Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?


November 2015 CoverHere in Cenla, we all have so much for which we can be thankful.  In this season, it is important to take stock of all the many blessings of this life. To that end, we once again offered the opportunity to a cross section of our readership to share with the community at large some of the things for which they are most thankful in 2015.  We also would like to invite you to add your own thanksgivings in the comment section of the online version of this story on our website at www.CenlaFocus.com.  So, Cenla…what are YOU thankful for?

I am thankful every day of my life for the moments that I have been able to spend with both of my beautiful children and my wonderful husband. I am grateful for my career as a pediatric nurse which allows me to positively affect the lives of children and their families around the community.

-Evie Robison


I am thankful for growing up in one of the best communities in the country.

-Wayne Denley


I am most thankful for my family and friends, of course, but I’m also especially thankful to live in a community filled with people who are committed to creating the kind of kind of Alexandria we all want to live in.

-Ann Lowrey


I am thankful for a loving family and great friends! I am also thankful for the many opportunities that I have been given in my personal and professional life.

-Timothy VanCleave


I am most thankful for my heritage–a long lineage of good-hearted, God-loving folk who taught me to value compassion, hard work, and education. I am thankful to be raising my two boys in this tradition.

-Elizabeth Beard


I am so, so thankful to live in a community where so many farmers grow fresh produce and offer it up for sale through farmers markets or out of the back of their trucks, parked on the side of the road.  A community that grows its own, improving the diet in our culture through home grown produce.  What a blessing!

-Mike Lopez


With so many aspects of my life of which I am thankful for, I think I’m most thankful for always being able to discern and appreciate the brighter side of every moment—even through those not so bright ones.  Seeing my kids faces every morning, that’s my happy place.  Having the rock of my life, my husband to share it with, all the better.  Having so much life and laughter from family/friends and vividness from working at an arts center, those are moments forever in my heart.  Always thankful!

-Rachael Dauzat


I am thankful for all the blessings God has given me, my family, my friends, and my health.

-Randall Welch


I’m thankful for all of my wonderful friends!

-Robin Coutee


I am most grateful that my dream of 50+ years – since returning to pursue my legal profession – of Downtown Alexandria once again becoming a vibrant city center, offering  business, cultural, educational and residential opportunities because of the vision, planning, monetary investment and hard work of an ever expanding public-private partnership of dedicated individuals.

-Albin Provosty


I am most thankful for my husband, Clint, two boys, Bradley and Collin, and my family!

-Elissa Constance


I am so very thankful for my imperfect life that allows me to rely on God along with my loving / supportive family.

-Corey Lair


I am thankful for my husband Rick for he is the one who makes me a better person and I’d not want to spend this lifetime with anyone else but him.

-Charla Ducote


I am thankful for the priceless presence of special friends (you know who you are) in my life. I am also thankful for my brothers, sisters and their spouses and their children.

-Roy Rosenthal


I’m so thankful for my family, my faith and the opportunity to offer individuals a happier and healthier lifestyle with the Ideal Protein Diet Plan at Mid-State Orthopaedic.

-Kim Roy-Ackel


I am grateful for the relationships in my life and my two children who I am so proud.

-Mark Gravel


I am thankful for family and rural community life in Avoyelles.

-Mary Guillory


I am thankful for LSU football, hunting, family, and friends!

-Quinn Arnaud


I am most thankful for my supportive husband and his love—without him, I would not be able to do what I do on a daily basis.

-Kelli West


I am thankful for gifts that can change the world for the better: BB King’s song, Peace to the World and Selma Hayek’s movie, Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.

-Greg Gormanous


This year, I am thankful for family.  I am thankful that almost 30 years ago, I moved back home to Alexandria to be close to family.  I am thankful that my parents are still here and all three of my children (and two grandchildren) live in Louisiana not too far away.

-Judy Caplan Ginsburgh


I am thankful for having such a wonderful family and great friends.  Being able to live and work in the community in which I grew up is also a blessing.

-Phillip L. Carney, Jr.


Each day I am thankful for nights that turned into mornings, friends that turned in to family, dreams that turned into reality, and likes that turned into love.

-John R. Crawford


I’m thankful for my wonderful Family. I’m also thankful for the opportunity to serve others daily. I am thankful for life opportunities every single day.

-Wesley Watkins


I am most thankful for the continued work God does in my life and second is my family and health.

-Joel Ferrier


There are an abundance of reasons for me to be thankful; however, I am whole hardheartedly thankful for life, my child, grandchildren, family, finances, and friends.

-Elizabeth Dorsey


I am thankful for being raised with a moral compass, the opportunities I have been afforded in life, and a supportive family.

-Bradley Hoosier


I am thankful and grateful for the Lord’s mercy and grace, for wonderful family and friends, good health, Calvary Baptist Church-those who work, teach, and disciple others and finally an awesome place to work-Alexandria Eye & Laser Center! So many blessings from the Lord!

-Ann Murray


I am thankful for my family, parents and grandparents, their undying love and support even though at times I don’t deserve it; The blessings of an amazing wife, children and grandchildren; In-laws that treat me like one of their own; Real true friends and memories that I treasure more the older I get; Dear friends and relatives that may be gone but watch over me as guardian angels; And above all this, God and the gifts he has shared with me to be able to serve my family, clients, and Cenla community.

-Patrick Douget


I am most thankful for health, family, and friends!

-Kay Moreau


I am thankful for the family I was blessed with.  Also I’m thankful for the friendships that I have maintained throughout not only this past year but for many years past and hope many years to come!

-Ricky Martin


I am thankful for every moment I can spend with my younger sister Amanda, who has been battling a rare form of cancer now for 3 years.  She  has the biggest spirit,  heart and simply hasn’t let this disease define her!  Her positivity especially makes me more thankful for things in life that once seemed very small and trivial.

-Alaina Nunnally


nov15-1I am thankful that I live in a wonderful  community, in the best state , in the greatest country in the world.

-R. Blake Chatelain


This holiday season, I’m most thankful for my husband and children, loving and nurturing parents, loyal family and friends, good health, peace and prosperity.

-Richella Malveaux


I’m thankful that the African House Murals have been returned from conservation work  in Houston and await the completion of preservation work on African House at Melrose Plantation so they can go “home” in 2016.

-Tom Whithead


I’m thankful for many things but today I’m most thankful for having a job that I love doing.

-Melissa Whitley


I am thankful for the continued interest and support from the people of Central Louisiana who care about the Louisiana History Museum, Their support and willingness to contribute papers and artifacts on the history  of Central Louisiana is building a base for the future to see what the past was like.

-Dale Genius


I am most thankful that God is ever present in my life.  He is my Savior; He is alive; He answers prayer.  There is nothing that I could be more thankful for!

-Fran Fookes


I am most thankful for the people of Pineville…because after all, it’s our people that make Pineville so special and make this a “Great Place To Call Home”.

-Clarence Fields


This year I am thankful for our amazing Alexandria community.  Our community is succeeding in every way possible, and I am proud to be a part of it!

-Courtney Paige


I’m very thankful (although apprehensive).  It’s a great place to do Public Health…so much to do!

-David Holcombe


I am thankful for each and every one of our customers at the Rapides Parish Libraries throughout the parish! We look forward to many more years of service to you! Happy Thanksgiving!

-Suzanne DeKeyzer James


I’m thankful for my family, our health, my career, our home, good friends, our pastor and church family, and coffee. But most of all, I’m thankful for God and my relationship with Him — because without Him the blessings would be mostly meaningless.

-Micah Touchet


I am so very thankful that my husband’s health has greatly improved.  It has been a very long journey and he has survived so many health issues, but his spirit and faith never allowed him to give up!

-Bobbi Hess


I am thankful for a terrific family and community leaders with the grounding to be wise and the courage to be bold.

-Dave Britt


I am most thankful for the messy floors, the dirty dishes, unfolded laundry, and tiny fingerprints on the windows. We are still building our life and memories around these moments!

-Joanna Guillotte


I’m grateful to live in a community that supports the arts (art, music, dance).  I’m grateful that, as a community, we pull together, despite our differences.    I’m grateful to see my daughters grow up and pursue their dreams.  Mostly, I’m grateful to have a relationship with God that gives me purpose, allowing me to serve people who are struggling.

-Kelley Pears


I am thankful for my husband and 3 boys who make life a joy.  I am also thankful for having wonderful business partners which are making it possible to grow and expand my business.

-Heather Matlock


I am thankful for my friends and family and the wonderful community of Alexandria.

-Michael Parham


I’m thankful for my family, friends, and colleagues, and students and for the many freedoms we have in our country.

-Lisa Abney


Today I am thankful that I have known, and watched as Willie Harp has worked, and struggled, and climbed the ladder of success.  He is an inspiration to me and those who come in contact with him.  Thank the Lord for Willie.

-Charlie Prince


I am thankful for my Christian upbringing, my awesome, supportive husband, family, friends and the endless opportunities my community affords me to give back!

-Glenda Stock


I am thankful that the more I practice giving thanks for all aspects of life the more I realize how much I have to be thankful for.

-Donnie Wilkinson


I am extremely thankful for the love and support of my husband and children who understand with great blessings come great burdens, and we all have the responsibility to help others. I am also thankful to live in America where we have freedoms such as freedom of speech and religion, as well as the right to vote for our elected officials. And I am particularly thankful that I live in Louisiana at a time when we have the opportunity to elect a new governor to bring our state back to its greatness.

-Maria Losavio


This year I am most thankful for my oldest son’s decision to place his faith in Jesus Christ.

-C. Stewart Holloway


I am thankful for my husband, two beautiful children and wonderful friends and family. We are all truly blessed in this community and should give thanks every day!

-Katie Vanderlick


I’m thankful for grace: the undeserving grace of my family and friends; but most of all, for divine grace that makes life abundant and full.

-Charles K. Cherrier


As I “stroll” down ninety years of memory lane, I give thanks for both family and friends. Then I add thanks for my  former English students who made teaching a joy and made so many of those years so special.

-Ruth O’Quinn


I am thankful for my Savior, my wife & girls, my family and friends, their health & happiness, my church, my job, also Dairy Queen Blizzards, Fantasy Football, and last, but not least, the LSU Tigers!

-Warren Morris


I am thankful for the sound of my daughters’ laughter, my husband’s patience, my education, coffee and high heels.

-Courtney Richter


I am incredibly thankful for many things, among them are Claire, Ted, Nicholas and Robin Ratcliff, my immediate family, who are so loving, understanding and accepting of me. I am thankful for our extended families, including our wonderful parents, who have always been supportive. I am thankful for our incredible friends, and I am thankful for all the exceptional people who I am privileged to work with each day, a true treasure!

-Rob Ratcliff


I am thankful for my family, a home in which to live, and food to eat.  Most of all, I am thankful that I am free to practice my faith in God.

-Susan Singleton


I am most thankful for having a loving and supportive wife (almost 40 years), two beautiful children (with W-2’s) and the opportunity to do what I enjoy doing (almost) every day.

-Ray Peters


I am thankful for the blessings that God has given me each and every day!

-Brittany Scarbrough


nov15-2I am thankful for the opportunity to live in this great nation where, if I am willing to put forth the necessary effort to achieve them, my dreams can become realities.

-Haywood Joiner, Jr.


I thank God for my family, friends, my job, and that I live in a country where I can still say, “I thank God!”

-Sherry Ellington


I am thankful for the gift of life and all life’s many blessings, and am especially grateful to have Jacque share this journey with me.

-Edwin J. Caplan


I am thankful for Jesus dying on the cross for me, and I’m thankful for my loving family.

-Hailey Teal


I am most thankful for the many kind and good things that so many people do every day!

-Bill Dick


I am thankful for my God, for saving grace, for yesterday, today and tomorrow.  I am also thankful for the blessings of this life, family, friends and for life after my last breath to be reunited with my son and daddy.

-Angela Finger


I am appreciative to live in a rural community with an abundance of culture, heritage and cuisine to offer to Avoyelles Parish visitors.

-Wilbert Carmouche


I am thankful for my family, especially our newly adopted daughter Sarai!

-Lacey Hoosier


I am thankful to be part of the growth of Cenla and for all of the friends I have made along the way.

-Tommy Sauve


I am thankful for God’s favor over my life.  He is my everything and provides everything for me—a wonderful husband, great children, a wonderful business, great friends, a great church family, I could keep going…

-Tammy Bolton


I am most thankful for my mom and also to have great friends.

-Chris Everett


I am thankful for my wonderful family and our continuing health.  After that, I’m most grateful for this beautiful world that God created that is the coolest playground ever.

-Madeline Lee


I am thankful for our Heavenly Father, my family, my employees, associates and all of my clients.

-Matt Ritchie


I am thankful for the opportunity to get back in the workforce with Avoyelles Commission of Tourism to continue self betterment.

-Geraldine Edwards


I’m thankful for all the blessings God has given me.

-Todd Moreau


I’m thankful for young families.  They bring building blocks and new “glue” to every community!

-Mary Ann Nowlin


I am thankful for family and friends who are always there when I need them.

-Mike Pearson


I am thankful for the blessing of having some of your dreams becoming a reality.

-Melissa Shelton


I’m thankful for my wife Melissa and family and all the blessings God gives to me every day.

-Parker James


I am thankful for my beautiful daughter Briah!

-Candy Ross


I’m so thankful for the family God has given me and also the profession of serving others.

-Fred Ruggles


I am most thankful for the miracle of healing of my Breast Cancer this year!

-Marilyn Rachal


I am thankful for the blessings of every day and the peace of the Lord’s grace.

-Mike McNeal


I have so much to be thankful for but most of all, I am thankful for the five senses given me that many may not have or have lost.

-Deneise Reed


I’m thankful for our happy successful children, Christian parents, a loving and supportive wife, to be employed by a company that’s owned by a Christian family, numerous friends and customers and my past trials and hard times that taught me to appreciate every day.

-Robert Alexander


I am beyond thankful and humbled by God’s grace and the impact it has on my family.  I am most thankful for God and my wonderful family.

-Amy Teal


I am most thankful for having had the opportunity  to live and work in Central Louisiana and for the many lifelong friends I made there and for my family.

-Cecil Myers


I am so incredibly thankful for my family!

-Helen Ogrin


I am thankful God has blessed me with such wonderful partners in our local community, who all work together for the same common goal—a better Central Louisiana.

-Rich Dupree


I’m thankful for my family and friends, without whom I could not have gotten this far in life.

-Karen Viator


I awoke from a dream where the only blessing I still processed in the morning were those I gave thanks for during my evening prayers. Thank you Mr. Willie Harp, I didn’t sleep at all last night.

-Rod Noles


I am very thankful for my family.  Running a close second, I am thankful for the level of support, encouragement and opportunity that I have been afforded as the Publisher of Cenla Focus as we strive to foster an uplifting spirit in our community.  To our readership, contributors and advertising partners, thank you!  Cenla, I am thankful for YOU!

-Willie Harp