Grateful: Three Rivers tells Watershed Voice what it’s thankful for

The last two years have been trying for a number of reasons but the community of Three Rivers still has plenty to be thankful for, and shared those thoughts with Watershed Voice ahead of Turkey Day.

Three Rivers Fire Chief Jeff Bloomfield is so grateful, in fact, he made a list. “I struggle narrowing down how many things I’m grateful for,” Bloomfield said. “(So) here is a summary:

  1. The most amazing family someone could ask for.
  2. To have a made a career out of simply ‘helping people.’
  3. To manage a staff that understands how amazing it is to have a career ‘helping people.’
  4. My health.
  5. To raise my kids in America.
  6. Teachers (Local School Systems).
  7. The quality upbringing I had. I wasn’t always the easiest child to raise according to my parents.
  8. Leftovers at 2 a.m.
  9. Best friends.
  10. Watching my daughters grow into amazing giving individuals.”

Det. Sgt. Sam Smallcombe spoke on behalf of the Three Rivers Police Department, thanking the community for its continued support. “I would like to say that we, the Three Rivers Police Department, are thankful for the community support we have been given over the past year,” Smallcombe said. “This was especially evident in our recent fundraising for the replacement of K9 Jake who is retiring. We want to say thank you to the businesses and individuals who have contributed to our K9 fund.”

Three Rivers Library Director Bobbi Schoon said she’s thankful for her support system.  “I am so incredibly grateful for my amazing family and friends. They support me through all of my ideas — big and small! In the last year I completed my masters degree and accepted my new role as the library director in the midst of a pandemic. It’s been a wild year and I couldn’t have better people in my life to share the journey with!”

Wastewater Treatment Plant Superintendent Doug Humbert said he’s grateful for family and lifelong friends. “I’m extremely grateful for my family, friends (some of which have been around for more than 40 years), and the extraordinary River Country Sports Commission Board and City of Three Rivers for making Armstrong Park a vision turned into a reality for this community.”

World Fare’s Kirstin Vander Giessen-Reitsma said she’s thankful for the downtown fair trade store’s leadership team. “I’m grateful for the World Fare leadership team. They came together to keep our store volunteers and customers safe during a very challenging time with a lot of uncertainty, and even managed to launch a grocery line in the midst of it all! They’ve embraced pandemic problem-solving with creativity, commitment, vision, and hospitality. I’m so glad I get to serve alongside such amazing people.”

Danielle Moreland of the Riviera Theatre & Bar said she’s thankful for vaccines and the Three Rivers Promise program. “This year in particular, I am grateful to the COVID-19 vaccine and all of the scientists who worked hard to ensure my children can be safe in an infectious world,” she said. “Their health means more to me than anything else. I am also thankful to the TR Promise because I truly believe all children should have a chance to pursue their dreams whether it is through a trade or requires a diploma.”

Three Rivers City Manager Joe Bippus said he’s thankful for recent improvements made within the city. “I am very thankful for the new developments and amenities that have been added this year,” Bippus said. “They help make Three Rivers an even better place to live. I believe we will see more improvements in the coming year!”

Alek Haak-Frost is executive editor of Watershed Voice.