The Tribune asked: ‘What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?’


It’s Thanksgiving. A time for family, friends, food and reflecting on our blessings. The Tribune reached out to its readers, as well as community leaders, and posed the question, “What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?"

Shared here are the responses:


Jeremy L. Kilpatrick, Cullman County coroner

“I am thankful for my wife and kids, family, friends and health. I am also thankful for God and my church. Being able to serve the citizens of Cullman County is also something for which I am thankful.”


Kerry Watson, Cullman County Commission, Place 1

“I am thankful for my Lord and His many blessings that fill my life. I am also thankful for my family, friends, freedom and to live in the greatest country known to man.”


Shane Barnette, Cullman County Schools superintendent

“I am so thankful for a loving Savior that gave the ultimate sacrifice, a loving family that always supports me, a country that was founded on Godly principles, in which everyone has the freedom and opportunity to achieve anything they can imagine, and I am also thankful for the privilege to work in a school system that believes in young people and what they can accomplish.”


Brandi Kelley Foster, Tribune reader

I'm thankful the Lord allowed me 29 amazing years with my precious Daddy; he left us this past October. I'm also thankful for my Mama who is the strongest person I know; I’ve never seen her be as strong as she has been in the past month; it amazes me. And my amazing, hardworking husband, who never thought twice about saying yes when I asked if Mama could come live with us now. Happy Thanksgiving everyone, from Brandi and Steven Foster and Natasha Kelley.


Susan Patterson, Cullman City Schools superintendent

“I am thankful for the grace of God, my family and our community that so amazingly supports our students and schools.”


Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview

“I am thankful for my faith, family, freedom, friends, good health, memories and good neighbors. I am thankful for the honor and responsibility to serve in an elected position. I am thankful for retirement and Social Security. I am thankful for the little things in life — watching the train go by with our 2-year-old granddaughter, picking up our grandson at school, morning coffee, good music, flowers, peanuts in my Dr. Pepper, finding something I thought was lost forever. I am thankful for my raising. I am very thankful for 38 years with my wife!”


Talmadge BO Garrison, Tribune reader

“The love of God and the blessings from Him”


Garry Marchman, Cullman County Commission, Place 2

“As a child we would sing a song in church that many of you may remember, ‘Count Your Blessings.’  There are so many things that I can be thankful for.  

“Thank you, Cullman, for allowing me to serve.

“Every day before I begin my day, I thank my God for His gift of life. I ask God for strength and guidance; I ask Him to take care of my family, friends and those that I love.  I thank Him for giving me the ability to serve others in my job and in my walk with Him. In many circumstances I am not kind; in some cases, I am not sympathetic.  I have made good and bad choices.  I have cried with those who have cried and cursed with those that have cursed. I do not serve myself, yet my faults are many, but one thing has always been constant in my life: I am blessed and thankful that there have been so many answered prayers.”


Max Townson, former Cullman mayor

“I'm so thankful for all of the individuals that keep us safe and out of harm’s way: the military, police officers, firemen, EMTs. I'm thankful for all of the citizens that continue to help make Cullman and Cullman County the best place to live, work, play and worship. HAPPY THANKSGIVING, MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS AMERICA.”


Teresa White, Tribune reader

“It's very easy to focus on what we don't have rather than to reflect upon what we have. I am blessed in so many ways, too many to list… outweighs all the bad for sure.”


Cherrie Haney, Cullman County Economic Development director

“I am thankful for my Lord and Savior for saving me and always walking with me through life’s many challenges.  I am thankful for my family, who has always been there to support me in all my endeavors.  I am thankful for growing up in Cullman County where people are truly concerned about each other and willing to help when people are in need. Everywhere you go people talk about how the people here are so helpful and caring.  God has really blessed us all with many things to be thankful for; this time of the year we really get to reflect on how many blessing we have received.”


Leah Bolin, Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce president and CEO

“I have so many blessings in my life: loving family and friends, a job I have passion for in a community that I love… dogs!

“In the family I grew up in, I was taught to:  Work hard. Don't quit. Be thankful. I have taken these words to heart and I am so thankful for the opportunities God has given me.”


Becky Boyd, Cullman Police Department captain of investigation

“I am first and foremost thankful for my relationship with Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I am thankful to still have my mom, and she is such a be part of my life. My pride and joy are my nieces and nephews. They are all healthy and mean the world to me. Last but definitely not least, my dog Sambo. He is the sweetest thing in the world. Nothing like sitting in the recliner at night with him in my lap after a frustrating day at work.”


Lindsey P. Dossey, executive director, marketing and public relations, Cullman Regional

“Personally, I’m thankful for many things. I’m thankful to God for His many blessings. I’m thankful for my church that continues to help me grow in my relationship with God and teaches me how to minister to others in need. I’m thankful for my job at Cullman Regional and the wonderful co-workers I get to work with each day. Mostly, I’m thankful for my family and friends who keep me grounded – my kids who remind me to play and laugh often, my husband who reminds me to relax and is truly my partner in navigating our crazy and often overly busy lives, my mom for always being there whenever I need her, my in-laws for accepting me as part of their family and for always lending a helping hand as needed, and my friends for making me take adult timeouts from the everyday stressors life often brings.

“Professionally, I’m thankful for the community in which we live and that it continues to support the hospital and its physicians. Without community support for local physicians and hospital services, Cullman’s healthcare system wouldn’t be able to grow in order to meet the needs of our developing community.”


Doug Davenport, director of Cullman County Parks and Recreation

“I’m thankful for my family, their support in all life’s adventures that we have taken. This year, not having either of my parents any longer, family matters more, so (I’m) most thankful of them.  And for the awesome team of employees I work with daily, who work weekends, holidays, sometimes starting work at 2 a.m. and other times working til 11 p.m. to get the job done.  Yes, I’m blessed.”


Leneta Pender, Tribune reader

“…s-i-g-h…hope…because as Charles Spurgeon says:

"Faith goes up the stairs that love has built and looks out the window which hope has opened."


Drew Green, Cullman County Museum

“This Thanksgiving I am thankful to live in Cullman and have all of my family close by.”


Nathan Anderson, director of Cullman Parks and Recreation

“I’m thankful for —

“…my loving and supportive wife of 11 years, Anna, and my two sons, Graham and Rhett

“…for faith, family and friends

“…the opportunity to work daily with the best team in parks and recreation

“…for our exceptional community

“…Alabama football, Roll Tide!”


Chief Kenny Culpepper, Cullman Police Department

“I am thankful for the people in my life. My wife and kids. My mother and father, brothers and sister. All of Diane's and my extended families. Our friends. Coworkers and community. It's all about people and I have been blessed.”


Ben Johnson (South), local author and artist

“At the risk of sounding bafflingly oxymoronic, I am a gregarious hermit. I am thankful living in Cullman allows me solitude to think, dream, create, write, yet when I need some fun and diversion with others, there is always something delightful to do and some delightful folks with which to do stuff.”


Kerri A. Brown Gamble, Tribune reader

“I am thankful for the opportunity to be a mother of two AMAZING children. We have struggled for many years, but we always seem to make ends meet. In 2010, when my daughter was 7 years old, I got a phone call that is every mother’s nightmare…. My 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a very rare type of cancer called Epithelioid Sarcoma. We spent the next four solid months at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis. After many surgeries, radiation rounds, scans and tests, we went home. With regular testing and scheduled appointments, we returned to St. Jude time after time, and EACH time she remained cancer-free. I am thankful for being blessed with not only with her remaining cancer-free, but also for the love and support of family and friends.”


Rep. Corey Harbison, R-Good Hope

“I have a lot to be thankful for. l am thankful that God has blessed me with the gift of having a wonderful life. I am thankful for my great family. They have always been loving and supportive of me. They have stuck with me during both good and bad times. l know l would not be where l am today without their support.

“I’m also thankful to live in such a nice community. l feel safe here. l believe we have a good quality of life. The people here are great. l am proud to call Cullman home, and l appreciate everyone here being supportive of me and trusting me to serve as your representative.

“Happy Thanksgiving to all.”


Geneva Moore, Tribune reader

“(I’m) thankful for the love of my family, and most of all for my God who has given us life, the good food, health, and blessings from Him daily. Everybody have the best Thanksgiving and give the glory to God.”


Sheriff Matt Gentry, Cullman County Sheriff’s Office

“I am thankful for my Lord and Savior, my wife and children, my family, friends, the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, living in the greatest county in the state of Alabama, our citizens, and the freedoms that we have because of the sacrifice made by so many of our veterans. 

“These are a few, but there are so many blessings that I have a hard time listing them all.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!”


Dr. Vicki Karolewics, president of Wallace State Community College

“I am thankful for my wonderful husband, Dr. Vincent Karolewics, and our children. I am thankful for Madison Grace Smith, my 16-month-old granddaughter, and the opportunity to watch my daughter become a mother who now understands what I meant when I told her she did not come with instructions.  I am thankful for my faith and for my Bible, because always between the first and the last pages I can find comfort, guidance, strength and reassurance. I am thankful for music and words, because beauty and meaning can always be found in both.  I am thankful for Wallace State Community College, the students we serve, and the community that embraces us.”


Cullman Mayor Woody Jacobs

“(I’m) thankful for God’s blessings and living in Cullman.”


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