Community leaders count their blessings during Thanksgiving holiday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Thanksgiving is a holiday when families traditionally gather together to celebrate the blessings of the past year, and during a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever for people to find reasons to be grateful and thankful in the midst of uncertain times.
With that in mind, the Steamboat Pilot & Today asked community leaders to answer one simple question: What are you grateful for? Their answers are listed below.
Kara Stoller, Steamboat Springs Chamber CEO
“Gratitude is what has gotten me through this year and my gratitude list is long but here are a few highlights.
• Amazing friends who lift me up and bring happiness to my life
• Dedicated coworkers and colleagues working so hard to support one another
• Easy access to our great outdoors for rejuvenation
• Incredible family who reminds me what is most important in life and bring me so much joy
I send wishes of peace and comfort this Thanksgiving to our entire community.“
Brad Meeks, Steamboat Springs School District superintendent
“I am thankful to live in a wonderful community full of caring people and with amazing opportunities for adventure. The ’can do’ attitude of our community is providing hope and inspiration to all of us. I am also thankful for the incredible staff we have and all that they are doing to educate and care for our students, while supporting each other. Our entire family loves to gather here when they can. As a family, we will spend time appreciating all the good things we have in our lives.”
Nelly Navarro, Integrated Community executive director
“As this year has brought a lot of challenges to all of us around the world, it has also made me think about all the things to be thankful for.
I am thankful more than ever for my family who has been there for me at all times.
My community which has shown to be resilient and caring.
For a job that I love and I can safely do from home and make a difference in people’s lives. For having an amazing team around me that have shown to be true heroes through all of this.
I am also thankful for free education, our school system has adapted and is offering free education to everybody, even those who prefer homeschool. I am grateful to have options.
I am also thankful for technology, I can’t imagine this pandemic without Netflix, internet, Zoom or Google Meets that allows us to stay connected.
I am mostly thankful for all the beauty around us, especially on those days that I am feeling all the weight over my shoulders, all I have to do is look around, put on some music and be reminded of how lucky we are to be here.”
Pete Wood, chair of the Routt County Republican Central Committee
“My family and I are thankful for the sacrifices our ancestors in this great country made to ensure we continue to enjoy our freedom and prosperity. Their courage and sacrifice for what we all enjoy must be remembered, cherished and continued in these challenging times. We’re wishing all our friends and neighbors in Routt County a very Happy Thanksgiving.”
Dr. Brian Harrington, Routt County Public Health chief medical officer
“I am thankful for the extra time with my children that I have been able to have this year, which was an unanticipated consequence of the pandemic. I have four children, with one still in high school. This spring three of my children were in college, with my oldest eventually having a virtual college graduation. When colleges closed to in-person learning they each returned home and continued on-line courses here. I never thought I would have all of my children home together again at the same time for anything longer than a week or two. Instead, our family was together three months this spring. We enjoyed activities and meals together, and played games in the evenings. Now, my wife and I look forward to having all of them home again for an extended period of time until college resumes in January.”
Catherine Carson, chair of the Routt County Democrats
“I’m thankful for my husband who is my best friend and soulmate and all of my family and friends. In addition, I’m thankful for our great, caring, positive local energy that I see every day in our community’s volunteers, public servants, essential workers and all of our neighbors. I’m thankful we live in a community where we truly care about each other and work together for a better future.”
Soniya Fidler, UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center president
“This Thanksgiving, and every day, I am grateful for the dedicated staff and providers at UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. Every single day, they put our patients first and provide compassionate and personalized care. And in a town like Steamboat Springs, our patients are our friends and family, our children’s teachers, our local business owners, our community residents, our local workforce and our visitors from around the world. Especially in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, I’m thankful for our health care heroes. More personally, I’m grateful to hold the roles of mom and wife. My family gives me energy, immense support, unconditional love and are always up for an adventure.”
Christy Sinner, Hayden School District superintendent
“I am grateful for the strength of our community and ongoing support for the growth of the town of Hayden and the school district. The focus on working together to bring milestones to completion and continue to provide for the community has been at the forefront. It is an honor to wake up every day, go to work in a job I love and work with the most dedicated group of school teachers and staff. My children bring joy to my life daily and always put a smile on my face. It is a blessing to be surrounded by amazing people.”
Nikki Knoebel, Oak Creek mayor
“I am grateful this holiday season for the people in my life — my friends, family, co-workers and especially this year, our health care workers and first responders who continue to give of themselves for the good of the community. As I put 2020 behind me and head into 2021, I plan on continuing to focus on all the positive and good people and experiences that living in our unique and beautiful area provides.”
Jason Lacy, Steamboat Springs City Council president
“If 2020 has reminded me of anything, it is that I should be thankful for all of the things that I sometimes take for granted. First, I am thankful that I have an amazing wife and three special little boys who always keep my life interesting. For any success that I have had in life it is primarily due to their unwavering support and never-ending ability to lift my spirits even on the toughest of days. While some of the days can seem long (as I am certain that parents of young children can understand), the special moments that we have together are priceless beyond what words can describe. Thank you Dervla, Declan, Ronan and Lochlan for being the constant joys in my life.
I am also thankful to live in a community that relentlessly lifts up one another through the good and bad times. During the past year, I witnessed so many people go above the call of duty to provide support to others in so many ways whether it be food, financial support or general kindness and concern for others.
If anybody wonders why this place is so wonderful, the answer is very simple — the people. From the people that work, volunteer and donate to our many nonprofit organizations to the great team of people that I work with at the city of Steamboat Springs to all of the people who work and give their time, money and talents to help others without any desire or expectation of recognition, thank you for everything you do.
Many people in this world do not have these things in their lives so I am thankful for every day that I get to live and experience all of this and so much more here in our community.”
Tim Selby, Heart of Steamboat United Methodist Church pastor
“I am thankful to live in a community where people really care about each other. I don’t know what this winter will look like, but I do know there will be people giving, serving, loving and helping to take care of their neighbors and friends. I’m so thankful to be in this beautiful valley and for my wonderful family, friends and colleagues.”
Gary Suiter, Steamboat Springs city manager
“I am thankful for my family and friends, my health and my job. I regularly think about how lucky we are to live in such a desirable place and how fortunate I am to work with a high-performing City Council and staff. We have an amazing team at the city that truly makes my job easier.”
To reach Lisa Schlichtman, call 970-871-4221, email lschlichtman@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @lschlichtman.
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1. UPDATED: Steamboat man dies, 2 others injured after 2-car wreck behind Old Town Hot Springs