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Our view: Thankful in the Coulee Region

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We have a lot to be thankful for in the Coulee Region, and as we move into the holiday season we’re particularly thankful.

Here are just a few reasons why as we mark Thanksgiving week. No doubt you can add to them.

We are thankful for:

Health care workers who have been working around the clock to care for COVID-19 patients for months on end, with unwavering strength. As we know it’s still a threat, despite a free and proven effective vaccine, and La Crosse recently marked its highest weekly caseload of 2021. Thanks to our health care heroes.

To the return of in person events, making for a wonderful summer with Moon Tunes, Riverfest, Country Boom, Ashley for the Arts and more, and fall with Oktoberfest. Now, we can appreciate the return of indoor concerts, theatre and events, with masking in most cases.

In-person school across the board. We salute teachers, support staff, bus drivers, administration, and volunteers. We applaud parents and families who have been juggling and adjusting to give students a chance to move forward.

Hometown businesses that year after year specialize in customer service, and are recovering after staggering blows during the pandemic. Shop local for great finds while keeping the money in our community.

A beautiful riverfront and lakes, parks and trails, all perfect for all seasons. We are blessed in this wonderful region.

Dedicated and hard-working first responders who can be counted on to assist in any emergency anywhere in the Coulee Region. They are often unsung but so steady.

Jobs, in virtually every business, for anyone who wants one. This is a challenging time but there are many many opportunities for workers at all levels.

Dynamic and integrated health care institutions that are world class and serve our region with distinction, leading through this incredible time.

A giving community that helps others, shown through support of nonprofits serving the safety net, through food drives and in other ways every day. There are so many examples, and all make a difference.

Strong colleges that offer top academics and job readiness programs. They, too, have been weathering the challenges posed by the pandemic. There are opportunities here for anyone who wants to further their education and move into a career.

Rotary Lights, now in its 27th year of welcoming the community to Riverside Park to make holiday memories while enjoying the dazzling lights. More than 100 nonprofits and about 3,250 volunteers will help light the festival this year, and tens of thousands of people who attend will donate food to help area pantries. It’s another great example of volunteering for the greater community.

The La Crosse Center, hosting events and getting ready to complete its major renovation and expansion and unveil its destination riverfront ballroom. Many visitors will come to and get to know La Crosse as they attend conventions at the dynamic center.

Grocery store, convenience store and service workers who have been on the job through this pandemic, leaving their families each day and serving us.

Day care workers who are “essential” and worked through many changes with covid protocol and ever changing schedules of parents. These individuals were the front line caregivers for many young children who were fearful of an unknown virus.

A vibrant arts community, opening its arms again widely to show wonderful art in galleries and strong performances on stages. We’re so thankful for the local variety.

All of us — vaccinated or not — who continue to wear face masks and social distancing when indoors in public places. We are protecting ourselves and everyone around us. We all appreciate it.

And to fantastic readers of The Tribune and lacrossetribune.com. Thank you for supporting us.

Stay safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

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