From the staff and familiar faces in the paper

Dru Sanchez, publisher: "First and foremost, for my children and grandchildren. But then getting to know the people of our community through our events."

Dan Shearer, editor: "A community filled with engaged, interesting people who appreciate and value a local newspaper — even if they don't always agree with the opinions pages. I'm also grateful that they're generally forgiving when we're having an off day."

Kim Smith, assistant editor/reporter: "I'm grateful my husband and I are relatively healthy, I have a 10-year-old grandson who makes me laugh and a job I'm passionate about at a newspaper with outstanding bosses." 

Karen Walenga, features content coordinator: "Good friends and loving family who warm my heart, as well as talented and dedicated freelance writers and my newspaper colleagues who are a delight year-round."

Jorge Encinas, reporter: "I'm thankful for family, friends and spending the last year working in a community who still care about reading local news and staying involved with current events."

Steve Sinovic, reporter: "So many new people have entered my life in these past few months. So many people have stuck with me for years on end. Not only am I so beyond thankful for them, but I’m also grateful.”

Scott Dyke, Meandering the Mesquite columnist: "Health, family and friends."

Mary Kidnocker, GV Gardeners columnist: "I am thankful for the beauty in my life... beauty created by the unique desert in which I live, the special people who are a part of each day, good health, happy thoughts and being able to recognize and appreciate my many blessings."

Becky McCreary, Genealogy Today columnist: "I am thankful, at this 'vintage' time of my life, to live in a community with educational and volunteer opportunities, cultural diversity and lots of sunshine.

Corky Simpson, Along The Way columnist: "In addition to family and friends, I am grateful for dogs. These marvelous creatures fill your life with loyalty, love and reasons to take a walk. Many of Green Valley’s leading citizens are dogs who take their owners outside regularly and keep them on a tight leash. Among the community’s all-time Hall of Fame bow-wows: Clifford, Angel, Cha-Cha and Muffin. I am also grateful for roundabouts and parking lots designed to challenge even the most experienced drivers — because these things provide matchless and affordable entertainment for those of us who can sit and watch. And last but by no means least, I am grateful that we still have newspapers because you cannot trust television, radio is mostly noise and nonsense, and social media is a monster we most avoid at all costs."

Rosie Romero and the team at Rosie on the House: "We are thankful for the great state of Arizona with its wide open spaces, for its diversity and its endless blue skies. We are thankful for the many places to get out and hike and enjoy the state. And this year we are especially thankful for all the love and support sent our way from all of our Arizona friends and family."

Ellen Sussman, freelance writer: "Simply said, I’m most thankful for good health, great friends, fulfilling work and my wonderful husband."

Bobby Joe Smith, freelance photographer: "I am thankful to everyone at the Sahuarita Sun and the Green Valley News for giving me a chance to resurrect my photographic career following my 26-year retirement."

Local leaders

State Rep. Rosanna Gabaldon: "I am grateful for the new friends that have come into my life, and for the loving memories of the family and friends who I have lost."

Roxana Rico, superintendent, Continental Elementary School District: "I am thankful for the opportunity to serve such an amazing community with hardworking and dedicated students, staff, parents and volunteers."

Manny Valenzuela, superintendent, Sahuarita Unified School District: "I am thankful for my faith, family, friends, country, and this amazing community that I am proud to serve."

Kelly Adams, CEO, Santa Cruz Valley Regional Hospital: "I’m thankful for Green Valley, Sahuarita, Nogales and all the communities in Santa Cruz Valley – because of them our hospital has grown. We have wonderful staff who care, terrific volunteers, new physicians and primary care providers, new labs and a great ER."

Thao Tiedt, president, Green Valley Council: "I am thankful for decent health, a community I love, dear friends and colleagues and, most of all, my two beautiful daughters, their husbands and an outstanding 22-year-old grandson!"

Deborah Acuña, manager, Amado-Green Valley Resource Centers, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona: "I am thankful for the opportunity to serve others in meaningful ways. I am thankful to be part of a community that recognizes need and gives of itself to address need. I am thankful for everyone who has donated food, supported our work with financial contributions, volunteered to serve with us, or attended an event. You help us change lives!"

Tom Murphy, mayor of Sahuarita: "I am a very blessed individual. There are so many things I am thankful for. On a personal note, my family is healthy and thriving. I am thankful and proud of our daughters who are finding their paths to serve others. As mayor, we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of the incorporation of the town this year. I am very fortunate to be part of a team that works hard every day to improve the quality of life of our residents."

Jeremy Sharpe, Chief Operating Officer, Rancho Sahuarita: "I am thankful for the kindness extended to my family with the passing of my father and founder of Rancho Sahuarita, Bob Sharpe. I’m also tremendously grateful for the recent birth of our son, Robbie, and the joy he has brought to our lives."

Carlos Valles, executive director, Sahuarita Food Bank: "I am thankful for all the hard-working and dedicated volunteers at the Sahuarita Food Bank and Community Resource Center who make each and every market day a success. I am also thankful for all the incredible donations and ongoing support from the community who help us make it a success. Thank you!"

Steve Christy, Pima County Supervisor, District 4: "I am thankful for my family, my friends, my community, my country and for being Pima County supervisor for District 4."

Kent Blumenthal, Green Valley Recreation, CEO: "I am thankful to the EMTs, surgeons and doctors, and to the One Higher Authority for protecting my wife and me from further injury in last year’s motorcycle accident and giving us the patience to heal. I am thankful for the many kindnesses bestowed on me and my family that has turned neighbors into friends and friends into loved ones. I’m thankful for the uplifting persona of my co-workers who strive every day to make our community a better place for GVR members and local Green Valley residents.

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