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What Gratitude Means

Community Members Share Their Thoughts on What Gratitude Means to Each of Them This Year

In what for many families has been a challenging year following upon an even-more challenging one, we at SW Lake rejoice at the resiliency and spirit seen in abundance across the community. 

We asked a few folks to share share what they’re most grateful for, from Lake Zurich, Hawthorn Woods, Wauconda, Kildeer, Barrington and beyond. 

We thank everybody for their contributions which remind us of how special the neighborhoods and opportunities in our community are, and help us count our blessings in this season of being thankful.

Jeff & Katie Grund family
“We’re grateful for friends who are like family. From our school and parish community at St. Francis, to our neighbors and all the parents, grandparents and coaches together with whom we cheer on our kids at the football and baseball fields or basketball courts. My family is fortunate and grateful to live in a community where we get involved, get to know each other, and make great memories together.”

Natashia & Craig Dannegger family
“Our family is grateful for our community. As the saying goes, it takes a village, and we love our village!  It has made a world of difference while raising four boys with boundless energy and chaotic schedules. Neighbors, coaches, teachers, friends, and family have made us so thankful that we call Lake Zurich home.”

Ditpi & Nikhil Mulye family
“This pandemic forced us to take a pause. It helped me focus more on important aspects of my life: my health and my family... my attention has been drawn to the simple blessings of the day. I am so grateful for working-from-home, spending more time with my family and watching my kids (6-year-old son Aadit and 10-month daughter Aarya) grow in front of my eyes.” 

Chief Steve Husak, LZPD
“I’m grateful for the support our agency receives from our community. The anti-police narrative that many of us saw on national news this year can be disheartening to our officers. With that said, I can’t tell you how many people wave at our officers, say hello, say thank you, and generally show their support every day—which makes our officers smile and feel good about their chosen vocation.”

Mimi McLaughlin
“I am grateful for the chances I have to spend time together with my friends and my family. I cherish the moments we have to be with each other and make memories that last!”

Judy Wilson (pictured: grandson Brooks)
“This year has been a season of loss and sadness but there's still so much to be grateful for! I am choosing to see my blessings instead of focusing on my loss. This little baby boy brings me so much joy, and I'm so thankful for this season of life loving on my new grandson, Brooks.”

Jason Kraus, LZFRD
“This year I am thankful for my family, work and friends. The past year has made me truly appreciate the opportunity to watch my family grow, see my work family take on new challenges to help the community we serve, and appreciate the time I get to spend with my friends.”

Nichole Alivia family 
“What am I grateful for this year? The gift of having a large family and the ability to have time together to really enjoy and appreciate each other. My kids Tino, Gabe, Francisca, Ela and Leo are participating in our in-home version of a cooking competition, as pictured here.”

Kevin & Angela O’Brien family  
“We’re forever grateful to our first responders, who responded heroically in the middle of the night 4 1/2 years ago. When Lake Zurich paramedics safely delivered our daughter, Paige, in a complicated emergency birth, little did we know the lead paramedic, Jason Kraus, would remain our dear friend years later. This family photo with Jason (left) with Paige (now a preschooler) reminds us we’re grateful to those who serve and protect us when we need it most.” 

Jason Van Puymbroeck family
According to kids, Jason and Joey: 'We are grateful for our family and for each other.  We have so much fun together, we don’t know what we would do without each other.  We are also grateful for candy.'”

Lt. Benny Yee, LZFRD
“I am grateful for friends and family who encourage me and love me for who I am. I am also grateful for my faith and the grace of God.”

Kasia & Zac Zych family

“This year we’re especially grateful for our family, that all our loved ones are healthy, and for the community we’ve lived in for over 10 years now.  We are so thankful to be part of a neighborhood where friends and neighbors support one another and where our children are growing up having the same wonderful experiences we remember from our childhood.”

Jose Fleita  

“I’m grateful for every day I get to enjoy coaching the kids of our community for Ela Soccer. Seeing their smiling faces, watching them develop and enjoy their time out on the fields with their teammates is truly rewarding and keeps me doing what I do everyday.”

Kerry & John Briggs 

"We are grateful for both our families and our customers staying healthy in these crazy pandemic times.  We are also grateful for our network of professionals—the contractors and tradespersons who have continued to work on Briggs Design projects inside of our customer's homes— respecting all work requirements and doing it with a great attitude. We know it's not easy to work in a mask, and some of our customers have required this."

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