What are local leaders thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday? Here's what they told us:
“I'm thankful to be alive, to be honest with you. With all the unfortunate incidents we had in our office this year with losing two deputies, I'm just fortunate to be alive right now and to have good health and to be living another day.”
— Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens
“I’m thankful for family, freedom and the time that I've been blessed with. And I hope for more. The older I get, the more thankful I am for the time I get to spend with my family and friends.”
— David Chastain, chair, Cobb County Board of Education
“As we look out (at) a world increasingly full of oppressive, dictatorial regimes, I feel thankful to live in the freedom of the United States. I feel thankful as a practicing Jew to live in a country that allows me the freedom to observe the (tenets) of my religion without fear of persecution. I am beyond grateful that freedom of religion is enshrined as a sacred value of our Constitution, and that we see the diversity of our religious life as a strength rather than a weakness.”
— Rabbi Daniel Dorsch, Congregation Etz Chaim
“I am thankful for my family, friends, good health, and for being a part of such a welcoming and loving community.”
— Marietta High School Principal Marco Holland
“I’m thankful for my family, friends, and health. I’m grateful to live in a city where the residents support the men and women of the Marietta Police Department. I’m blessed to have the opportunity to be the Police Chief in the city that I grew up in and love.”
— Marietta Police Chief Marty Ferrell
“I’ve got several things. One being I’m obviously thankful for my family and being able to spend time with family. My mom passed just recently, and so being able to spend time with my family is going to be very, very important. And then, you know, it sounds crazy, but I'm very thankful that I get to serve the community that I grew up in. I’m a lifelong resident of Cobb, went to Cobb County schools, and so, for me, it's a very humbling and an awesome opportunity.”
— Cobb Fire Chief Bill Johnson
“This year I am thankful for our teachers and staff who love and support our students, my Board of Education colleagues, Dr. Rivera and our district leadership, my friends both near and far and most importantly, my family. Happy Thanksgiving to all!”
— Kerry Minervini, chair, Marietta Board of Education
“I am thankful for the opportunity to continue to serve my community for another four years. I am blessed with a healthy family, a supportive wife, and an amazing staff.”
— Rob Leonard, chief judge, Cobb Superior Court
“Family. We've had some losses and we've had some births. Some of them are leaving and some of them are coming in. We're loving every one of them and enjoying every last day to the fullest.” — Cobb school board member Leroy Tre’ Hutchins.
“This year I'm especially thankful for my family. My wife and I celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary last Wednesday, so I'm thankful for my marriage. I celebrated my fifth year at First Presbyterian Church. I'm very thankful for the time I've had here with this congregation.”
— Joe Evans, senior pastor, First Presbyterian Church Marietta
“I am truly thankful for, first of all, my family, my husband of 67 years that’s just been a great father and a great husband, and I’m thankful for the affirmation of being a contributor to our communities here in Cobb County.”
— Deane Bonner, president emeritus, Cobb County NAACP
“Typical stuff: I’m thankful for my family, my health, two beautiful grandkids, and having the opportunity to be a Superior Court judge in Cobb County.” Reynolds added he’s thankful for his employees at the court, and, teasingly, "for not having to deal with (MDJ editor) Jon Gillooly every day."
— Cobb Superior Court Judge Vic Reynolds
“This Thanksgiving, I'm especially thankful for my family, my community, and the chance to represent them on the Cobb County School Board.”
— Cobb school board member-elect Becky Sayler
“I’m especially thankful this year for Support Smyrna. This 501(c)(3) organization is making a substantial impact helping citizens in need in Smyrna, including veterans, children, seniors, families and others. I can’t wait to see the good work Support Smyrna will do in our community going forward. www.supportsmyrna.org.”
— Smyrna Mayor Derek Norton
“I am thankful for all the blessings and opportunities that are afforded to me daily; conversations that lead to better understanding and cherishing each moment.”
— Cobb Commissioner Keli Gambrill
"I am always thankful for my wonderful husband and four fun boys! This year, I am especially thankful that both my parents, Jim and Anita Erickson; and in-laws, David and Nancy Hunter, have each been married for over 50 years! Their example of marriage(s) based on faith, selflessness and unconditional love is a beautiful example that I am grateful my young sons are able to witness."
— Marietta school board member Jaillene Hunter
"I am so happy that people will be able to gather together again with family. I hear about the airports being crowded with travelers, I hear about the many people who will be traveling by road, people feel comfortable about celebrating Thanksgiving with family as they have always done before COVID. Growing up in Ireland, I did not celebrate Thanksgiving, but I have grown to love this time of the year. As Pastor of Saint Joseph’s I will celebrate just one Mass at 10 a.m. for the whole community, I will bless some loaves of bread that we will distribute to the members to take home and share with the Thanksgiving meal. Later, I will visit some old friends in Peachtree City, and we will give thanks together."
— Monsignor John Walsh, pastor, Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church
Around Town is taking Saturday off and will return next week. Until then, we wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving holiday.
“As we express our gratitude," President John F. Kennedy once said, "we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”