the third editor in the newspaper’s almost 26-year history.
Publisher Chuck Golding says, “We are very excited about the enthusiasm and drive Donna brings to our newspaper. She has a great love of Canyon Lake and understands the community well. We conducted a nationwide search to fill this vacancy and felt that Donna’s roots in the community outweighed the attributes of those who applied, many of whom held journalism degrees. I felt it much easier to teach the nuances of journalistic style, ethics and form than to teach a stranger about Canyon Lake and drive.”
Donna has been a major contributor to The Friday Flyer for the past two years, writing the columns “Meet Your Neighbors,” “Neighbors for Neighbors” and “Canyon Lake Entrepreneurs,” along with a number of feature stories.
She also wrote for the short-lived Canyon Lake Life Magazine in 2013-14. Donna has been a freelance writer since 2005, penning more than 1,000 articles about a variety of topics for online platforms. She’s also is a professional photographer.
She is the founder/administrator of the more than 2000-member “Canyon Lake Community” Facebook group, which is open to Canyon Lake residents only. Of this volunteer effort she says, “My love for Canyon Lake motivated me to start the Canyon Lake Facebook group. My goal was to help bring residents together in a positive way and have them interact with each other, share information and foster discussion about our beautiful community of Canyon Lake.”
Donna has been very active since moving to Canyon Lake in July 2013 with her husband Lance. She is a member of the Paddle Club and the Veterans Committee and is a member-at-large of the Lioness Club. She was a member of the POA Community Patrol Committee until that group was disbanded by the Board of Directors last year.
In 2014, at the urging of Riverside Sheriff’s Chief Mike Judge and Lieutenant Earl Quinata, Donna accepted the challenge to form a Neighborhood Watch Program in Canyon Lake. A number of block captains have stepped up to be a part of the program.
In 2014-15, Donna served as Mrs. Canyon Lake on the Canyon Lake Royal Court. In the past, she has been a volunteer with Long Beach Special Olympics Summer Games, Best Buddies International and Little League Baseball. Her hobbies include paddle boarding, kayaking, photography, genealogy, bunco and volunteer work.
In addition to her husband of 31 years, she has one daughter, two grandsons, five sisters and a brother.
Donna is very excited to take on the role as editor of The Friday Flyer, saying, “It is indeed a privilege and honor to be chosen as the new editor of The Friday Flyer. While I realize I have some big shoes to fill, I am looking forward to the challenge and opportunity. I am very grateful for the tremendous amount of support I have received from the community since I embarked on this new endeavor.”
To reach Donna or send news, contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 951-244-1966, ext. 228.