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Editorial: Many reasons to be thankful this holiday season

We have a lot to be thankful for in the Park Rapids area. Here are just a few of the blessings we want to highlight for Thanksgiving.

• A brand new, revitalized Main Avenue. The downtown renewal project that began in August wasn't easy for downtown businesses to endure.

But, because of an overall positive attitude and excellent contractors we made it through the toughest part of the project.

Finishing touches on the downtown project, along with side street construction, will be completed next spring.

We can't wait to see the finished product.

• Taxpayers that support our school district. The Park Rapids Area School District has been able to maintain course offerings for students.

Superintendent Glenn Chiodo credited the schools' connection to the community for the passing of the continued levy.

Fifty-four percent of Park Rapids School District voters approved continuing the levy of $600 per student per year for the next five years, with 2,937 voting in favor, 2,464 opposed.

Few referendums were approved statewide, which is a credit to our school district. They're definitely doing things right.

• Citizens who speak up at public meetings rather than sit at home and complain.

Many vocal citizens have shown up at recent Park Rapids City Council meetings to voice concern about a storm water utility fee. We applaud your willingness to question your elected officials.

It's not easy to put yourself out there and voice your opinion. We encourage more participation from the public at all levels of government.

• Our beautiful parks and lakes. We have many treasures across Hubbard County and within Park Rapids.

We're thankful for the pristine lakes in the area and the individuals and organizations that work hard to keep them beautiful.

• Our police, firefighters and emergency workers. We have a strong and dedicated pool of emergency workers that are willing to put themselves on the line in order to protect the citizens in our area.

Our volunteers. We can't say enough about the individuals who volunteer time to a variety of organizations in our area.

We have volunteers providing meals to seniors, reading to children at the schools, helping to provide health care and driving seniors to doctor's appointments or to the grocery store.

These volunteers make the Park Rapids area a great place to live.

• Lastly, we give thanks for the annual Community Thank Meal.

Not everyone will be able to spend the holiday with friends and family this year. We're glad people won't have to spend the Thanksgiving holiday alone.

The traditional Thanksgiving meal is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids. Takeouts are also available and deliveries are made in the city limits to those who can't come out.

For more information, and to request a takeout or delivery meal, call the hotline at 237-TRKY.

Thank you to those who donate their time to make Thanksgiving a special day for those who might not otherwise have the opportunity. You are giving many people a reason to say "thanks" on Thanksgiving.