As I promised, I’ve been compiling a list of favorite Thanksgiving traditions and reasons to be thankful this year in Barrington. I didn’t meet my goal of polling 30 people. But I made it to 15 and, for that, I am thankful, kind of like making it Halfway to Hana! Of all the “favorite traditions” I heard this month, the most popular ways to celebrate here in Barrington involve family, relaxation, neighbors and football.
I’m starting our list today with Barrington Bank and Trust President, Jon Stickney…
Jon’s passion for football goes way back and he has the photos to prove it!
In fact, he loves the game so much that, every fall, he and his sons paint a football field in the backyard.
He even consulted with his neighbor, a former football coach, about how to paint the lawn without killing the grass.
Now that’s hardcore!
And you can’t do something like, oh…paint your backyard, without inviting all of your neighbors over to show it off.
That’s how the Stickney family annual neighborhood Turkey Bowl football game began 14 years ago.
So as I sign off, for now, to be with my family, I hope you enjoy this sampling of favorite Thanksgiving traditions and special reasons to be thankful in Barrington this year.
Jon Stickney – Barrington Bank & Trust President
“One thing I am thankful for this year is the continual love and support of my family; they have made everything possible for me and for that I cannot be thankful enough…My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the annual Thanksgiving Day football game, more commonly known as the Turkey Bowl, which we host in our backyard. Neighbors, family, and friends have been flocking to our backyard since 1998 for a great “kick-off” to such a fun holiday.”
Karen Darch – Barrington Village President
“In addition to family and friends, I am especially thankful for people who volunteer. (In these tough economic times there are still many givers–especially of their time– to help others)….I enjoy cooking the traditional Thanksgiving dinner for my family and my only sibling in the Midwest (my other 5 siblings are scattered around the country) and her family, who come here from Wisconsin. Dinner is later in the day– after the kids have played in the Stickney family’s annual “Turkey Bowl” football game. (enjoyed by families in our neighborhood)”
“I’m most thankful to have the opportunity to spend the whole week with my family this year.
Obviously, I love to cook and my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving.
One of my favorite things to do is to open a bottle of wine and stay up late Wednesday night cooking with my hubby. Or my mom ;)”
Cheryl Tanaka – Cuba Township Food Pantry Director
“My children have grown and live in different states and countries now…I am thankful that, on Thanksgiving, my husband and I can provide them happiness, love and protection while they are all under one roof.” Cheryl’s favorite Thanksgiving tradition is “…to take long walks with loved ones & various dogs and discuss whose turn it is to haul the firewood when we return home. We have many conversations with warm words on a cold evening.”
Burnell Wollar – Barrington World War II Veteran
“I’m just thankful to be here. And what I really look forward to is having the time to spend with the grandchildren.
They’re both studying for their advanced degrees in college so we don’t see a whole lot of them.
So it’s really just at holiday time that we get the chance to be brought up to date on what they’re doing. it’s nice to sit down at a table and go one on one with them.”
Kate Mills – Barrington Librarian
“I’m thankful for all of our wonderful patrons of the library. If I can help them find a great book to read or answer a vital question or help a kid do their homework, it is very rewarding.”
Her favorite tradition? “Having my mother over for dinner on Thanksgiving day. We don’t even do turkey most of the time. We cook a ham in the slow cooker just to make it an easy, no fuss dinner.”
Katie Kuempel – Owner, Angelina Boutique
“This year, I am thankful for all the opportunities and privileges I have been provided in my life. I feel very fortunate to be pursuing my dreams in such a wonderful community.” And her favorite Thanksgiving tradition? “My favorite holiday tradition is sitting in my pajamas all day and spending time with the people I love. Oh, and shopping all the sales on Black Friday! :-)”
Elmo – During a Recent Visit to Barrington
*Elmo Quote Courtesy of Rick Derr at Learning Express Toys*
“Elmo is thankful that kids are still kids, that Elmo can delight them and that kids come out to see Elmo…
On Thanksgiving Day, Elmo likes to be at home and eat at his own table with no phone calls, no interviews, no malls, no visits, just Thanksgiving at home with his family.”
Don Murphy – Weathervane Artist
“I’ve had a lot of bad things in my life. My father passed away when I was, what, two months old, back in the depression, and I was in a state school for a number of years. So one thing to be thankful for is that everything is better.” Don says he looks forward to spending Thanksgiving at home with his wife, Judy, his son and daughter who just moved home from St. Louis with her husband and their three children. They bought the house three doors down from Don.
Jim Arie – Barrington Fire Chief
“I’m thankful for my health and being able to work with good people…That’s a sizable group, from our firefighters who are very dedicated and unselfish, to the other department heads and staff throughout the Village that I’m fortunate to be able to work with. They’re a hardworking group of people.” And Chief Arie says this Thanksgiving he’s most looking forward to, simply, “Quiet times with family.”
Anita Peters – Barrington Jewelry Designer
“I make homemade stuffing. It takes me hours to make it. It’s an old family recipe that’s been handed down from generation to generation and my boys are just starting to learn how to make it.” And when I asked her what she’s most thankful for she said, simply, “Family. But I think these days you can be thankful for a roof over your head and food and clothing and to be able to put my boys through hockey, baseball and travel sports. Not everybody can afford to do that.”
Leslie Luther-Jeschke – Barrington Area United Way Executive Director
“I am most thankful for my family and friends, and the opportunity to make a small difference in the lives of those in need in our community through my United Way work.” Her favorite Thanksgiving memory? “Thanksgiving on the coast of Maine with my family, the salt air and a warm fire!” This is a photo of Leslie and her daughter, Kirsten, during that Thanksgiving trip to Maine.
Joe Sanchez – Barrington High School Football Coach
“I’m grateful for my family and the people I’m able to work with in both teaching and in coaching and I’m just grateful to be a part of a really great community….Every year since I’ve been in high school I have played a “Turkey Bowl” football game with friends on Thanksgiving Day morning. We’re sore for about a week or so after, but that’s one thing I look forward to every year because it’s the one day I’m actually playing and not coaching the game each year.”
Lara Berry – Barrington Junior Womens Club President
“I am most thankful for having healthy parents who are as active today as they were 10 years ago. All 15 grandkids in our family get a lot of gramma and gramps time…The tradition I most look forward to is going to my cabin for Thanksgiving. My family, parents, brothers, sisters and cousins all spend the week on the lake. Together we spend time sledding, skiing, skating and re-telling the old family stories that still make us laugh.”