Jim Clark: Looking back with gratitude
As we head into the traditional holiday season, I like to look back and think of the things in my life I am most thankful for.
Having just experienced one of the strangest national elections (the 2000 Bush vs. Gore was contentious), I’m thankful we live in a country where we have free elections, where we can speak freely without fear of prosecution. We live in a free and prosperous nation. As an international missionary once told me, “If you live in the United States, you’ve already won the lottery.”
I’m also grateful we live in a place where people are generous. Steamboat Springs supports more than 200 nonprofit organizations, and it is truly amazing that a community of this size can find a way to get behind so many causes. As a board member of Routt County United Way, I’d be remiss if I didn’t ask you to consider supporting our local United Way, or the charity of your choice, on Yampa Valley Gives Day Dec. 6.
My organization and my job are something I give thanks for. The Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association does work I’m proud of. Our Leadership Steamboat program, in conjunction with Colorado Mountain College, develops community leaders and educates those participants to encourage civic engagement and knowledge.
The Young Professionals Network gives our upcoming citizens a chance to participate, and the organization does a great job of raising money for local scholarships.
Our Economic Development Council works collectively to nurture and grow local business and provide education and resources for local companies and small businesses.
We produce signature special events and market our destination effectively, with very limited resources. I’m proud to work with such a great staff and group of volunteer leaders.
It’s also been my privilege to live in Colorado for more than 20 years and experience much of what this great state offers. We love our special place, and we have a duty to preserve the great outdoors. It’s also been my honor to invite people to visit our state, spend money and provide tax revenue and jobs. Much of Colorado is owned by the people of the United States. Let’s share it gracefully.
We should also be thankful, as am I, for those who run for and serve in public office. These positions often pay poorly, and the scrutiny in today’s environment can be brutal. I’m particularly thankful for the hard-working staff at the city and the county. These folks also are dedicated and often unappreciated. Thanks for what you do.
Having just celebrated Veterans Day, I owe a debt of gratitude to those who have served our country and our men and women now in uniform.
Thanks, as well, for a dog-friendly community. Our state and town embrace our four-legged friends, and it warms my heart to see them everywhere. To the staff of Ace Hardware, my dog truly loves the way you spoil her.
To the community that has been so kind to me and embraced my family’s arrival, we are so grateful to you. You are friendly, kind and warm. Happy Thanksgiving.
Jim Clark is CEO of the Steamboat Springs Chamber Resort Association.
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