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‘Tis the season of gratitude and we’re extremely thankful for you

To read more thank-you notes from Press Democrat staff, go here.

At the height of the great Civil War in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation declaring a day of Thanksgiving the last Thursday of November to “heal the wounds of the nation.”

A century later, President John F. Kennedy acknowledged Lincoln’s words by issuing his own challenge to Americans: “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”

These presidential words still resonate today, especially on the heels of a global pandemic and as we venture into this often-chaotic stretch of the year defined by the holidays.

I’m settling in for my first Thanksgiving in beautiful Sonoma County, grateful for the opportunity to be executive editor of this Pulitzer Prize-winning newsroom and for the incredibly kind welcome I’ve received from so many since my late February arrival.

But I’m also writing this for another simple reason: To share a note of appreciation to you, our loyal Press Democrat subscribers and readers. Thanks for supporting our newsroom, the journalists who work here and our entire family at Sonoma Media Investments, our locally owned parent company.

We all have confronted great change and challenge the past 20 months or so, attributed to a health crisis that has gripped our county, state, country and world. I have not met an individual who has been unaffected by this global pandemic in some way.

Many of the same obstacles you’ve confronted have been a daily hurdle for us, too, at The Press Democrat — from working remotely and maintaining safe distances to worrying about colleagues’ health and well-being and feeling the pinch to our budget.

But in this season of thanksgiving, as Lincoln, JFK and so many others have taught us, it’s important to pause, reflect and recount the blessings in our respective lives.

I am grateful you continue to rely on The Press Democrat to provide the essential news and information that keep you informed. Our staff is committed to fair and fearless journalism that defends the First Amendment and offers insight into the daily ebb and flow of important stories that define this breathtakingly beautiful part of Northern California.

Our best efforts and intentions, however, could not proceed without your financial support. On Oct. 22, we celebrated our 165th year of serving readers and advertisers. That couldn’t have happened without you.

Finally, I’ve been blessed to pursue a life’s passion — working in a newsroom, reporting stories, seeing them published and then leading a staff — that took shape when I was 15 back in my native Ohio. Although I arrived here with some California context — working from 2004-11 in Palm Springs as managing editor and then top editor at The Desert Sun — I was uncertain what to expect that first day in Northern California. I still remember driving across the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing the signs of Sonoma County and wondering how readers would respond to my vision for building on the great legacy of The Press Democrat newsroom.

For your unflinching support and commitment to our newsroom and our pursuit of meaningful journalism, please know on this Thanksgiving weekend, I’m extremely grateful.

As it is every year, our Thanksgiving Day edition is jam-packed with great stories. You will also find a 20-page “Gratitude” section that showcases the good work done by so many in our community. You’ll also find a large puzzle book — the perfect way to spend the Thanksgiving weekend — and “Home for the Holidays,” our guide to local advertisers.

And for those loving wine or seeking bottles of Wine Country’s finest for the holidays, look for our “100 Amazing Sonoma County Wines” section. It’s the most comprehensive and expertly curated list of wine varieties and special blends from local wineries.

However you may celebrate the holiday, our entire team wishes you and yours a blessed Thanksgiving season.

Thank you for your support and for allowing us to make a difference in the life of Sonoma County.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.

To read more thank-you notes from Press Democrat staff, go here.

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