We asked readers and community leaders to tell us what they're thankful for this year. Here are some of their responses.

What should the community be most thankful for as another year begins drawing to a close? What are you thankful for?


“During this Thanksgiving time of year and going into the holiday season, we are once again reminded of how fortunate we are to live in our great land of freedom where we have choices each day about how we live and what we choose to believe in. Our sincere thanks go to our dedicated servicemen and servicewomen who protect our country and keep our nation free. We are free to have the choice to live each day as we believe, and free to try, in our own way, to make a difference in this life. We are free to realize and to appreciate each day’s blessings we have with our families and with our friends.”

Shirl Quick

Blue Springs



“I am thankful for the students and parents of St. Mary’s High School. Because of them I look forward to getting up and going to my job every single day.”

Bud Yazel

teacher, St. Mary’s High School, Independence



“My family and I moved to Independence shortly before Staybridge Suites opened in October of 2009. Since then, we have been delighted by the diversity of our great community. We have become avid fans of the Mavericks and the Comets, participated in the past three Halloween parades and Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festivals, cheered for the Chiefs and the Royals, taken nature walks along the Little Blue Trace Trail and skated at the Community Ice Center. We are proud to live in the place President Truman called home. It is amazing to think we walk the same streets as this great American. Our family is so fortunate to have found a spot in this warm community. For this, we are very thankful.”

Lindsay Chapman

general manager, Staybridge Suites KC-Independence



“I give thanks for graciousness – willingly extended.

“I give thanks for gratitude – freely offered.

“I give thanks for compassion – abundantly shared.

“I should give daily thanks to those whose lives, words and acts (large and small) encourage and challenge me to join in a great conspiracy of thankfulness.”

Brent Schondelmeyer

Independence



“To consider what I am most thankful for, I have to analyze what is dear to me. Naturally, my family and their love are on top. Each member of my family adds so much to my being loved in different ways. Love by far is the most important gift God gave each us. Through his love, we are loved each and every day. So what I am continually thankful for is the many blessings that God has given me such as family, good health and a relationships that can be renewed each day.”

Betty Fullerton

Independence



“Blue Springs has generous citizens. This is shown every day by their support of those who do not have enough food to eat or clothing to wear. Their generosity can be seen by support for the Community Services League by individuals, businesses, schools and churches who help to meet this need. This giving continues to occur by saving a piece of our history. Volunteers who are giving their time and talent to make this occur and a magnanimous couple, who wish to remain anonymous, by their giving a $25,000 donation to the Blue Springs Historical Society’s Save Our Depot effort. I continue to be amazed at our citizens gifts of their talents, their time and their monies in support of our community while expecting nothing in return.”

Mary Potter

president, Blue Springs Historical Society



“I am profoundly grateful for the way our community comes together to care for those who are most in need. Even as we delve into complex poverty issues, we are discovering the joy that comes through building relationships as we serve alongside neighbors from every walk of life who we might not otherwise meet. … As I collect my thoughts on this Thanksgiving Day, they are filled with scenes of my neighbors smiling at one another in friendship as they roll up their sleeves in service.”

Josef Walker

pastor, Ridgeview Christian Church



“I have lived in Blue Springs for 15 years. Even so, I still consider myself somewhat of a newcomer to the Blue Springs business community, only becoming active in the last two and a half years with my position as the president of the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce. I continue to be impressed with Blue Springs. There are good people here. There are people here who are not afraid to dive in and get things done in our community.

“In Blue Springs, I see well rounded people who want the best for their community. They want businesses to succeed and to make this happen they are committed to buying locally and encouraging others to shop in Blue Springs. The people of Blue Springs encourage movement and overall health, wellness and balance in both work and play. They want to participate in, and be informed about all levels of government. They are willing to serve countless hours as volunteers on community boards and/or committees, and they want to take care of those in the community that are less fortunate then themselves. They give and they give generously. The people of Blue Springs are also committed to supporting education, encouraging our youth to learn, grow and be healthy so that they can come back to our community and continue to strengthen Blue Springs.

“I count my blessings to be a part of Blue Springs. As a community, we should be thankful for the families and people who bless our lives.”

Lara Vermillion

president, Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce