Thankfulness Benefits Our Community


November – the month of Thanksgiving – that time of year when we gather with friends and family to ritually offer thanks and appreciation for all that comes our way. It causes me to pause and reflect upon people whom I am thankful for and to intentionally make myself aware of benefits I’ve received. It also reminds me to strive to cultivate gratitude daily, not make it a ritual at the Thanksgiving Day table only. By so doing, I’ve learned I’ll experience greater happiness, have more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve my health, deal with adversity much better and build strong relationships. And with a heart of thankfulness, you can, too!

Publisher Destin LifeOur Destin Life team is dedicated to serving you and our community and are 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!
~ Lori Leath Smith, Publisher

Each November, we offer the opportunity to share what you’re thankful for on these pages.
So, we asked, “What are you thankful for this year?”

I am thankful for being a part of a school district that has skilled and passionate teachers, staff and administrators who wake each morning with a heart for students and a willingness to be difference makers in the lives of kids.
~ Marcus D. Chambers, Superintendent, Okaloosa County School District

I’m thankful to be working in the arts. I’m grateful to feel a sense of purpose in what I do for a living.
~ Zandra Wolfgram, Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation and Sinfonia Gulf Coast Director of Marketing & Communications

I’m thankful that my family is healthy.
~ Laura Coale, Eglin Federal Credit Union VP Marketing and Public Relations

I am thankful for so much including my Savior, wife, children, grandchild, church and friends while getting to live in the free state of Florida and Niceville!
~ Doug Stauffer, Pastor Faith Baptist Church and Writer/Reporter Life Media

I’m so thankful to be living in such a beautiful place where I enjoy personal freedoms. Not all in our world are so fortunate.
~ Gina Maus, Local Resident and Ms. Senior World contestant

I’m thankful I still have my parents, my kids are healthy and happy, and my business is thriving with a beautiful community of love and healing.
~ Amy Milligan, CRYO850

I am thankful for our close community working for inclusion for all and I am thankful for good health and happiness for my family and friends.
~ Steve Barber, Publisher, Scarlett Magazine

At Journey Bravely, we are grateful for family, friends, the community, sunshine, beautiful ocean, health and the opportunity to help others live the more whole lives they desire.
~ Stephenie Craig, LCSW, Journey Bravely Coaching & Counseling

I’m grateful to be a Christian artist and writer who gets to serve my family, friends, and community through my work.
~ Michelle Ruschman, Jewelry Artisan, Writer, Artist, Speaker

I am grateful for so many things—friends, colleagues and the endlessly amazing experience of living in this paradise we call home. But most of all, family. We are so blessed to be surrounded by it all.
~ Gregory Durette, Florida Health Connector

I’m thankful for many things: My health in the wake of major shoulder surgery, the VA, which picked up the $80,000 tab, my wonderful lady friend and, most of all, Jesus Christ, who, despite all indications to the contrary, thinks I’m worth saving.
~ Kenneth Books, Life Media Editor and Writer

I am incredibly lucky to have been married for 32 years to my beautiful bride, Anna, and to have an excellent relationship with my adult son. I love living in a beautiful place where other leaders have encouraged me to grow my leadership coaching company.
~ BIll Mason, ACC, Professional Coach, Trainer and Speaker

Excited to share God in personal ways to hurting moms and thankful to our community, which supports our housing mission, CALM Village vision and Furniture Resale Store.
~ Terri Steadman, CALM President

The Heritage Museum is thankful for the visitors, members and volunteers who continue to help keep history alive in Northwest Florida. Call to join as a member or volunteer at (850) 678-2615 or stop by at 115 Westview Ave., Valparaiso.
~ Kelly Rodriguez, Museum Associate, Heritage Museum of Northwest Florida

I am so very thankful for the love and support our community has shown to the Children’s Advocacy Center since our fire and flood in July!
~ Julie Porterfield, CEO, Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center

I am thankful for a wonderful family, a happy home, dear friends and a loving God. I am especially thankful to have been healed of cancer this year!
~ Larry Cowsert, Operations, Parrot Head Yachts

I’m thankful for the friends I’ve made, sunsets I’ve seen, the businesses that serve the community and a governor who fights for our freedoms.
~ Kay Leaman, HealthyDay Healthy Life columnist

I am thankful for a community that rallies together to help those in need! “Love thy neighbor as thyself.” Mark 12:31
~ Jill Tanner, Clutch Media Works

LURE Media Group would like to convey their utmost appreciation for their clients’ partnerships and ongoing trust in our services and care for their success.
~ Jillian Barnhart, Operations and Project Manager, Lure Media Group

I am just very grateful that we have a God of Mercy and Grace. I have needed a lot of both this past year.
~ Al Niedbalski, Business Empowered

I am thankful every day I am graced by living in one of the most beautiful places of God’s amazing creation and the joy of getting to share it with all the amazing people placed on my ‘Destin Life’ path!
~ Teresa Allen, Common Sense Solutions