Many reasons to be thankful

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 - 19:00

There’s nothing quite like Thanksgiving.

Many holidays throughout the year — religious observances such as Christmas, Easter, Hanukah and Ramadan — are far more significant to the faithful. Others, like New Year’s or Halloween, might appeal more to partiers. But when it comes down to celebrating the things that make us who we are as a nation, it’s hard to beat America’s annual late November tradition.

It’s a holiday that unites us not in faith, but in spirit. Although most of us will say a prayer over our holiday meals this season, one of the best things about Thanksgiving is that it isn’t a religious holiday at all. No matter what religion you practice — or even if you don’t — it’s a good bet you’ll be sitting down to a big meal surrounded by family and friends this Thanksgiving. While religion certainly has its place in our society, it’s nice to have a holiday whose sole purpose is uniting everyone under the common idea that we all have reasons to be thankful.

Here at the Star, we’ve got lots to be thankful for this year, and we’d like to take this opportunity to share a few reasons with you, our loyal readers.

First, we’re thankful for our longevity. We’re nearing the end of our 41st year serving this community, a milestone that couldn’t have been reached without the faithful support of hundreds of local businesses that have advertised with us over the years. We believe in community journalism, and we’re thankful we’ve got such a supportive group of businesses that believe in us, too.

We’re thankful for our contributors. The weekly columns we receive from the Lions Club, Chugiak-Eagle River Historical Society and Love, INC. are a great source of information, opinion and community news that can’t be found anywhere else. Frank Baker’s “Mountain Echoes” column is one of our most popular features, so we’re very thankful to Frank for his hard work. And without our freelancers — who this year included Zaz Hollander, Ruth DeGraaff, Kellie Doherty, Michele White, John Hebert and Chuck Legge — it would be nearly impossible for us to put out a newspaper every week.

We’re thankful for our employees. Reporter Mike Nesper runs himself ragged jumping from one community event to the next. Meanwhile, office manager Belinda Cummings, who also handles legal advertising (and baking cookies), keeps things running smooth and sane at our Eagle River home base. Our page designer, Germaine Grant, is a wizard at putting our paper together and making things look pretty on tight deadlines. And Debbie Rinkey, our newest team member, is a tireless advertising executive who knows her community inside and out. Without the efforts of these hard-working folks — and many others who work at Morris Communications in Anchorage — we’d be lost.

We’re also thankful for Lee and Barbara Jordan. More than four decades ago, Mr. Jordan founded this newspaper because he felt Chugiak-Eagle River needed an independent voice for its residents. Thanks to Lee’s dedication (and Barbara’s patience and support), the Chugiak-Eagle River Star remains a trusted source of local information. And we’re thankful the Jordans remain an active part of our community.

Finally, we’re most thankful for you, our readers. There’s nothing more gratifying than hearing from someone about how they were informed or affected by our stories. Whether you read our paper for news about the community, military, schools, sports or commentary, we love that you do and hope you will continue to for years to come. A newspaper is nothing without its readers, and we wish to thank all of you for making this paper — and this wonderful community — such a special place to work and live.

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