What we're thankful for in 2019

"Freedom From Want" by Norman Rockwell, 1943. Oil on canvas.

OSWEGO — Every year at this time, Oswego County joins the rest of the nation in reflecting and giving thanks. For the past week, The Palladium-Times has posed the question to local leaders and average citizens: What are you thankful for in 2019? Here are a portion of the answers we received. Happy Thanksgiving!

“I’m thankful for my health, my family and my close friends.  I’m particularly thankful this year for the opportunity to serve my hometown for another four years and appreciate the confidence city residents have shown in me to continue moving our community forward.  It is the opportunity of a lifetime and I am thankful each and every day that I get to wake up, get to city hall, and work for my neighbors.”

Billy Barlow

Mayor, Oswego

“I am thankful for the ability to express myself through music, my academic skills, and the good and bad that helps me grow into a stronger person in addition to my support system of friends and family.”

Emily Porter, 17


“The people of this community have become family, and I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to serve each and every one of you. During my regular visits to Oswego County, I like to check out new places to eat, new parks, and new spots to take my family. I can’t wait for the year ahead because while we’ll always have a lot of work to do, the beauty of this county and its people is one thing I’ll always take time to appreciate. Thanks for sharing it with me.”

Congressman Anthony Brindisi

New York’s 22nd District

“I am thankful that I live in a country which believes in freedom of the press and adheres to the rule of law.”

Dr. Natalie J. Woodall


“I’m thankful for being woke.”

Casey Tobin, 25


“I am thankful for the privilege of representing such a beautiful state with incredibly diverse communities and fascinating people. Proud to be a voice for our children and families to help ensure the rights and freedoms of all New Yorkers.”

Kathy Hochul

New York Lieutenant Governor

“There’s something about this particular time of year that causes me to reflect on what’s really important. Thinking about all there is to be thankful for brings a fresh perspective.

I am blessed for the love and support from my family.  Words can not express all that I want to say to show my gratitude and appreciation.  It is because of them that I am where I am today.  To the Fulton community, I want to express my sincere appreciation. The outpouring of support this past year was more than I could have ever imagined. I will forever be grateful for the belief in my vision and for the opportunity I have been afforded to lead our great city as the next mayor of Fulton.“

Deana Marie Michaels

Mayor-elect, Fulton

“I have so much to be thankful for this year, my faith, my family, a wonderful husband, our fur babies and a baby girl on the way! I am also thankful to live in a community that proves every day that there is so much good to be found in the world.”

Elena Twiss

Director, Oswego County

Friends of Hospice

“I am most thankful for my healthy, happy, intelligent children.”

Nichole Laclaire, 36


“I am thankful for community.  A community of family and friends for which I have lived in for over 50 years. For a community of professional and business relationships where I work that provide programs that keep people healthy, engaged and moving. I am thankful for a community where I walk into local businesses and the person there greets me and knows my name. I am thankful for our beauty — for our great lake, our river, parks and greenspaces, access to woodlands, our neighborhoods, our history and four seasons.  I am thankful for the generous people in our community. The people in this community have big hearts and I believe that when you give to other people, or for a cause, you are the one that receives the most.”

Trish Levine

Health & Wellness


Oswego YMCA

“I’m thankful for many things this season, including time with family and friends to go along with fond, nostalgic memories of these annual traditions we share. However, what I’m most thankful for has blond hair, blue eyes, is two years old and will likely throw a tantrum over the new foods on her plate. May all of your Thanksgivings be filled with merriment and warm memories.”

Brandon Wood

Public Relations Specialist

CiTi BOCES, Mexico

“I am grateful for a loving family, good health and the opportunity to serve the people of Oswego, Onondaga and Jefferson counties in the state legislature.”

Assemblyman Will Barclay


“I’m thankful to have the love and support from family and my friends who have become family.”

Danielle Yager, 32


“I am thankful for my family, my health, and the many new opportunities moving back to my hometown has offered me. And I am thankful to Diocese of Syracuse Bishop Douglas Lucia for re-opening St. Mary of the Assumption church. I am looking forward to the challenges the new year will bring.”

John T. Sullivan Jr.,

Former Mayor, Oswego

“With everything going on with the economy, I’m really thankful for all the volunteers. The people who put on dinners for the less fortunate, or gather food for the needy — the people who come out and help our veterans and families. It’s great to see that. I’m thankful for the individuals who don’t get a lot of credit but are truly the fabric of our communities.”

Assemblyman Brian Manketelow


“I am thankful for the opportunity to find an outlet in the art that exists all around me as it brings culture, creativity and new ideas into light.”

Abiu Velasquez, 20


“I am thankful for the hard work and terrific safety record of our entire Nine Mile Point team, our ability to provide carbon-free energy, and the generosity of our employees who support initiatives to help those in need at every opportunity. I’m also deeply appreciative of our community and their support of our New York state nuclear plants.”

Pete Orphanos, Site Vice President

Nine Mile Point, Exelon

“I am thankful for my friends and all they do for me.”

Alexander Blain, 17


“This Thanksgiving, as always, I am thankful for our current and former service men and women who have fought and who continue to serve every day to protect our democracy and our freedom.  We live in a country where we are able to freely express our opinions, and disagree with one another because of the sacrifices of those who serve.  It remains an honor and a privilege to represent Oswego County in Congress, and, as your representative I will continue to rise above the partisan fray and work to achieve commonsense solutions to issues that matter most to families in our community.  I wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.”

Congressman John Katko


“This year especially I am grateful for my home, clean water, and my everyday amenities.  All of these things I seem to take for granted in the hustle of the average overbooked, stress filled days.  I am grateful for having the opportunity to live in our Oswego community, and to see the positive changes.  I am grateful for making mistakes and learning from them, and for new beginnings. At the end of the day, I am grateful for the simple smile from a stranger, the laugh of the children at our YMCA, the warm cup of coffee that helped push me through. I am grateful going to bed and waking up everyday with the opportunity to try again, whether that is at being a mom, sister, daughter, friend, or boss.  Most of all I am grateful for my boys, Ben, Turner, Finn and Murphy, my family, my friends, and colleagues.  They are my support system that allows me to be who I am, and I will forever be grateful for that!”

Kerrie Ann Webb

Executive Director

Oswego YMCA

“I’m thankful for our partners across Fulton and the greater Oswego County community, and that all of us realize the value of working together. Every year brings newer and stronger partnerships and ties between Cayuga Community College, local school districts, businesses and community-minded agencies. These partnerships always help our students, and this spirit of support and cooperation is part of what makes Oswego County special.”

Keiko Kimura, CCC

Fulton Campus Dean

Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs

“I am thankful for this great country of ours that I have spent my life serving to protect and defend. I am thankful for our community here in Central New York that has taught me so many of the values I hold dear. And I am thankful for all of my loved ones, my family, friends, supporters, and volunteers who have inspired me with their love, support, and service to our community and country.”

Francis Conole

Democrat for Congress


“I’m thankful for so many things. I’m thankful that my life is full of good people — family and friends, neighbors and strangers — who constantly show me how wonderful the world is. I’m thankful for binge-worthy tv. I’m thankful that I live in a region of powerful history, storied achievement, and limitless potential. I’m thankful for sushi and ice cream and stretch bread and honeycrisp apples. I’m thankful that rescue organizations brought three adorable dogs into my life who greet every day with boundless joy and open hearts. I’m thankful for fresh out of the dryer pajamas in winter. I’m thankful to live in America where, with all our imperfections, we continually strive to fulfill our promise as a land of freedom, dignity, and opportunity for all.”

Dana Balter

Democrat for Congress


“As I prepare to gather with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, I cannot help think of all the reasons I have to be grateful. First and foremost, I am grateful for my loved ones who have supported me throughout my life and continue to do so as I prepare to enter my ninth year in the New York State Senate, representing the hardworking people of central and northern New York.”

State Sen. Patty Ritchie


“In this season of Thanksgiving, I am grateful for the incredible dedication of our service members and their families to our country. I am honored to represent these families in the Senate, and I look forward to continuing to advocate for their needs and the needs of all New Yorkers in the new year.”

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand


“This year I am most thankful for my new healthy little grandson, Leland James Clerkin. He is enchanting and has already changed our lives.”

Janet Clerkin

Oswego County Tourism

"As Peaceful Remedies enters its 5th year, there is a great deal for which to be thankful.  Mary Gosek's vision of a community space to empower individuals and families to embrace life despite the health challenges they face was in its beginning stage when she passed. Due to our incredible community Peaceful Remedies has grown and continues to be able to provide support to those in need. The organization is eternally grateful to those individuals far and near, businesses/corporations and our incredible volunteers who have supported this mission. Throughout the journey important and meaningful relationships, connections and friends have been made."

Donna Handley, Peaceful Remedies


We are thankful for the responsibility, privilege and ability to bring Oswego County all the news that’s fit to print every day.

Newsroom staff

The Palladium-Times

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