We have come to the time of year to pause and reflect on all we have to be thankful for, on Thanksgiving and every day.

Each year, The Era’s staff pauses to reflect and give thanks. We are all thankful for our families, for our freedom, for our veterans and military who make freedom possible, and for our law enforcement and first responders who work everyday to keep us all safe and out of harm’s way.

Here’s a look at the little things that our staff cherish, and give thanks for, now and all year.

I am thankful for my daughter and my mother, both of whom have taught me strength and courage; for my sister, Tina, who tests my patience and challenges me to think; for the Pediatric Pain Warriors, for showing us that we belong; for the kind of friends who drop everything when you need them, and the kind who help you move for payment in pizza and alcohol; for late night phone calls, laughter and reminiscing that leads to healing; for loud music, warm blankets, Jack Skellington slippers and warm jammies; for Corey Dieteman and his artistic endeavors in the sports room; for the hard-working staff at The Era, and for our readers, who help us keep local news alive and well and serving the community.

— Assistant Managing Editor Marcie Schellhammer

I am thankful for all the people in my life: amazing friends who are just like family, great co-workers who are always willing to provide a good laugh, a supportive boyfriend who embraces my eccentricities, and my mother, who’s always looked at me as the star of the show, despite how many times I’ve fumbled the ball. I cannot forget my adorable bird Gambit, who brings light and laughter to each and every day, not to mention random feathers in weird places. I am also thankful for long conversations and late night walks; warm blankets coupled with a good book or movie; the endless avenues I have to express my creativity; video games; learning new things, whether it be through reading or listening to others; and music I can dance to while no one is watching.

— Christine Holtz, news reporter

I’m thankful for my children, for every smile, hug and laugh — and for every frustrating moment, because I know they are growing up to be the people they are meant to be, rather than anyone else’s idea of who they should be; for my husband, who is along for the chaotic ride with me; for book clubs and a best friend that finishes the book too soon, so she can lend it to me and I can do the same; for the local bookstore, where I see a welcoming, familiar face and where my nine-year-old reader can find treasures and bend the ear of people who are willing to listen and share jokes in return; for Corey Dieteman and his love of Monte’s and the rest of the Era staff who make the work day fly by; for birthday shopping trips with my girls; a giant hug from my youngest boy; for new pens and a blank journal; for a roof, heat and electricity for my family and a paycheck to provide those from doing something I love. I’m thankful for spring days that remind me winter doesn’t last forever, for clear skies on a cold night when I can see the stars while I take the dog out; for the chance to do tomorrow what I didn’t get to today; and for memories, which will get my family through this bittersweet holiday season. We miss you, Dad. 

— JoEllen Wankel, news reporter

I’m thankful for the opportunity to join the Bradford Era and surrounding community this year; my health; my loved ones, especially my father, Donald, and my girlfriend, Mikayla; for impromptu trips to Buffalo with friends; for the free Wi-Fi at Sheetz when I’m on deadline; for Netflix, Hulu, ESPN+ and HBO streaming; for weekly lunches with Anthony and Corey; for the Forman Street Bridge’s reopening that cuts down on my commute to and from Olean; for the wings at Randy’s Up the River; for Ruth’s unexpected jokes at my expense in the newsroom; for growing up in West Virginia, which earned me the nickname “West Virginia” from Marcie; and for local sports fans, who keep me employed and never hesitate to talk to me at games. 

— Joel Whetzel, sports reporter

This past year has brought plenty of new opportunities and responsibilities that I’ve appreciated. At the Era, I’m grateful for our sports staff (Joel, Corey, Ashley, Wade, Ron) who help to produce what I think is the best sports section in the area; for Jim and Marcie for trusting in me to lead the department; the newsroom staff that is always quick to provide a laugh or some help at a moment’s notice; our readers for giving us constant feedback — both positive and negative; and athletes, coaches and athletic directors who are always willing to answer an email or a phone call for a story. I’m also thankful for my parents and sister; my solid group of friends, especially my buddies from St. Bonaventure; Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills being 8-3; the traveling I’ve done over the past year; new relationships I’ve made in Bradford; my dog, Bella; chicken wings and cheeseburgers; and the chance to make 2020 even better.

— Anthony Sambrotto, sports editor

I’m grateful for a warm home in winter and the way a string of Christmas lights can transform a room. I’m grateful that, when we reach the coldest part of winter there are nights when I can look out at a sky filled with stars and a world covered in sparkling snow; I’m grateful I live in a place where the bleakest times are cut by that quiet beauty. I’m grateful my years are divided by changing seasons. I’m grateful that I’ll never be able to give up on the human race because I’ve been given a wonderful family and old friends who have proven time after time that some people are worth it. I’m grateful for longtime coworkers who have been with me through misery and joy, as well as new coworkers with whom I look forward to welcoming new adventures.

— Ruth Bogdan, news reporter

I’m thankful for my mother who knows me better than I know myself and my father who tries his best to make me believe in myself when I think it’s impossible, the two people in my life who have loved and supported me unconditionally, regardless of all the times I never deserved it; for my grandparents, aunts and uncles who always show up for me when it means the most and still care about me, even when I forget to text them back for a few days; for my boyfriend who knows just how to make me laugh when I need it the most and for accepting me for who I am; for my pets, with all of their cuddles, kisses, and the pure, infectious joy that they exude. I’m thankful for the Era for giving me a chance to turn my passions into a career; for my coworkers, like Corey Dietman, that never fail to make each shift as memorable and enjoyable as the last. But lastly, I’m thankful for change, as it’s a constant reminder to try to be happy and present in life, because nothing, good or bad, lasts forever.

— Ashley Steis, page designer

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