Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?November brings cooler days, colorful leaves and the holiday spirit that inspires us to reflect on what we have and the many blessings we enjoy throughout Cenla.  Thanksgiving Day is, of course, in November, so what better time to ask the question, “What are YOU thankful for?”  We polled a cross section of people all across Central Louisiana.  As you enjoy the responses, we invite you to also reflect on what you are most thankful for, and to share those in the comment section below!  As for all of us at Cenla Focus, we are most thankful for YOU our dedicated readers!  Without the support of each of you and the Cenla community, we wouldn’t be able to continue this labor of love!




I am so thankful for all the blessings and talents the Lord has bestowed upon me, my family, church and community.  Mostly I am thankful for all the hardships and trials.  As hurtful and painful as they were, they each tested and galvanized my faith in the Lord and my fellow man.

-Patrick Moore


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I’m thankful that I can enjoy life’s simply blessings like Friday night dates with my husband.

-Cindy Cespiva



I am most thankful for God blessing my life as he has with my children—Justin & Alaina, bringing a very special man into my life and my every day struggle with leukemia.

-Nadja Gallagher


I am thankful for growing up in the Mississippi Delta offered limited access to healthcare. I am thankful for the wonderful healthcare system that we have in Central Louisiana.

-Robert Taylor


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I am thankful that I live in a country where every American man and woman are equal inside the polling booth.  The right to vote in free and honest elections is the primary right by which all other rights are protected.

-Deborah Randolph



I am most grateful for my family- my three children, my fiancé, my sister (& her family), my brother (& his family) and my dad (& Suzy), for those are the ones with whom I want to share my time, my love and life’s journeys.   I am also grateful for the many opportunities which have come my way…the opportunity to live beyond cancer and watch my children grow and blossom, provide for my family while working with such good people at Noles-Frye Realty and live in this family friendly community of Central Louisiana.

-Helen Strickland


Foremost, the thing for which I am most thankful is life itself as it manifests itself in my family. Second, I give thanks for the gentle nudges from those around me who encourage the pursuit of art.

-Fr. Fred Tinsley


I am thankful for family, work, room to breathe, art/music/literature, the right to vote, and freedom of expression.

-Jim Clinton


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I am thankful that I have had the privilege to be a member of the Central Louisiana community for over 33 years. This is a wonderful place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.

-Dr. B. David Brooks



I am very thankful for my family and friends here in Central Louisiana.  It’s a blessing to live here with such a great group of people!

-Warren Morris


First and always in my life is my walk with God and his saving grace, mercy and forgiveness towards me.  I’m also thankful  for my husband for finding away to get my mother with us so that she can be taken care of in her last years of sickness and still allowing us to have a halfway normal life.  To God I owe everything, and to my husband I could not ask for more!

-Denese Filipi


I am thankful for my family and their health. Also, I am thankful for the privilege to be a part of the Dream Team that is Peabody Montessori Magnet.

-Rena Linzay


First and foremost, I am thankful for my healthy and happy family.  I am also thankful for the employment opportunities Central Louisiana has provided for my family.

-COL Michael J. Borrel


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I am thankful that I get to wake up each day in a town that I  love, in a house that I love, surrounded by a family that I love and then get to go do the work that I love with a team who I love for patients I love to serve.  I am also thankful for modern technology.  Even though I sometimes curse my phone, I am thankful that I have been able to capture and document so many priceless moments of my children lives that I otherwise may not and that my parents and sisters are able to see my babies every night on FaceTime from different cities! Who knew anything could get better than Atari or Beta???

-Dr. Courtney Richter


I am so very thankful that God has blessed me with so many opportunities to give back to my community. One that has also blessed me in so many ways.

-Randy James


I am thankful for all of God’s gifts, my family, my friends, my health, my job, etc.  I am also thankful that I am able to live in this city, this state and this country where we have the freedom to worship, work and live without the fear of persecution.

-Jim Villard


I am thankful for my two happy and healthy kids. I am also thankful to have such a wonderful family.

-Jessica Tilley


As I grow older and my priorities change, I realize that I am most thankful for the blessing of good health. This enables me to enjoy my other blessings, a wonderful family, the many, many great friends that have entered into my life through the years, and the opportunity to work where I can greet old friends and meet new ones every day.

-Alice Scarborough


I’m most thankful for family, friends and loved ones, the people that make up my life, and my health (especially at my age!). I’m also thankful for beautiful sunny days, family vacations, Gumbo, the right to vote, good books and movies, the opportunity to help others, New Orleans, family get-togethers, ice cream, and every time I learn something new.

-Shirley Nassif Hunter


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I’m thankful for 7 healthy grandchildren, 3 great children, and my wife of 40 years.  I’m also thankful to live in the United States.

-Greg O’Quin



I have a lot to be thankful for.  God has given me the opportunity to serve the citizens of Rapides Parish again and he has blessed me with good health, and I am thankful for both.  I am also blessed with a wonderful family and a grandson that is the center of my life.

-Sheriff William Earl Hilton


I am thankful for this nation of ours and those that served and others that gave the ultimate sacrifice that we might enjoy the liberties and freedom we have.  Additionally, I am thankful for my family and friends that I get to share this life with.  So many other people around the world wish to be so blessed.

-MSG Richard A. Bullock


I am thankful that when I woke up this morning I felt good enough to get out of bed and go to my job that is only 30 min away; and that my husband of 32 years was there with me and that my family and friends are in good health.

-Gay Smith


With a grateful heart, I treasure my family, my faith, and my good health, having been blessed with many happy memories along with lifelong as well as newfound friends, all who have blessed my life. I am thankful for life’s challenges which have enabled me to find happiness “in the moment” and afforded me the opportunity to grow as a person. My faith dictates that God’s goodness is absolutely boundless!

-Janell Nelson


I am thankful for being born and surrounded by kindness and happiness. I am also thankful for everything good in our lives.

-Jack Brittain


My wife, Betty Fay, and I are most grateful for loving, bright and successful children, each of whom knows how lucky each of us is to be an American.

-Joe “Buddy” Lipsey, Jr.


Words alone cannot express how thankful I am for my wife of 42 years and a son that is a responsible citizen that works for a living and serves his country.  I am also grateful for the opportunity to work for living, cast my vote, to serve on jury duty when called, to volunteer my help and to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

-Paul Maxwell


I am thankful to reach this age and still be here, in good health, surrounded by loving family and friends; richly blessed by our creator and privileged to live in the greatest nation on earth; optimistic that those in we put in charge will somehow manage not to mess it up beyond repair.

-E. Ray Proctor


I am thankful for my friends and family. They have helped me more than they will ever realize.

-Brenna Eddlemon


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I am most thankful for life itself and the family that God has blessed me with.  They are the reason I do what I do each day.

-Lisa Harris



I am thankful for being a first time grandmother to a beautiful, healthy grandson, Hayes Macyle Lord.  I am thankful for all the “firsts” that are yet to come!

-Patti Dickson


I am thankful for God’s love and care demonstrated through my church family and others in the community. I am thankful for Louisiana Special Education Centers’ employees who give such good care of my daughter, Danielle, and the volunteers who give of their time and resources. Most of all, I am thankful for the love of Jesus Christ. I am truly blessed!

-Sharon W. Guillot


I am thankful for the many blessings in my life, but particularly my health, family and friends. 

–Lisa Cooley


I’m thankful for my amazing sense of humor…and I’m thankful for great family and friends–the best support system ever!

-Nick Simpson


I am thankful that regardless of party affiliation, the seemingly interminable onslaught of “…and I approved this message” advertising is finished for this cycle.

-Roy Rosenthal


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I am thankful for Wendy on a personal level and, in general, for the continuing positive surprises about humanity I have the privilege to witness in this job almost every day.  I am also thankful to live in this nation because of what I see in other places where the things we complain about when they are not at 100% are luxuries one may not see in a lifetime.

-Mayor Jacques Roy


I am thankful for my priesthood and the people I have had the opportunity to serve.

-Msgr. Ronald C. Hoppe


I am very thankful for God’s provision and direction in my life. Additionally, I have been blessed with a wonderful family and church. I have much to be thankful for.

-Terry Shock


I am so very thankful for the love of family and friends.  Mostly, I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy and for loving me more than I can ever imagine.

-Debbie Fontenot


I’m thankful to live in Cenla because it is where I started my family and raised four fantastic children whom I couldn’t be more proud of. Also it is a great place to do business with great people who have helped and supported me throughout my entire career. I’m also thankful that it is so easy to travel and get around here.

-Keith Patton


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I am thankful for a few of my favorite things:  God’s love, mercy, grace and salvation.  I am thankful for a few of my favorite people: Mickey, my children, my grandchildren, the memory of my father, the presence of my mother and the wonderful people I am privileged to pastor at The Pentecostals of Alexandria and the great people of our Central Louisiana community.

-Pastor Anthony Mangun


I am thankful for Mark Hoosier (Cenla Focus advertisement representative) and all the other men and brothers who participate in our Friday morning ACTS men’s prayer group at Paul Dauzat’s office to share faith, hope and understanding each week, any day and at any time we need each other.

-Trey Gist


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?Living in a city 3,000 miles away from where you grew up (i.e. – Los Angeles), you find out some very strange and amazing things about yourself. It can be for better or for worse and having those people around you that consistently believe and support you becomes evermore important. They excite the better half of me, so naturally I’m most thankful for them. 🙂

-Taylor Mathews


I’m thankful for a loving God, wonderful parents, a beautiful wife, two great daughters, good friends, bull markets, first downs and my Big Green Egg.

-Robert H. Kinberger


I’m most thankful to God for giving me unlimited opportunities in a life with a loving family and loyal friends. I’m also thankful for the knowledge he has given me to help others achieve their goals.

-Corky Bolton


The service and sacrifice of the men and women serving our country.  The honor and privilege to serve the people of the community I was raised in.

-Mayor Lee Posey


I am thankful for my family and friends and that the Lord, no matter our issues, has provided for us a complete victory in faith.

-Mike McNeal


I am thankful to God because Alexandria has given me the opportunity to serve the Lord and to be loved and to love the people in Central Louisiana.

-Fr. José A. Robles Sánchez


I give thanks to the Lord for the blessing and opportunity to serve Him in the ministry of healing.

-Anthony Amigo


I’m thankful for my wonderful family, friendships and two pups!  They are the greatest joys and blessings in my life.

-Jonathan Rushing


Cenla: What Are YOU Thankful For?I’m obviously thankful for good health, a great family, a fantastic community and the opportunity to serve it.  I’m most thankful that people could accept me in a pink dress, but not Crocs with socks!

-Willie Harp