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Southwest Iowa residents express what they are thankful for

Tis the season to be grateful. For many, the month of November provides an opportunity to show appreciation for friends and family. As people prepare to gather around table to enjoy a meal and company of loved ones, some locals are expressing their thanks.

Juliann Sinn, Creston

Owner, Java J’s Coffee, Fudge and Gifts

“I’m thankful for my family, health and for nice people because that makes my job funner.”

• • •

Sabrena Utley-Giza, Creston

Pharmacy Technician, Medicap Pharmacy and Owner, Utley Tax Advisory

“Thankful for both of the jobs that I have. I’m thankful for those and the wonderful friends and people I keep meeting.”

• • •

Phyllis Gourley, Lenox


“I’m thankful for my kids, grandkids – all the kids.”

• • •

Frances Hudson, Creston


“For my family, of course, and good health. And, I’m thankful I’m going to Barb’s (Hudson) for dinner.”

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Chris Tibbals, Creston

Head Custodian, Creston Community High School

“I’m thankful for all the students and how well they clean up after themselves”

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Bill Oetken, Creston

Owner of Oetken Office Machines

“I’m thankful for friends, family and all my customers who keep my business going.”

• • •

Ron Dunphy, Creston


“I’m thankful this year for a great-granddaughter (Holly) who is 1-year-old and she lives a half-mile from my house.”

• • •

Rhonda Engles, Creston

Healthy Living Coordinator, Connections Area Agency on Aging

“I’m thankful for the services we are able to provide to the seniors that are in need.”

• • •

Joshua Cunningham, Leon

Cosmetologist, Trinity Salon and Day Spa, Creston

“I’m thankful mainly for my family and friends. Mostly for being able to spend time with them.”

• • •

Blake Fry-Schnormeier

Manager, Create Creston

“I’m thankful for my kids. I love them.”

• • •

Chris Doster, Mount Ayr

Owner and Coach, CrossFit TYL Creston

“I am thankful I get to help people become the healthiest version of themselves. It means a lot to me to know our gym has helped so many people learn to make their health a priority. Thankful for all our TYL tribe past, present and future that allow me to live my mission as a career.”

• • •

Amy Jo Lohoff

Owner, House of Pain

“Every day is a new beginning.”

• • •

Kelly Maxwell, Creston

English Instructor, Southwestern Community College

“I don’t go to work every day to do a job, instead I go to work and do what I love. Teaching English at the college is a wonderful blessing. I’m so thankful to work with the diverse group of students that walk into my classroom everyday. I’m also thankful that my four children have had the chance to experience so many different cultures through the relationships we have built with students through SWCC. And finally, I’m thankful for Joe who showed me that a best friend can also be the love of your life.”

• • •

Terry Freeman

Creston At-Large Representative and Account Executive, KSIB-FM

“I am thankful for my family, my health, Iowa State Cyclone Football, Chicago Cub Baseball and New Orleans Saints Football.”

• • •

Crystal Still, Creston

First Grade Teacher, Creston Community Elementary School

“I am thankful for the connections I have made in my life. The family that loves me and relies on me. The friends I have that see me at my worst, but still manage to find qualities in me that I tend to overlook. The students whose lives I have had the opportunity to touch over the years and the ability to smile even on hard days.”

• • •

Cynthia Wolf, Creston

Owner, Upper Crust Bakery

“I’m thankful for family and friends and the time that I can spend with them. Especially the time to watch the wonder of everyday little things seen through the eyes of a precious new grandson.”

• • •

David Hargrove, Winterset

Library Director, Gibson Memorial Library

“I am thankful for the many wonderful patrons and supporters of the Gibson Memorial Library!”

• • •

Jeremy Fox, Creston

Professional Music Instructor, Southwestern Community College

“I am thankful to have the opportunity to teach some talented and hard-working SWCC music students every day.”

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