HAPPY THANKSGIVING! | Thankful Thoughts from South Pasadenans

We asked some in the community to give their thanks on Thanksgiving. Why not take a moment and ask yourself: What am I thankful for?

Thanksgiving in South Pasadena | A time to reflect on a year of hope, success, and growth

I am thankful for my happiness, the kindness of others and for what I have, not what I don’t have.

I’m thankful for the relationship I have with my son, Michael, a loving one I’m developing daily with a wonderful lady in my life – Diane Cavenee – who has helped to provide an opportunity to see fascinating new places since my world has opened up to travel.

And, I’m thankful for the lasting friendships I’ve made over the past 25 years in the City of South Pasadena, which, yes, is a special place.

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I’m thankful for what some might take for granted – the Southern California sunshine, beautiful sunrises, amazing sunsets, electricity, modern medicine, the right to vote, In ‘n Out, my favorite sports teams, Mac Pro, hot showers, clothes to wear, the internet, right to vote and family traditions.

More than anything, however, I’m thankful for our Armed Services, the men and women who work tirelessly to provide us freedom, along with our firefighters, who battled blazes and risked their lives for others throughout the state in recent months.

I’m thankful for the South Pasadena Police Department working around the clock to keep residents safe.

In this fast-paced digital world, I’m thankful to be a part of the SouthPasadenan.com, delivering news and entertainment online to thousands of readers each day.

I’m thankful for people like resident and gifted photographer Cyndi Bemel, with the strong support of her husband, Ross, is on the road to recovery after battling cancer. Reaching out to the community, they say: “We wish to thank everyone for their help and support, we could not have made it through this without you and those Angels, prayers and of course your Love. There is soooooo much to be thankful for.”

Indeed there is. I am thankful for you – for visiting the site often.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

We asked some South Pasadenans, “What are you Thankful for?” And this is what some in the community had to say:


I’m thankful for an exciting year of collaborative leadership for the City where much progress was made on many fronts towards sustainability, inclusivity, and excellence. I’m thankful for my family, friends, supporters and teachers. I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with fellow dedicated professionals on the City Council and staff, with an engaged community, and with our regional LA County and State partners to make big things happen, especially the 2 bills delivering a final legislative death blow to the 710.

I’m thankful for historians who tell the truth about indigenous people and colonizers. I’ll be spending more effort reading about the history of the country as a whole as told by indigenous people. Exiled in the Land of the Free: Democracy, Indian Nations, and the U.S. Constitution by Oren Lyons is a good place to start.

Dr. Marina Khubesrian

Mayor, City of South Pasadena


I am thankful, (daily) for my family, my friends, my health, and the ability and honor to serve others, I am very blessed to be part of a team of professionals at the South Pasadena Police Department.

Joe Ortiz

South Pasadena

Chief of Police


I thank my parents for the love and devotion they wished upon me so that I may follow in their footsteps.

Sam Hernandez

South Pasadena

South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

Chairman of the Board


I feel truly blessed this Thanksgiving for my wonderful husband Dave, amazing kids Frannie and Henry, and my great life living here in South Pasadena. I have the best job in the world teaching at Monterey Hills School, and love living in the community where I teach.

Dawn Tull


Monterey Hills Elementary School


Thanksgiving is a reminder of the importance of family and friends, and a chance to say thank you to those who matter most to us.

Take time out of your busy schedule to help those who are less fortunate.  Carol and I wish all of you and your families a safe and special Thanksgiving!

Bob Joe

South Pasadena

City Councilmember


Family, good health, the privilege of United States citizenship and the opportunity to live and raise our family in South Pasadena.

Diana Mahmud

South Pasadena

City Council member


I am thankful for human being’s innate capabilities to build communities from commonality, which has given me a place filled with loving family and friends and familiar places to share and enjoy.

Steve Henson

South Pasadena

Business owner


Thanksgiving brings families, neighbors and communities together and I am thankful for that blessing. We are grateful for all that we have received. I wish all families and friends heartfelt thanks for their gestures of love, acceptance, encouragement and support!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Dennis Maguire

South Pasadena Resident


I’m thankful for many things: my husband Tom, my family including my seven grandchildren, my wonderful Bushnell neighbors, my health and that Tom and are blessed by living in our community of South Pasadena.

Kathleen Ashby

South Pasadena resident 


I’ve had two people close to me die recently around my same age (brain aneurism and breast cancer). I just turned 60 and for the first time in my life I will add being thankful for “my health” after giving thanks and blessings for my family.

Rick Thomas

South Pasadena resident

Author: Throwback Thursday


The holiday season is always a special time of year.  It provides me with time to reflect back and think of all that I am thankful for.  First and foremost, I am thankful for my loving family, those present who celebrate with me this year and those that echo in memory.  They are the foundation for the accomplishments and successes I have enjoyed.

I am grateful for the support of caring and loyal friends, a supportive community, and a dynamic city to work for.  I am also appreciative for the freedoms and liberties this nation affords and for those who have sacrificed to provide them.  I wish each and everyone in this community a safe and happy holiday.

Brian Solinsky

SPPD Captain


If you’re grateful for the little things in life…the warm sun on your cheek, a smile from a stranger, a funny text from your best friend, a voice message from your parents, a favorite song reminding you of a great memory…being thankful of these little things means every day is a great day!

Holly Lang

Teacher at Marengo Elementary School


I am thankful for my Family, Friends, Faith and Good Health.

Paul Riddle

Chief of South Pasadena Fire Department


I am grateful for all the Love and support I have had in my life and most grateful to pass it on to others.

Lissa Reynolds

Co-Owner of Fremont Centre Theatre


I am truly thankful and most grateful for my loving wife, Peggy.

I am very grateful to live and work in a community where people are engaged in local affairs in order to create a better South Pasadena.

John Vandercook

South Pasadena

Business Owner

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I am thankful to live in a community that values and supports its public schools. Our generous voters passed a bond measure that has enabled us to fund much-needed upgrades to our school facilities and a parcel tax that has enabled us to continue providing excellent programming in our schools. I am grateful for our diverse and inclusive community in South Pasadena. Also, on a personal level, Sean and I are eager to welcome a new South Pasadena resident in mid February 2020 — a baby girl

Suzie Abajian

Board of Education President


I am thankful for the opportunity to serve our community here in South Pasadena. It has been very rewarding to work side by side with so many people from South Pas who give selflessly to help our neighbors. I am grateful to see my son’s peers continuing to heed the call to public service.

Ed Donnelly

Active in Schools, D.U.D.E.S.


As we wrap up the first few months of the school year and approach the holiday season, I would like us to pause and consider everything we are grateful for within the South Pasadena Unified School District. Our community, families, faculty and staff continuously work in support of our public school system, making it one of the strongest in State and highly regarded by families seeking a solid education for their students.

We are especially thankful for our educational foundation and local support groups that bridge the State funding gap. The South Pasadena Educational Foundation, SPMS and SPHS Booster Clubs and school PTAs fund programs, events, supplies, equipment and a myriad of goods and services that move the needle higher in terms of what we are able to offer our students.

South Pasadena students enjoy a wide range of artistic, athletic and academic experiences, and they are succeeding in these endeavors. Many of our teams earn high honors at the local, state and national levels in various competitions. Much of this success depends on the backing provided by events and programs such as Parti Gras, Wish Night, PTA forums and membership, and Booster Club activities that supports over 50 clubs, activities and teams. No matter how small or large your contribution of time, talent and resources, the collective impact is significant.

We are also grateful to have additional community support provided through the parcel tax renewal and school construction bond measure. While parcel taxes fund academic programs, support for the bond measure has helped our District make necessary repairs to aging infrastructure, create new instructional spaces and complete many facility upgrades. Students are benefiting from new spaces and very soon our entire community will be able to use the improved Tiger athletic facilities at the high school.

I am very appreciative of all the opportunities we are able to offer our students and families and look forward to a continued positive and productive school year.

Geoff Yantz, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools