Katia Zaretski, 14, has been delivering The Morning Star throughout Vernon for half of her life. (Lisa VanderVelde/Morning Star)

Carriers deliver the goods

Carrier Appreciation Day Saturday, part of National Newspaper Week

People along her Alexis Park paper route have watched Katia Zaretski grow up.

The Grade 9 W.L. Seaton secondary student began delivering The Morning Star in the area when she was seven. Zaretski, now 14, has added two more routes, one on East Hill that she’s had for five years, one along Pleasant Valley Road which she’s been doing for three years.

Zaretski, with help from mom and dad, Tammy and Don, delivers to about 180 homes every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

“I get up at 4 a.m., takes me about an hour or so to get ready, and we’re out of the house by 6 a.m.,” said Zaretski. “We’re done by about 8:15 and then it’s off to school (except on Sunday).”

Said Tammy: “It’s been a great way for her to earn some money, which she puts toward her (cell) phone, and it’s been great for us as a family. We enjoy the time together.”

Winter season is the hardest as some people forget to shovel their walkways, so it’s trudging through snow or slippery ice to deliver the paper to the doorstep. And, of course there are the flyers in the papers.

Reminded that Black Friday is just over a month away, Zaretski slumps in her chair.

Christmas is also a busy time, but it’s also a time where Zaretski is thanked for the job she does.

“People leave me cards and some of them have money in them,” she said. “Some people leave me my favourite chocolate. It feels really nice to see people care.”

Every year, during the first full week in October, newspapers across North America celebrate National Newspaper Week to acknowledge the men, women and children who work tirelessly to bring the news to their communities.

Carrier Appreciation Day is also celebrated on Saturday to recognize the efforts of newspaper carriers young and old who make a vital contribution to the industry.

My carriers are the hardwest working persons out there,” said Tammy Stelamchowich, Morning Star ciculation manager. “Being a carrier is way harder than people think. They’re out there in every kind of weather, early in the morning, to get our product to everybody.”

Stelmachowich herself does two routes, delivering to about 150 houses.

The Morning Star has 179 carriers/routes.

If you’d like information on becoming a carrier, call carrier supervisor Kimm Mitchell at 250-550-7901 or e-mail circ@vernonmorningstar.com.