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Thanksgiving 2012: What Are You Thankful For?

Thanksgiving less than a month after the superstorm that ravaged the area has made taking the time to give thanks even more precious to most this year.

What are you thankful for this year? We reached out and asked some officials in Mendham and Chester what they were thankful for and received some wonderful responses.

Superintendent of the West Morris Regional School District Mackey Pendergrast, was grateful for his family and for unsung heroes.

"I am thankful for the beauty and wisdom of my wife and the love and laughter of my children. I am also thankful for the many unsung heroes in our community who work quietly and selflessly for the common good." 

Mendham Borough Mayor Neil Henry said he was most thankful for good health and for family this year. And Mendham Borough Police Chief Pat Libertino said that for him, every day was thanksgiving.

Regional Board of Education member Marcia Asdal joked that she was thankful she ran the Marine Corps Marathon before Thanksgiving. But Asdal also had a serious message of thanks as well.

"Seriously, I am thankful that there are still many patriotic, highly-educated and thoughtful young people who are willing to join the military and do their best to make a positive impact on the world and the armed services. I just said Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday and most poignantly, goodbye, to a friend of the family, an Army captain, who is a Millburn High School and William & Mary alum, returning to the combat outpost Honaker Miracle in Afghanistan for his second tour of duty. There couldn't be a better role model to his enlisted charges than this young officer.

We will be remembering him in our Thanksgiving prayers, as well as my daughters and all their friends who are serving our country."

Men and women serving overseas was also on the mind of Mendham Township Police Lieutenant Vito Abrusci this Thanksgiving.

"This Thanksgiving I am grateful that my entire family will be in the US as my son was deployed during last years’ holidays in Afghanistan. We expect to have a family meal together on Saturday. Having a close family is extremely important to us .

After experiencing the difficulties caused by Sandy, I feel fortunate that I only suffered the loss of electricity for 14 days.  This is a mere inconvenience as I have seen others lose everything they have, including life. Many amazing people stepped up throughout this disaster and it is comforting to know that there are still many caring people in our communities."

Chester Consolidated School Superintendent Christina VanWoert also said she was thankful for family this year. Those both in and outside of her home.

"At this time of year, I am most immediately grateful for my children and my husband, who keep my life filled with love and laughter. I am remarkably lucky to have many, many incredible friends in my life as well. I am also most grateful for my Chester Family of staff, students, parents and community members who remind my how truly blessed I am to fill each of my days with a clear and direct mission to help our Chester children live lives of great joy, great meaning, and great purpose."

A sense of purpose is what drove Mendham Township resident and Regional Board of Education member Jamie Button to battle back from a devastating leg injury to return to running form. In fact, Button recently ran in the Philadelphia Marathon.

"My time, 3:11:53, was 3 1/2 minutes faster than in last year's New York City Marathon which I ran four days before I butchered my leg with a chain saw, severing my peroneal nerve and paralyzing my foot.  A year ago I was lying in a Morristown Memorial Hospital bed wondering if I would ever walk again. So I have lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving."

For his part, Mendham and Chester Patch editor Russ Crespolini is thankful for the blessings of his family, friends and all of you who take the time to be a part of our news site.

I am grateful for all of my officials who help keep me in the loop, the residents who not only keep me honest and make sure I am hitting important events but take the time to upload photos, post comments and blogs and join in on our news conversation.

I am thankful, and grateful for your continued support. Your newsletter signups, your Facebook likes, your e-mails to my inbox, your hugs on the street are all very much appreciated.

So Happy Thanksgiving from Mendham-Chester Patch!

Now how about you take a few moments and tell us what you are thankful for in the comments below (you knew I was going to ask)?

Henry Krinkle November 23, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Thankful for all of this available space to express all that I'm thankful for. Seriously though, in a nutshell, I'm most thankful to have all of the freedoms necessary to pursue happiness, and the success achieved in that pursuit.
Mary Jane Canose November 25, 2012 at 09:50 PM
I am thankful for our Patch reporter who does such a terrific job of keeping us informed. His enthusiasm, energy and sincere interest in our community is greatly appreciated!
Russ Crespolini (Editor) November 25, 2012 at 09:55 PM
Now that is entirely too kind, Mary Jane. :-) Thank YOU!

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