The No. 1 thing we're thankful for today is that we live here and not in that other Washington. The squabbling there seems endless.
We have our spats, but primarily, especially here in the Tri-Cities, we have so much to be grateful for that the downside, including even the national and world economies, is eased a bit.
And the reason things are better here is because, primarily, of the people here.
Here is a selection of events that illustrate just how resourceful our people can be.
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Timing is everything
Courtney Grant had an idea --actually, a terrific idea -- to help people with cancer feel better about themselves. It started on a motorcycle trip with her father, Sid Grant, that gave her the idea of planning a motorcycle tour to raise money to buy wigs for cancer patients.
Encouraged by her parents, her Girl Scout troop and others, she followed through with her plan. (Her mother, Margie Grant, was her troop leader.)
Courtney, 16, was nominated for a Gold Award, the highest a Girl Scout can receive.
And she won.
But there was a hitch: She would not receive the award until September.
Her father, who is a sergeant first class in the Army, would be deployed to Kuwait by then.
So, with what turned out to be award-speeding diligence, Courtney set about the appeals process to get the award early so her father could attend the ceremony.
She got her medal and Dad was there for the presentation. The paperwork, Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho decided, could be filled in later.
"I was so happy I started crying," Courtney said.
Kennewick American All-Stars
This 12-and-under team won a spot in the Cal Ripken World Series Aug. 12 in Aberdeen, Md. They cinched the trip by defeating Willamette Valley 6-4 in the Regional Championship.
Things weren't going well, but then the All-Stars got a three-run homer and followed it up with a bunt that turned the trick.
"We've been working on bunting for weeks, but we've had a hard time getting them down," said Kennewick coach Jeff Plew.
"We got two perfect bunts down after a summer of not succeeding," Plew said. "I'm not sure if it was the pressure, but whatever it was, it worked.
"When you get everybody pulling in the same direction, you see good things happen."
A Fighting Chance
The gang life has its demands, and even some appeal to some youngsters in the Tri-Cities, even though the outcomes for the participants are almost universally grim.
So it is cheering news that comes with a sense of relief when a former gang member finds a partner and some friends willing to build an alternative for tempted kids.
Jesse Retana and Roy Castillo formed R&C Boxing Club in Pasco, an organization that teaches boxing to kids as young as 10, trying to steer them away from "the life."
It seems to be working just fine.
With donations and low, affordable rates, the club has accumulated quite a following, and Retana has become a kind of volunteer spokesman for a message Pasco police are eager to get out -- people who've tried the life and gotten out alive want to stop as many others as possible from getting themselves or their families hurt.
There are other great stories to be told about good things being done by good people here in the Tri-Cities.
We're glad those folks are here.
And we're glad to be here with them.