• April 8, 2020

List of thanks goes on and on - Odessa American: Local News

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  • Giving Thanks

    Cars filled with families slowly drive through the arches near the entrance of Starbright Village as they approach the light displays that fill McKinney Park. Every year, McKinney park is turned into a Christmas light wonderland with displays that tower over the pathway that winds through them.

Posted: Tuesday, December 24, 2019 3:30 am

As you prepare to celebrate this holiest of holidays we invite you to think about what you are thankful for this holiday.

Maybe a new job or a new baby or even your good health and prosperity are at the top of your thankfulness list. The Odessa American asked a number of Odessans what they are thankful for this holiday season and here are the responses:

“This Christmas season, I’m thankful for God’s wonderful blessings (none of which I deserve) if family, community and those who risk their lives to protect others. My wife and our 4-year old daughter are my world. I’m thankful to love Shelby and to be loved by her, and we’re overjoyed to see how Hollis Rose is leading to spell, add and tell funny jokes as she prepares to start kindergarten next year. I’m also grateful to our extended family for helping Shelby and me raise Hollis while we balance other responsibilities. “

State Rep. Brooks Landgraf

“I have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.  I live in the best community – I wouldn’t live anywhere else but Odessa!  I have the best job – I get to promote my hometown every day and meet amazing people who do good work!  Personally, I am surrounded with blessings from good health, friends and a wonderful, supportive family.  This particular Christmas, I am so very thankful that our family gets to celebrate another season with my incredible 85 year old parents who live in the same house my sister and I grew up in.  We are all very aware of what a wonderful blessing this is!”

Renee Earls, CEO/president of Odessa Chamber of Commerce

“I am thankful that we live in a country where we can celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ without fear. I am thankful for my wife, Monica, of 30 years whom I love more every day! I am thankful that I get to serve the citizens of Ector County.”

Dusty Gallivan, Ector County attorney

“I am thankful for my health, my wife and kids and that I live in America. I am also thankful for the unconditional love that Jesus Christ gives me everyday. I am also thankful for my MCH family and the love and care they give to all those that pass through our doors.”

Russell Tippin, Medical Center Health System CEO

“I am thankful to live in a community that gives back and takes care of its own. Turning the Aug. 31 shooting tragedy into an effort to raise over $1 million for those victims and their families by the Odessa Chamber of Commerce and to see the love and outpouring from the entire community makes all of us feel so humble. I think all of us in West Texas can be thankful for that.”

D. Kirk Edwards, Odessa oilman and Latigo Petroleum president

“Christmas is a special time for me from a personal standpoint. I have fond memories because growing up in Hobbs, my parents always tried to make it a special time for us kids. Religiously, it’s the time we celebrate God’s keeping of all the promises he had made to simple humanity in the Old Testament. He said he was going to take this broken world and send a perfect king, a perfect savior to make it right again.”

The Rev. James Cosentino, associate pastor of Greenwood Baptist Church

“Jesus is God’s greatest gift to mankind. As spiritual people, we’re very appreciative and celebrate that sincerely from the heart. Jesus did the creating and has always been the gift. We get caught up in the materialism and get distracted. We’ve got kids and grandkids and all kinds of parties to go to.

“It can get over-commercialized with all the politics. You spend this much money on this kid, so you’ve got to spend the same amount on that one over there. You have to keep reminding yourself and your loved ones that it is about Jesus.”

The Rev. Eddy Elliott, pastor of Solid Rock Fellowship Out West

“I’m extremely proud of my children. One graduated from Texas A&M this year with his master’s degree and the other is at Tarleton and she’s knocking it out of the park. It makes you feel good to see your children successful and happy.”

Odessa Police Department Chief Michael Gerke

“Really and truly, I’m thankful that the good lord blessed me with life every day. I’m thankful for my friends and family and my community. I’m more blessed than I deserve.”

Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis

“I am thankful for the opportunity to serve the Permian Basin community by graduating our largest class in history this year.”

University of Texas Permian Basin President Sandra Woodley

“I’m thankful that God has blessed me with a loving, healthy family.”

ECISD Director of Fine Arts Aaron Hawley

“I am most grateful for the opportunity to serve a community that cares so deeply for its children.”

ECISD Superintendent Scott Muri

“I am thankful for a community that continues to value education and is focused on improving support and service to students. The partnerships forged throughout the community this year will place qualified teachers in our classrooms and increase educational attainment in this region.”

Odessa College President Gregory Williams

“I’m thankful for everybody on my team and my family that supports me and my friends. I’m also thankful to have the opportunity to come out and do everything I love with my job, school and sports.”

Aariell Washington, Permian, girls basketball, senior

“I’m thankful for my team, my coaches and my family.”

Natalie Baeza, Permian, girls basketball, senior

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to impact kids’ lives.”

Danny Servance, Odessa High head football coach and athletic coordinator

“I’m thankful every day for my family, health and the opportunity to coach the sport I love.”

Cecilia Kellar, Odessa High girls soccer coach

“I’m thankful to be telling the story of a remarkable and talented group of young men as they strive toward their goals. I am grateful to be working for a great organization like the Odessa Jackalopes and I look forward to the rest of the season and what stories are yet to be told.”

Jason Ruff, Media Relations/Radio Broadcaster, Odessa Jackalopes

“Christmas is a very special season. Even in the business, on that day we get to pause and reflect on the many gifts that are not purchased. The gift of family, of love, of making memories. The gift of God's love bundled up in simplicity and yet we still are in awe. Let us always remember these gifts are given every day.”

Captain Clara Gomez, Salvation Army of Odessa

Odessa, TX

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