Editorial: Thankfulness list could be a lot longer

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 24, 2005

Albert Lea, as a community, has had a good year in many respects, offering residents a reason to be thankful. While a few of the changes have included goodbyes to some awfully good people, those changes also ensure the community has a fresh perspective and new ideas. Here are some of changes &045; in no particular order and which could be longer &045; we’re thankful for this year:

– The Albert Lea Business Development Center said goodbye to Pam Bishop and hello to Ryan Nolander. Ryan’s knowledge of the community and his desire to grow the city will be an asset.

– Susie Petersen’s hiring as the director of the Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes of conversation with her to know she has great plans. Of course, the new beginning meant saying goodbye to a true champion of the chamber, Marge Hamersly.

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– We said hello to Jackie Myran who took over as executive director of the United Way and because of her enthusiuam and knowledge of the community, working in conjunction with campaign co-chairpeople Randy and Ellen Kehr (for whom we’re also thankful), the United Way’s $520,000 goal is in sight.

– Northbridge Mall is filling fast. The strength of a community can be seen in the success of its mall and its downtown, among other things. While some say downtown is withering, we always see people and cars &045; the signs of a thriving area.

– The school district, in examining financial challenges, continues to look foward to ensure it remains cutting-edge. Exploring the possibility of a Q-Comp plan is just one of many ways they stay at the forefront of what’s best for our citizens and their children.

– The many, many cultural, charitable and service organizations who continuously step forward, sometimes in small steps, sometimes taking great leaps of faith, to lend a hand to others, or to make life better for visitors.

– Of course, mostly, we are thankful for the residents who choose to get involved with those organizations, and who choose to live here, work here and play here. Their generosity, commitment to the city and its people are manifested in the variety of ways they volunteer their time and talents.