With the spirit of Thanksgiving on many people’s minds, The Patterson Irrigator reached out to several local community leaders to ask, “What are you thankful for?” These are some of their responses.

City Council Member Dominic A. Farinha:

“When I received the request from Mr. Benefield to share what I am thankful for this Thanksgiving; a range of emotions came over me when I started to dedicate the time to this important inquiry that it deserves. First and foremost, I am very thankful that I was brought up in a loving household where faith, family, conviction of heart and the Lord Christ were the main focal points of life. I am also thankful for being born in America and still have so many fundamental freedoms that so many other nations do not possess. Moreover, I am grateful that I was born in Patterson and have been able to live here the majority of my life. Adding to that, I am thankful that the citizens of Patterson granted their trust in me to serve on the Patterson City Council and represent them. Public office has never been easy and has often been a bumpy ride from time to time, but despite that, I do not regret taking the initiative to run and the serve the community I love.”

City Council Member Shivaugn Alves:

“What am I thankful for?

The moments. Each one.

This time on Earth, to experience life, is the greatest gift we are all given.

Family. Those who think about you, love you, and show up for you, near or far. The beating hearts that would uplift and remove pain if they could, and do - through the beauty of love.

Friends. From the acquaintances who bring smiles, to the ones who let you know you mean something to them - in real life.

Community. I appreciate our space on the map and our opportunities to interact.

Most importantly, having people in my life that I can express graciousness to.”

Former editor of the Irrigator, Ron Swift:

“I arrived in Patterson in the early fall of 1962 and purchased this newspaper with partner and friend Ed Sternberg.

I moved here from Central Oregon where I had been dating a young woman who about the same time moved to San Francisco. That led me to head to the Bay Area on weekends. Before I-5, the commute was a grind. Thus we decided to wed in Oregon the Saturday after Thanksgiving. So Ed and I printed the Irrigator a day early during the holiday week, and I left for the 600-mile drive to Oregon on the Wednesday before Turkey Day. Kay, my soon-to-be wife, returned home by bus.

I don’t much remember the holiday but it was undoubtedly spent with her parents. That Friday meant rushed preparations for the Saturday evening church ceremony which came all too soon.

Sunday was spent driving the 600 miles back to Patterson, and I was in my office at the Irrigator bright and early that Monday morning.

Thus we’ve always had a soft spot for that Thanksgiving holiday 59 years ago.”

Police Chief Joshua Clayton:

“I'm thankful for the men and women here at the Patterson police services office. Both our sworn deputies and our support staff that make everything we do work smoothly here for the city. It's been a great year. We're finally seeing what looks like the end of COVID. And I'm looking forward to hanging out with everybody, seeing everybody in person and hanging out with community. I'm looking forward to a very prosperous 2022.”

City Council Member Alfred Parham:

“I am thankful for being among those persons considered ‘a community leader.’ It gives me great joy to serve the City of Patterson as the council member representing District B. For this I am thankful.

I am reminded as I move about the community of how dependent we are upon the good will, generosity, and cooperation of our neighbor for our personal safety and well-being, and when I see neighbor supporting neighbor I am thankful.

More directly, I am thankful and blessed with a loving family, a caring church family, civic family, and most important the covering of God's grace.

The following words taken from the Holy Scripture (Colossians 3:15-16) help to sum up my thankfulness. "Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the words of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, as you sing praise with gratitude in your hearts to God." These words, I believe encapsulate my thankfulness. They speak to our responsibility as leaders, and as one body, one people, dedicated in unity for peace and prosperity for self and others. I am thankful that we enjoy the freedom to celebrate this religious and cultural tradition as we please.”

Peter Foster, pastor of The Gathering Covenant Church:

“I am thankful for family, friends, our community and the many opportunities the past year brought to love and serve them all. I am especially grateful for Patterson and the larger community who have donated food, finances, and volunteers for 20 months meeting the food needs of families in our area through the ChurchWithoutWalls Food Pantry; over 10,000 boxes of food have been provided to date.”

Timothy Benefield Sr., Pastor of Golden Valley Baptist Church:

“While it is important to have a spirit of gratitude all year long, I am glad that we have an opportunity to focus on the subject of thanksgiving once a year. As I consider my blessings, I would first say that I am thankful for salvation from sin and Hell through the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. God has also blessed me with a wonderful wife and three precious children. I have the privilege of serving with the faithful folks at Golden Valley Baptist Church. I am thankful to be an American and to live in the pleasant community of Patterson.”

Ken Hasekamp, pastor of Adventure Christian Church:

“Ken Hasekamp is thankful most of all for the grace of our loving Heavenly Father who sent Jesus to bridge the gap between us and Him. Amazing! I am also very thankful for all the ways we have to communicate with our family these days. Our three sons and their wives (plus our one and only grandson) live in three different time zones besides ours, as well as being able to talk with our aging parents daily who are 2000 miles away. What an amazing time in which we live! Thank you, God the Father.”

What are you thankful for this year?

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