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Featured Article

Our Community Speaks

What We Are Thankful For

Article by Emily Leinfuss

Photography by Stephanie Snow Photography

Originally published in Venice City Lifestyle

A few months ago, four members of the Osprey Nokomis Florida Chamber of Commerce (ONFCC) won the chance to answer questions about the holidays and gratitude for this issue of Venice City Lifestyle.

It was a good place to find our subjects: ONFCC’s ( mission is to encourage and promote a positive, balanced, vital economy, and to make the Osprey Nokomis area a very special place in which to live, work and play. 

About the same time, a study from the American Psychological Association reported that gratitude fosters life satisfaction, confirming what we've known instinctively – giving thanks enhances happiness.

More specifically, practicing and expressing gratitude boosts the neurotransmitters that help us feel pleasure, happiness, and well-being, and reduces the “stress hormone” cortisol. It also improves physical health by slowing neurodegeneration, decreasing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and improving cardiac function. 

Judy Jankowski, Vice President of Philanthropy, United Way of South Sarasota County.

“I am grateful to be alive. To give back to the community both personally and professionally. For my family and friends. To have been able to move to my community of choice. For the generous community that I live in.”

Bob Heggan Jr., President, New World Celts – Venice Chapter.

“Personally, I’m thankful for my family and the good graces that God has given me. As an organization we are grateful and thankful for our supporters. As a result of their monetary support (New World Celts) can award upwards of $2000 a year in scholarships and up to $1000 a year in sponsorship for events.”

Pamela Fiume, Owner, Big Bam eBikes.

“I’m most thankful for the humans in my life: family, friends, and ‘Bammers’ (customers). We’re all “perfect” in our imperfections, and I appreciate all the love, sharing, lessons, and wisdom I receive from the people I encounter each day.”

Nicole Kennedy, All Dry Services of Florida Gulf Coast.

“I’m grateful for my family: especially my mom and grandparents, my best friends of 20+ years, my incredible job where I get to work with my uncle every day, my health, and to be surrounded by amazing influences in the community who help me grow daily.”


“I love how the holidays bring us together.” - PF

“Baking and decorating Christmas cookies with my whole family while listening to Christmas music. Also, binge watching all the classic Christmas movies with my mom and my dog.” - NK

“Decorating my home for Christmas. Décor goes up Thanksgiving weekend and comes down after the Feast of the Three Kings.” - JJ 

“Going to church on Christmas Eve to be with friends and family. My other great joy is watching my two grandsons open their gifts.” - BH


“Good health and harmony in my life and my family.” - BH

“To meet new people in the community and to continue to help others in need.” - NK 

“(An Earth) where everyone’s focus is “service to others” not “service to self.” - PF

“Continued health and prosperity for myself, my family and friends, and for my community.” - JJ


  • (l-r) Judy Jankowski, Bob Heggan, Nicole Kennedy, Pamela Fiume

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