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Citizens of Wilsonville and folks who work in the city share what they're grateful for this year

This Thanksgiving I'm grateful on two levels. First and most important, on a personal level I'm thankful, as I am every day, that my family is healthy, happy and successful. Second, from a broader perspective, in this period of rancorous political and social divide, I'm thankful and grateful that our national governmental institutions remain vibrant and responsive, and that the resilience of our democracy continues to flourish despite the challenges we face.

— Larry WalkerLarry Walker

Charbonneau

Personally, like many, I am very grateful for a healthy family and the time I have with them. I am also thankful for the great outdoors here in Oregon, which allows for beautiful hiking, biking and swimming. Professionally, I am thankful for an outstanding staff and a supportive community and city.

— Robert WurpesRobert Wurpes

Wilsonville Police Chief

I am thankful for the many caring people in our community — their skills, service and commitment. I am thankful for my wonderful family that helps me laugh, persevere and find joy every day. And, I am thankful for imagination, flexibility and grace; the beauty of the unexpected; and the courage to live with love.

— Kristin AkervallKristin Akervall

Wilsonville city councilor

I think one of the greatest hopes a parent can have for their child is for an educational community that comes alongside them on the journey. Building Blocks now sits in the heart of Wilsonville, but our family first found the preschool in its former location in Charbonneau when our daughter was 4. Now, four years later, it has become a second family to both of my kids. The teachers are friends and there isn't a question in the world that I haven't asked Director Gina Hieb via text at all hours of the day or night regarding my children and their crazy antics. This Thanksgiving, as I reflect on the things that have impacted my family the most profoundly as me and my husband raise our children, the Building Blocks community is one of the first things on my list.

— Heather Mayer

Wilsonville

This year comes to a close, and I am feeling particularly thankful that my husband and I achieved a long-held dream: obtaining a small piece of land in the remote mountain valley where he was raised.

— Leslie Pugmire HoleLeslie Pugmire Hole

Spokesman editor

I'm grateful for the opportunity to work alongside a group of professional, customer-driven employees. I'm equally thankful to work for a supportive City Council that thinks strategically, and puts the long-term interests of the city at the forefront of every decision. Personally, I'm thankful for my family, my friends and good health.

— Bryan CosgroveBryan Cosgrove

Wilsonville City Manager

Thankful to have lived most of my life in the U.S. — Oregon, Wilsonville. Before realizing that God has a plan, I thought I was in control. I would make plans, and when my plan didn't work, I would re-plan. Then when my Mom passed it was like a light bulb finally turned on: "Give it to God." I had listened to her advice, but never really heard. Thank you for being my guardian angel, Mom. Thank you, God, for your sense of humor and allowing me to share it with so many around the world in our book "Ordinary Person - Extraordinary Experiences.

— Suzy SivyerSuzy Sivyer

Wilsonville author

This is a special time of year when we are reminded to slow down, gather our friends and family close, and give thanks for all that we have to be grateful for. I am grateful for my children, husband, family and extended family.

I am incredibly grateful to work in a school district that is so deeply dedicated to creating safe and welcoming learning environments for all students, and I am incredibly thankful for the generosity of the West Linn and Wilsonville communities. Thanks to all of you, our school district's capital bond and local option levy measures passed by the highest margins our district has ever seen. Your continued investment in our schools and students will pay dividends for this community for generations to come.

I am grateful for our teachers, staff, parents and community members for continuing to support our students. Above all else, I am grateful for the tremendous generosity of time, talent and spirit that fills our schools. Thank you for all that you do. Your efforts allow for the many successes of our students.

— Kathy LudwigKathy Ludwig

West Linn-Wilsonville superintendent

As I ponder the many things I am grateful for this year, like the sweetest cream, a few things rise to the top. First, I am grateful to live in a place that values my worth. A place that acknowledges and accepts the diversity of human personality. Next, I am most grateful to be given the opportunity to serve others. As Martin Luther King Jr. believed, "everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." Finally, I am grateful to have friends. Although my friends may be few, those I have are inestimably precious to me.

— Dwight BrashearDwight Brashear

SMART Director

In light of recent recent reports that the Chinese government has been detaining Muslims and forcing them to complete indoctrination programs, this year I'm feeling thankful for freedom of expression and religious practice. We may all have different ideas about virtually any topic, but the freedom to think for ourselves and express what we believe is a special privilege that many throughout the world are not permitted. On a less serious note, I'm thankful for stuffing, gravy and apple pie. Happy holidays!

— Corey BuchananCorey Buchanan

Spokesman assistant editor

My wife and I recently celebrated my 50th birthday with a perfect three-day weekend in New York City, a wonderful reminder that experiences are better than stuff. I'm grateful for fresh warm bagels, crosstown strolls, sleeping in, catching up with old friends and the opportunity to enjoy awe-inspiring live theater on Broadway. A great escape with a most incredible partner. We were both grateful to come home to two confident children who keep us young, make us laugh, challenge us and dirty an inordinate number of dishes on a daily basis!

— Bill EvansBill Evans

City of Wilsonville communications and marketing manager


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