By Lori Leath Smith, Publisher

Each year, we give you the opportunity to share “what” you’re thankful for on these pages. We do it, because through it, we hope you’ll be able to reflect and recognize the many blessings abounding around us. Our team at Destin Life is thankful for your participation, editorial contributions and support. Without you, Destin Life would not have the same flavor, popularity and appeal—you make all the difference!

We are a thankful community; perhaps your own sentiments are reflected here:

“I am most thankful for the many good memories in my life. Whenever I find a moment to stand still and think about my life, I immediately think fondly about the good memories and friends I’ve made, thus far. Remembering the sweet times, helps me maintain a positive outlook and a happy mind. Some of the memories that bring a smile to my face and gratitude to my heart, would be walking with my father down the long church aisle to see my future husband, Brian waiting at the altar, the days my children were first placed in my arms, watching each of my children graduate from college and marry their soulmates. I am thankful for the blessings in businesses that I’ve founded and thankful for the grace given to me, when I missed the mark. I am eternally grateful to business mentors, who sowed seeds of success into my life. God has blessed my family abundantly and the memories of the countless blessings are what makes this season of Thanksgiving so special to me.”
–Heidi LoCicero, Frillseekers Gifts, City Market

“I am thankful for so many things. My Lord and Savior! The gift of my wife and family! And the gift to serve the great people of Okaloosa County!”
– Mel Ponder, Okaloosa County Commissioner, Business Empowered

“From a business perspective, I am thankful for the hundreds of boats and thousands of anglers that participated in the 2021 Destin Fishing Rodeo! I am also thankful for the community-minded sponsors that support the Rodeo each year. I am especially thankful to the volunteers that clocked over 2500 hours of community service for the event. Destin is an awesome community and that sense of community was on full display at the Rodeo this year! Looking forward to the 74th annual event October 1 – 31, 2022! From a personal perspective, I am so thankful for my wonderful husband, our children and grand-children and my healthy, almost 90-year-old mom! Happy Thanksgiving!”
– Helen K. Donaldson, Executive Director, Destin Fishing Rodeo, Inc.

“I’m thankful for the beautiful community at CRYO850 and the blessing to share relationships, divorces, marriages, college commitments, deployments, death and new life with those we’ve grown to love.”
– Amy Milligan, Owner CRYO850

“Grateful for sooo many things this year—friends, family, clients, my awesome Master Networks group of solopreneurs, for waking up every day, for laughter, for non-political conversations, for all the writers who write great, informative, uplifting articles in Bay Life & Destin Life. Every day I write down three things I am grateful for and there’s just not enough room here to share them all!”
– Gail Pelto, Bay Life/Destin Life Columnist, Keller Williams

“I am thankful for OCSD students, families and employees who provide a daily reminder of the importance of striving for excellence in everything we do!”
– Marcus Chambers, Okaloosa County Superintendent

“It may sound cliché, but I’m most thankful for family, friends, good health and living my best life on the Emerald Coast.”
– Kim Schneider, Coastal Destin by Kim

“I truly am thankful for my family and friends. The love and relationships I’m blessed with are a testimony to how lucky I am to be here in this beautiful place. Plus, I am a new grandpa. Woo hoo!
– Greg Durette, Florida Health Connector

“The season of Thanksgiving is filled with gratitude for the years of holidays spent with family. From good food, to great laughs, to long visits and deep family ties, each day spent with family and dear friends, is a good day to me. I am especially grateful to my clients who entrusted me with their real estate transactions here at the beach. It’s been awesome to watch them enjoy their investment properties and make new memories of their own; a blessing in every way.”
–Brian K. LoCicero

“I am thankful for this Destin Life newspaper which not only gives us community information, but does so in a refreshingly positive way. I am proud to have joined the Life Media family!”
– Patricia Lee, Sales Executive, Life Media

“I am thankful for the coming immutability of trust protocols and the emergence of decentralization through decentralized blockchain technology.”
– Isaac Hutchison Birch

“I’m thankful for a calm hurricane season, healthy family and friends and the freedoms we share living in this special place.”
– Kay Leaman, HealthyDay HealthyLife

“This year, we are thankful for having started a coaching business this year! I have so much, and meet so many amazing people through my business, Destin Chamber, Destin Forward and the three networking groups I am a part of. We have loved living in Destin, and are excited to see what great works God will do in and through us in the coming years!”
– BIll Mason, ACC

“We are so grateful for our family, friends, our community, meaningful work we love and living in a beautiful place that nourishes our souls! Happy Thanksgiving.”
– Todd & Stephenie Craig, Journey Bravely Counseling & Coaching

“One of the many things that I am thankful for this year is that I know God is in control of all that is going on in our crazy world. I am also thankful that God doesn’t just focus on the large view, but cares about what happens in each individual life. I know that He loves me and as He has promised, is working all things for my good and His glory.”
– Myrna Conrad, Bay Life/Destin Life Columnist

“I’m thankful for change. This year I took the leap to become a full-time artist and open my own gallery. Best life decision ever.”
– Estelle Grengs, Artist