For some, 2017 began with heartache: Powell mourned the loss of Mayor Don Hillman, a longtime champion of this beloved small town; the Tribune lost a dear friend and longtime co-worker, Gib Mathers, who died while doing what he loved: hiking on the North Fork of the Shoshone River.
We know many in our community also suffered losses this past year, saying goodbye to friends, loved ones and neighbors. Others endured health struggles and difficult diagnoses — and some of those battles will continue into the new year.
As a country, we have experienced deepening divisions that cannot be easily healed, as well as national tragedies that left us heartbroken.
Yet in this season, we also see hope.
For many, Christmas brings the celebration of a savior — a thrill of hope that gives a weary world reason to rejoice. Within our community, Christian congregations of different backgrounds will gather this weekend to worship and celebrate a sacred holiday.
Others celebrate Christmas quietly at home, while some venture out into the outdoors, surrounded by Wyoming’s natural beauty.
At this time of year, we’re also reminded of the many ways local residents care for one another. In Powell, you don’t have to look far to see examples of amazing kindness, generosity and service.
For the past 68 years, Sally Montoya has helped make the holiday season brighter for local families through the Christmas Basket program, in cooperation with Dave Blevins and the Powell Council of Community Services.
She was just a teenager when she started giving back to the Powell community. Today, at 87 years old, Montoya is doing what she always does in December: Giving to those in need.
We appreciate her and many others who volunteer and selflessly give during the holiday season. Whether it’s through Toys for Tots, Backpack Blessings, Powell Valley Loaves and Fishes, local businesses, churches and other charitable groups, the Powell community often gives back, especially at the holidays.
Though the final days before Christmas are hectic — amid the last-minute shopping, baking, wrapping, get-togethers and traveling — we hope this holiday is a merry one, and wish you the best in 2018.