Grateful hearts: Lake Oswego weighs in on what to be thankful for
The media has a reputation — sometimes deserved, sometimes misguided — for focusing on the bad news.
That's why the "Our Grateful Hearts" section that runs every Thanksgiving is one of the Review's favorite traditions. It's a chance to reflect, and to honor all that makes life special here in Lake Oswego. As always, we thank everyone who took the time to submit a message about what they're grateful for this year — including a classroom of fourth graders at River Grove Elementary.
— The Review
During this Thanksgiving Season, I am extremely thankful for all of the students, families, staff, faculty, directors and administrators in Lake Oswego. They continue to add deep value to my life and I am very grateful for their continued support over the years! Working in Lake Oswego is truly a blessing!
— Jennifer Schiele, LOSD assistant superintendent
I am thankful for the blessing of living in such a wonderful, caring community and for the fact that my family and I have the wherewithal to eat regularly, and to enjoy some of life's pleasures. I am thankful for the friends and acquaintances we have that make life so much more pleasant and interesting.
I am thankful for the generosity of spirit and means
shown by our citizens that sets such a good example and reminds me of their basic goodness.
— Kent Studebaker, Lake Oswego mayor
I couldn't feel more lucky to have had another year to spend with my little guy, Bear, who seems to be aging in reverse! I am also so grateful to Pat for our jokes, adventures, many long walks and Dateline addiction. He, my family, friends, and of course, volunteering for the Oregon Humane Society and following my true passion to work with animals have helped me through an otherwise very challenging year. I am grateful for so much kindness.
— Jenny Slepian, Lake Oswego sustainability and management analyst
Gratitude comes easily when you spend your days watching middle schoolers enjoy and grow their friendships, discover ideas that become sources of passion, explore issues that broaden their horizons and engage with educators who love and inspire them. The new school being built on our campus serves as another source of appreciation and excitement as we all work together to build an exciting future for our kids and community. I am deeply thankful to be part of a learning community of students, families and staff whose commitment and support are daily sources of joy.
— Kurt Schultz, Lakeridge Middle School principal
I'm thankful this year for my wife Terri Childress. She has selflessly supported me this year as my friend and partner in life and business. I'm blessed in Christ to have her in our work together. She is a champion for those in need, volunteering for Hunger Fighters Oregon, Rotary and River West Church Foster Care ministries. Our family knows well that we are loved by her genuine care for us. I'm also thankful for the blessing of our children who love and support each other. (They take after their mother.) Finally, I'm thankful for the blessing of friends in Lake Oswego. They care for each other and give selflessly to the community here and all over the world.
— Craig Childress
This year as we reflect on what we are thankful for, several things come to mind. We are extremely thankful for the love and support of our wives and families, the amazing co-workers with whom we get to serve this community, and the ability to perform a job we truly love. Happy Thanksgiving!
— Joe Hires, Paul Lauritzon and Dan Hires,
Lake Oswego Fire Department 210 shift B
What a year 2019 has been! I'm extremely grateful that I get to do a job that I love being a teacher. My fourth grade students impress me every day with the kindness they show each other and the grit they have when doing difficult things. I'm grateful to have a loving, supportive family and happy, healthy children.
— Kelly Hutchison, River Grove Elementary fourth grade teacher
This year I am very grateful for my family, shelter and friends. I am grateful for school, an amazing teacher and a good education. I am grateful for food and water. There are many things to be grateful for this year, it has been an awesome year. Family and friends give me fun and comfort. Shelter gives you warmth. Schools, teachers and education helps you learn. Food and water help you survive. When you think about this, you might think "thank you." I hope everyone agrees with me that there is much to be grateful for.
— Elijah Miller, River Grove Elementary fourth grader
Where does one start? I am eternally grateful for my family, friends and colleagues that are part of my life. They all keep me energized, engaged and supported. I am grateful for our community that I feel fortunate to live in. And I am most grateful for my wife Lisa that continually amazes me each and every day.
— John Wendland, Lake Oswego city councilor
I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with children and their caregivers who value and appreciate the library so very much as a place for learning, exploring and engaging with old friends and making new ones. Our supportive community inspires me to create new and engaging programming. Our library community is curious and their desire to learn is evident every time they visit and for them we are building a diverse and inclusive collection of materials. Thank you all for loving and using your public library.
— Andrea Milano, Youth Services/Technical Services manager at Lake Oswego Library
Oregon lost an incredible American as Gert Boyle, the intrepid CEO of Columbia Sportswear, recently passed away. My wife Jennifer and I had the pleasure of meeting Gert at PDX when she was greeting people at the Columbia store. With a twinkle in her eye and an incredible life story, she was truly an ambassador for her company, Oregon and all immigrants coming to America.
A few years ago I read her famous book, "One Tough Mother," about her journey from pre-war Germany to the male-dominated boardroom of the company she had to run upon the death of her husband. I gave the book to my mom because she too has been a loving, tough mother who raised three children to be good people and citizens, and because my grandmother also left Germany when the Nazis were grabbing power. A very special moment in my life is when my grandmother told us about her experience leaving Europe and first seeing the Statue of Liberty and shores of the United States.
As a single mother with no business experience, Gert Boyle defied all odds as she took command of Columbia and said let's move forward when she was told no by internal and external forces. The company is now one of the largest employers in the Pacific Northwest and its ads touting its sportswear's toughness in extreme conditions, which starred Gert, are classic Americana.
Gert and my grandmother were immigrants. They fled Germany when the Nazis were spewing racism and hatred. This Thanksgiving we will be giving thanks for them and the millions of immigrants who came to the U.S. to find a better life and helped build the multi-cultural, melting pot we call America. Thank you Gert for your life, your company, the twinkle in your eye and for being one tough American mother.
— John and Jennifer LaMotte
I am grateful for a healthy and happy family, for new and old friends, and for the opportunity to lead and learn in Lake Oswego. I'm grateful that my husband and I chose to say "yes" to this Pacific Northwest adventure, so that we could experience the natural beauty and incredible people we encounter every day.
— Lora de la Cruz, Lake Oswego School District superintendent
This year I am thankful for my parents, my friends, my teachers they really lift me up and make me feel good about myself. I am also grateful for organizations I support like Save the turtles, and the Red Cross. They have saved many lives this year; if not for them many people that are alive would be dead right now and Save the Turtles is helping fix the wrongdoing to our environment. I am thankful for many things this year and I cannot possibly say them all in less than 100 words, so I am going to stop here.
— Pippa Southard, River Grove Elementary fourth grader
I am thankful for lots of things, but I am most grateful for my family. My mom cooks meals for me, my dad does my family's finances to keep a good budget, and my sister, what does my sister do? Sometimes she plays wiffle ball with me.
I am also very grateful for my friends. They play with me at recess, and they are just very friendly and helpful.
And my pets. When I am in the house my dog, Amos keeps me good company. This Thanksgiving I will be very thankful.
— Reid Safley, River Grove Elementary fourth grader
This year has been great so thanks to everyone for making it great.
Thanks to family and friends
Thanks for food and water
Thanks for shelter and beds
Thanks for love and respect
Thanks for good times
Thanks for clothing and blankets
Thanks for computers and schools
Thanks to teacher and parents
Thanks to workers
Thanks for books
Thanks for pets
Thanks for holidays
Thanks for TV and toys
Thanks to all of Oregon.
— Megan Sewell, River Grove Elementary fourth grader
I'm grateful for my house. I am so grateful we have running water in my house and food. I am really grateful for such a good family. I'm grateful to be living. I'm grateful to have such a good life and really good friends. I am happy to have such a good life.
— Burke Beatty, River Grove Elementary fourth grader
We are especially thankful that both of our grand girls (above) moved close by, that we have the stamina to keep up with their antics and that they are thriving in excellent schools which truly value each individual child's particular talents and ability.
— Bob and Linda Brown
This year, I'm grateful for the opportunity to report on education in Lake Oswego and for all the kind people I've met here so far.
— Asia Alvarez Zeller, education reporter
I am grateful for the many students, parents, staff and community members that have helped make this community such a wonderful place to be a part of. There have been many moments of transformation that has demonstrated the uniqueness of Lake Oswego and I am extremely grateful to be a part of it. I am also grateful for having my beautiful family who keep me centered in every facet of my life.
— David Salerno Owens
Lake Oswego School District director of equity and
I am grateful for many things. I love my mom and my dad. My older brother, my pets and to have a warm, cozy house for me to live in.
I am grateful for my video game system and the games I have on it. I am grateful for my food and school. I am grateful for my friends. And these are the things I'm grateful for.
— Grayson C., River Grove Elementary fourth grader
Gratitude and thanks. I remind myself daily of all that which is good in life. With family and friends who support and love me, I understand how fortunate I am. How fortunate I am to live in this amazing community. We are a community engaged, ready to help, to speak up, to pitch in. A community that honestly and truly cares. I am humbled to serve this community, to be a steward of this beautiful place. For all of that I give thanks. With a grateful heart I wish everyone a peaceful, meaningful, fulfilling holiday season!
— Jackie Manz, Lake Oswego city councilor
Thanksgiving is extra special for us this year, because of our family living in Lake Oswego. We joined my parents, long-time local residents, four years ago in choosing this beautiful community with strong schools as our home. This past summer, my in-laws relocated here from India to be near us and watch their granddaughter grow up. A highlight since their move was the warm welcome they received from the Lake Oswego Rotary Club as new members. In addition, we are grateful for the wonderful neighbors and the fantastic friends we are lucky to have. What a blessing!
— Neelam Gupta and Kabir Bhatia
As we enter the holiday season I am grateful for the lessons learned from my parents, the relationships with my family, the gifts of friendships from my friends, the opportunity to have the time to be of service to others and being fortunate enough to live in a city, a state that has and continues to provide a marvelous place to live, work and play.
— Jeff Gudman
For yellow bears stuffed with fluff, cats with piglet pink ears, and family and friends warm to
embrace. For the little things, for warm vanilla lattes, thick novels with crisp pages, and erasable
pens. For time spent at the movies, out of state and across the ocean. For all this and more, I
celebrate the season with thanks.
— Peyton Reign
I am grateful and proud to be able to serve as the Co-Founder and President of Respond to Racism in Lake Oswego. I am grateful for all the people who have joined hands and hearts with me to do the work that needs to be done to make our city a better place for all people regardless of ethnicity or race. I am thankful for the school district and city officials who have recognized the long history of racism in Lake Oswego but are willing to work collaboratively to make changes today. I am grateful for my family.
— Willie Poinsette
Every year as our vibrant doses of Vitamin D are cut short and our gloomy days with dark clouds billowing overhead seem to loom just a bit longer, I realize how thankful I am for our Oregon sunshine.
My happiness is found in the outdoors, shimmering among blades of grass with a book peeled open, a blanket spread and light summer snacks in arm's reach. My happiness is found sprinkled on the coastal waters, in the summer breeze driving to the next destination or at the summit of one of our state's gorgeous outdoor excursions.
The sunshine brings happiness, joy, spontaneity and motivation to be active and travel. For that — as I now hibernate indoors at 6 p.m. in the dark — I am thankful.
— Clara Howell, reporter
I am grateful for a house over my head and my pets to comfort me so I do not get lonely. I am so happy that my parents can buy my favorite books and take me to places I like, such as: Wings & Waves, the beach, Wonderland, swimming pools and Disneyland. I'm grateful when I get to ride my bike with my family and go on playdates and sleepovers with friends. I'm grateful to learn at school.
— T.J. Mitchell River Grove Elementary fourth grader
To our readers and advertisers I'd like to say how thankful I am for your ongoing support and commitment to community journalism. Every week the staff of the Review works hard to be Lake Oswego's best source of local news and advertising. Knowledge is power and by informing, engaging and inspiring our readers with great local news we hope to build a stronger Lake Oswego.
To my family and friends, I wish to say how much I appreciate your support. This is something that we should never take for granted and I pledge to work harder at being there for you in the same way that you have always been there for me.
— J. Brian Monihan, publisher
I am thankful for my wide circle of supportive family and friends, and the countless blessings and everyday miracles of my life.
— Barb Randall, community editor
In a year dominated by some distinct changes in my life, I'm thankful for the constants: an ever-supportive and loving family, the best group of friends anyone could ask for, and colleagues whose drive, creativity, humor and intelligence inspire me every day.
— Patrick Malee, editor
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