In Memorium: Arline Hawken
Not many people can lay fame to being involved in the free paper industry as long as Arline Hawken, who recently died at the age of 93 in Stuart, Fla.

Hawken was a pioneer in the industry. She devoted 56 years to the shopping guide business.

She and her husband, Len, established The Broadcast in Vicksburg, Mich., on May 8, 1939. Len sold ads; Arline cut the stencils for display ads, typed classified ads and did the billing. In 1944 Arline took charge of the business while Len served in the U.S. Army.

In 1955 the Hawkens sold the business in Michigan and purchased Flashes Shopping Guide in Stuart, Fla., a winter monthly publication. They turned the publication into a weekly year-round publication.

In the late 1950s Len and Arline hosted an organizational meeting for Florida free distribution publishers. As a result, the Florida Advertising Publishers Association (FAPA, now known as the Community Papers of Florida) became a reality and has grown into one of the top associations in the country.

In 1976 Len died and Arline, with the help of two sons, Chuck and Gary, continued to run the business.

Eventually Gary assumed ownership and Arline continued to work at Flashes until the age of 80, when she retired after 56 years in the business.

During their years in the business, she and Len were active in both state and national shopping guide associations. They offered help and advice to many publishers in Michigan and Florida, helping them get started.

In 1996 at the association's annual conference, FAPA honored Arline with the association's first Pioneer Award.

In presenting the award, FAPA President Scott Patterson said, "Arline Hawken is truly a pioneer in the free paper industry. She helped start one of the earliest shopping guides in Michigan and has seen the industry grow from businesses run out of the family home, to large multi-million circulation publication giants.

"Few, if any, individuals in the entire country have devoted as many years to the free paper industry as Arline Hawken. On behalf of the members of this association, I am proud to present this plaque to honor Arline Hawken," Patterson said.

In accepting the award before a standing ovation, Arline said, "I am very grateful and humble to receive this award from my peers. Thank you so much."

"We thank Arline, and Len, for their service to this industry and to the Community Papers of Florida," said CPF Executive Director Dave Neuharth. "This association has had its up and downs, but we are here because of their service. We will keep them in our memories."

© 2019 Community Papers of Florida Logos & trademarks on the site are property of their respective owners.
Opinions expressed in articles within this site are those of their owners and may not reflect the opinion of CPF.