Life in the Sierra foothills in and around Auburn offers many reasons to give thanks. Following are some of reasons why we at the Journal are thankful this Thanksgiving holiday. — The beauty of the nearby American River canyons. Feeling low? Check out No Hands Bridge, Clementine Falls or hike Stagecoach Trail. The canyon is bound to lift almost anyone’s spirits. — Dr. Kenneth Fox’s unique statues. Have guests coming from out of town? Show them The Archer or chained man on Auburn Ravine Road. Or the Coolie statue next to the chamber of commerce. You won’t find statues like these anywhere but Auburn. — Auburn’s Salvation Army for feeding the homeless and providing dinner for everyone. Hungry, alone or just want some company? The Auburn Salvation Army’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner demonstrates the true holiday spirit of our hometown. — The Placer High Hillmen football team for giving us the first two home playoff games in three decades. Thanks coach Joey Montoya and company for lifting us up when area professional sports teams – the 49ers, Raiders, Kings and Warriors — are struggling. — Amgen tour for choosing to route the ride near Auburn. Maybe this is a little premature, but we’re confident professional bicycle racing will pedal near Auburn next spring. — Mother Nature for sending us an early snowfall… Many Placer County ski resorts have already opened, boosting tourism, offering athletic opportunities and giving families a fun way to recreate together. But keep the snow fallin’ Mom! — The Auburn Symphony for adding a touch of class to our arts community and for showcasing the considerable talents of foothills musicians. — The bring-back-the-funkbox-derby volunteers for realizing that Auburn needs to laugh, enjoy life and celebrate fun for fun’s sake. — The Auburn Community Cancer Endowment Fund for raising $.1.7 million so far. For a community Auburn’s size to raise that staggering sum is awesome. Everyone has been touched by cancer. The endowment fund offers cash to pay for research to combat this vicious killer. — The Auburn Placer Performing Arts Committee for refurbishing the State Theater. What’s the brightest shining star Downtown? How about the new marquee at the community theater. What a sweet addition. — The annual Parade of Lights. Whether heading uphill or downhill, the lights parade is an enchanting evening full of holiday cheer. At 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5 line up along Lincoln Way or High street with friends and family and celebrate the season. It’s Auburn at its finest. — The effort to restore salmon and steelhead to Auburn Ravine Creek. Re-introducing the native species fish to our community is a difficult but worthwhile endeavor. A dedicated group calling itself SARSAS, Save American River Steelhead and Salmon, is leading the effort. — Mandarin oranges. The foothills are known for the sweet and tasty orange fruit that helps keep you healthy. — Placer-grown wine. If you are going to enjoy a glass of wine this holiday season, why not support local vintners. They not only produce great wine, but their vineyards preserve open space and enhance local scenery. — Wildlife. There is a momma bear and three babies that live among us. And many deer call the Auburn area home. We are also blessed with wild turkeys by the dozens. Let’s celebrate local wildlife and co-exist. Shop for turkey at the supermarket and leave our neighborhood gobblers alone this holiday season! — 49 Fire response. What we are most thankful for this holiday season is our wonderful community. An example of the powerful community spirit we enjoy can be seen by the response to the 49 Fire. More than 63 homes and businesses were lost in the Aug. 30 blaze. What is telling, however, was the community’s response. From Placer High students hosting a dinner, to the Auburn Recreation District offering a benefit concert, to Salvation Army and the Red Cross’ tremendous efforts, to the Auburn Disaster Relief Fund started by Community First Bank, our area’s response has been impressive. So were each and every individual act of kindness shown to fire victims. We’re most thankful to live, work and play in a community that truly cares for its own. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.