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Get To Know Daily Voice: What Are Your Reporters #Thankful For?

The Daily Voice Bergen/Passaic Team is thankful for our dogs, our travels, our health and our families.
The Daily Voice Bergen/Passaic Team is thankful for our dogs, our travels, our health and our families. Photo Credit: DAILY VOICE

Daily Voice has been working hard to make meaningful connections with our readers.

We want to get to know you. We want to know what you care about.

We want to know what you want to read about.

We felt, though, that it's just as important for you to get to know us.

The first thing you should know is that this Thanksgiving Day, we are grateful for you.

Daily Voice launched its Bergen and Passaic sites in September 2015, and we've been growing rapidly ever since.

We are grateful that you've welcomed us into your communities and trusted us to help you effect changes you've long been seeking.

If it wasn't for such positive feedback from YOU , we wouldn't be where we are now.

The second thing you should know is... we're just like you! We too will be sitting down this Thanksgiving Day to reflect on our lives and why it is we do what we do, and what keeps us going every single day.

Lorraine Ash, reporter

The flavors of Thanksgiving have changed for me over the years.

In my girlhood, my Italian relatives set a high bar for food at Thanksgiving. There was lasagna (of course), turkey, ham, vegetables and breads.

Dessert was just as abundant: rum cake, pies of all persuasions, Italian cookies, struffoli (honey balls) and Occhi di Santa Lucia, round soft white cookies.

Today, I gather around the Thanksgiving table, just as laden, with my husband’s relatives — a wonderful bunch that started once upon a time with White Anglo-Saxon Protestants.

The scrumptious fare is more traditionally American. I bring my corn casserole or yams and gluten-free brownies. But there is still laughter and conversation.

As the years go by, though, that table, too, reflects a changing America. New stories, new ethnicities, new flavors appear.

I’m thankful for the life flow, from generation to generation.

I’m thankful for the expansion of the circle and the coming together.

Arthur Augustyn, reporter

As someone who is frequently across the country from their family (parents live in Redondo Beach, CA), I rarely experience the traditional Thanksgiving. When my family does have Thanksgiving together, we like to prepare an extra seat at the table. It's never been filled but the gesture is to open our dinner to any guest who might want to stay. Since I don't go to many Thanksgiving dinners now, I see myself as that empty chair. A guest roaming the world, potentially invited in by another family for their dinner.

I'm thankful that I can lead such an independent lifestyle.

In the past couple months I stuffed everything I owned into my car and drove from California to New Jersey to start this wonderful job at Daily Voice. Along the way I was able to stay with residents of cities like Salt Lake City, Denver and Cleveland. I was able to soak in the culture of every city I stayed at and got a glimpse of how different each part of the country is while still recognizing each one was somebody's definition of "America."

My solo cross-country road trip was a liberating experience that showed what I accomplish on my own. I look forward to future travels both here at home and abroad. I'm thankful that I have a life that allows me to see so much of the world.

Lauren Kidd Ferguson, reporter

No matter how many other elaborate desserts that took hours to make are on the Thanksgiving table, my family is drawn to one thing – icebox cake.

It is super simple and quick to make and the “Kidds” in my “Kidd” family have eaten it on every Thanksgiving (and Christmas Eve, and birthday … ) that I can remember.

This week, I am in charge of making it. I’ll layer graham crackers in a 9x12 glass dish, pour in the instant chocolate pudding, put another layer of grahams, another layer of pudding, and top it off with whipped cream. I’ll probably have two pieces myself.

I am thankful for my supportive husband and our family who is always there for us.

I am also thankful for our friends, old and new. And of course, I am thankful for our adorable black-eyed-dog, Paddy. I may be biased, but she’s the best.

Faith Ballantine Armonaitis, community editor

After a long and busy football season, I am looking forward to sitting down with my family for a quiet Thanksgiving dinner, with my husband, kids and mother-in-law. We'll watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade and football, of course!

I'll call my brothers in Georgia and central Jersey to wish them happy turkey day and start planning our family get together at Christmas.

I am thankful for our health, despite all the bumps, bruises and breaks that sports brings.

For my extended family scattered across New Jersey, my friends-who-are-like-family, my church family, and my job and work family who inspires me to be a better writer every day.

Cecilia Levine, managing editor

We're not the fastest and we don't train for it, but the Levine Family runs a 5-mile Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving Day. It's a reminder to us that we have our health and our bodies, which continue to do amazing things for us.

We listen to "Alice's Restaurant" on the way home and begin food preparation almost as soon as we walk into the house.

We gather around the dining room table and reflect on the highs and lows of the year thus far in a game we call "rose and thorn." The highs of the year and the lows of the year.

This year, I'll be spending Thanksgiving in my home away from home: New Jersey (don't worry, I'll see the fam next week!).

This year I am grateful for my health, my Connecticut family, my Zumba Fitness/gym family, my foster pup, my amazing team at Daily Voice and everyone who has firmly believed and invested in our mission.

We are exactly where we are supposed to be.

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