By TIM WHEELER
It’s SEJ’s 20th anniversary. Twenty great years of helping thousands of journalists tell the story of the century.
Twenty is something to celebrate, don’t you think? We’ve been doing it all year, with a big online “We love SEJ” valentine  celebrating the organization’s birthday (February 14, 1990), with Founding President Jim Detjen’s recounting in SEJournal of the story of the group’s founding,  and with more tale-telling and a rocking party in October at the annual conference in Montana. 
SEJ’s year-long celebration is almost complete now, but the stories that have brought us together are far from done. The environment’s not going away, and neither should SEJ. The need for probing, insightful reporting has never been greater. But the tough economy has put a dent in SEJ’s finances. Foundations have cut back on their grant-making. SEJ’s ability to keep helping us — and the public — stay on top of the changing environment is in jeopardy.
That’s why SEJ is appealing to its members and friends for help. In recognition of SEJ’s 20th, we’re aiming to raise at least $20,000 from members and friends to help keep the organization strong as it begins its third decade.
Challenging times call for leadership, and SEJ’s leaders past and present have stepped forward. The 11 people listed below who have been fortunate enough to serve as president of SEJ since its beginning have banded together to collectively pledge more than $4,000.
Won’t you join us? We’re not asking for much — we know times are tight for everyone. But if every SEJ member and friend gives at least $20 in appreciation for SEJ’s 20 years of service to the cause of quality environmental journalism, we’ll easily surpass our goal. And we’ll see that SEJ is there to help a new generation of journalists get that story.
With gifts and pledges already made at the Montana conference and since, we’re more than halfway to our goal. $20 for 20 will put us over the top. It has a ring to it, don’t you think? SEJ needs YOU now — will you answer the call?
Jim Detjen — Rae Tyson — Emilia Askari — Marla Cone — Mike Mansur — Jim Bruggers — Dan Fagin — Perry Beeman — Tim Wheeler — Christy George — Carolyn Whetzel
Tim Wheeler covers the environment at The Baltimore Sun. He served as the 10th president of SEJ.
* From the quarterly newsletter SEJournal, Winter 2010-11 issue.