Being Thankful, Showing Gratitude and Giving Back
By Village Manager Phil Kiraly
In today’s fast-paced, always-connected world, I am grateful that I was able to take a few days off this week to be home with my family, slow down and prepare for our Thanksgiving celebration. This year I made it a priority to show my gratitude for them by simply being with them, which was especially meaningful as my wife and I welcomed our second daughter to the family this past summer.
I am also thankful for our diligent Village staff who not only helped fill in on my days off, but for the Public Works staff who worked for weeks to prepare downtown for our upcoming lighting ceremony at Light the Lights and for the Public Safety staff who will be on-shift this long holiday weekend—being away from their families so that ours can celebrate Thanksgiving with peace of mind. As I complete my fifth year as your Village Manager, I feel privileged to serve in a community with such dedicated and talented staff.
In addition to the privilege of serving as your Village Manager, I am also thankful to be a Glencoe resident, and for all the ways individuals and businesses in Glencoe work to make our community and the world a better place. We are a community of volunteers – from the Village President and Board of Trustees to the over 50 residents that serve on various Boards and Commissions, to the countless volunteers throughout Glencoe that make this a better place to live – our residents care, give back and show up. Watching the work that they do on behalf of our community is a privilege and we should all be grateful for their tireless efforts on behalf of this great town.
With so much to be thankful for, I hope you will join me in sharing your gratitude this year in whatever way you feel most appropriate. There are a myriad of ways to show gratitude and give back this season.
There are a few hyperlocal options you might consider. For instance, the Glencoe Community Holiday Drive officially kicks-off this Friday. Volunteers will be at various locations in the downtown during Light the Lights, including at The Grand, where they’ll collect donations and pass out Sesquicentennial themed holiday cookies. Established in 1990, the Glencoe Community Holiday Drive is a community service organization aiding in the happiness and well-being of our less privileged neighbors during the holiday season. Holiday Drive volunteers collect care packages, unwrapped toys, non-perishable foods, paper goods and monetary donations for area families, low-income seniors and adults with disabilities, especially those here in New Trier Township.
Also kicking off this week is the Public Safety Department’s efforts to collect holiday gifts for Toys for Tots. The community is invited to help make the holiday season special for local children in need by bringing new, unwrapped gifts for any age group to the Public Safety lobby in Village Hall during regular business hours (Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m). Collection will continue through Friday, December 14.
Of course, I also hope that you take some time to celebrate over the Thanksgiving weekend! The Village, Glencoe Historical Society and Chamber of Commerce have been working around-the-clock to plan a bigger and better Light the Lights event to kick-off the Village’s Sesquicentennial (150th birthday) celebration. Get in the holiday spirit this Friday from 4-7 p.m., in downtown Glencoe with a lighting ceremony (with a new holiday tree donated by Chalet Nursery), a “Wine and Beer Stroll” (made possible by ONEHOPE Wine and Joseph Mullarkey Distributors) caroling, photos with Santa, live reindeer petting (made possible by @properties), trackless train rides through our beautiful downtown and more. View a map of all the Light the Lights activities here!
And to get your holiday shopping started, many of our downtown businesses are starting Small Business Saturday specials a day early and will stay open late for the event. I hope you will join me and my family as we celebrate the season (and kick off our 150th celebrations!) here in Glencoe. View Light the Lights and Small Business Saturday shopping specials here!Thank you for keeping Village staff, local businesses and the work of our great community volunteers in mind this holiday season! From my family to yours, may you have a happy, peaceful and gratitude-filled Thanksgiving!