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Area leaders count their blessings on this Thanksgiving
give thanks

It’s been a rough year. But even in 2020 there are things to be thankful for.

Bryan County Emergency Services Director Freddy Howell said he’s thankful for his country, and his many blessings.

“I am thankful to be living in the United States even as messed up as this year has been,” Howell said. “I’m thankful for all the blessing God has bestowed on me and my family. I’m thankful for my family and friends, good health and good wine. Oh yeah, and being a grandpa again!”

Pembroke City Administrator Alex Floyd said he’s thankful for a reminder of harder times than these.

“There’s a little iron pot and a wood bowl sitting in my living room. It was my great great grandmother Catherine Proman Buckner’s. Her family moved to Bryan County from Tillman, South Carolina in 1900 to log cypress out of the swamps with crosscut saws, mules and high-wheel carts,” Floyd said. “My great grandfather told me that his mother could look at the track of a gopher tortoise in the sand and tell how many bowls of soup it would make in that little iron pot. With that pot and wood bowl she fed a husband and six children during the hardest times this country has ever seen. I am thankful for the little iron pot and the wood bowl because they in turn remind me to be thankful for everything else.”

Debi McNeal, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment at Bryan County Schools, spent seven years as principal at Richmond Hill High School. She said she’s thankful for her health, and those who’ve made her a better person.

“I am super thankful for my health after a couple of years of ailments and surgeries. I am also thankful for the people in my circle that take care of me, invest in me, and help to make me a better version of me,” she said.

Richmond Hill City Clerk Dawnne Greene said she’s thankful for family and the wonders of technology, which has made distance seem not so far after all.

“Above all I am thankful for my family, God and this community,” Greene said. “But this year, I am particularly most thankful for technology. Living away from loved ones and being unable to visit due to COVID, technology provided peace of mind and allowed me and my family to stay connected with family, friends, teachers, and co-workers.”

Bryan County School Board Chairwoman Amy Murphy said she’s grateful for what 2020 has taught. .

“I’m thankful for the deep lessons learned this year, as painful as they have been while learning them. I remain incredibly thankful for my family and that we have stayed closely connected,” Murphy said. “I’m thankful that my faith and my friendships have grown deeper and stronger. And I’m thankful that as difficult as 2020 has been, there’s always hope and possibility that lie in the future.”

Bryan County High School Girls Basketball Coach Mario Mincey said he has much to be thankful for.

“I am so thankful for my friends and family,” Mincey said. “This has been a tough year, but through it all we have stayed strong.

I am also thankful for my health and the opportunity to work with the youth each day.” Justin Farquhar, director of business recruitment and existing industry at the Development Authority of Bryan County, said he’s thankful for the things dearest to him.

“I am thankful for my wife, Kayla, and the rest of our family and friends. I am also thankful for our health and our home. Finally, I am thankful to be part of this community and live in Coastal Georgia,” he said.

Bryan County Clerk Donna Waters said she’s been blessed.

“I am thankful I have a loving family that enjoys spending time together,” she said. “I am also thankful my family and I have been blessed with the gift of good health. I am most thankful to God for being with me and providing for me each and every day.”

Richmond Hill High School Athletic Director Mickey Bayens was thankful, period.

“I am thankful for being allowed to live in the greatest country on earth! Very thankful for GHSA allowing our student athletes the opportunity to do what they love to do by playing high school sports,” Bayens said.

“I am most thankful for the holidays and wish the best for all!”

Gina Aguirre, administrative assistant to Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Paul Brooksher said she’s been blessed many times over. “As taxing as this year has been, I’ve been abundantly blessed with so much,” Aguirre said. “I’m thankful for my wonderful husband of 22 years, our three amazing children, and our extended family and friends in our home town of Wichita who we love and miss dearly. Also beyond thankful for my Georgia family (a.k.a. my work team) who are always there for me offering unconditional support, love and laughter.”

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