Giving thanks, Downtown style

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November 22, 2004 // UPDATED 4:45 pm - April 25, 2007
By: David Brauer
David Brauer

Each year, the final edition of Skyway News includes our "Thank You" issue. The idea is to let you express your gratitude for someone in the community who has done something great for you and/or others.

This year, saying thanks feels more necessary than usual. Perhaps it's the cloudy fall, or the soul-sucking fight that was the 2004 election.

I hate to sound like some smarmy politician, but we could use some healing around here. I know kids who didn't trick or treat at houses that sported the "wrong" lawn sign. Based on local election returns, I know 70 percent of you are really bummed right now. Based on calls I got before Nov. 2, I know the other 30 percent of you feel a bit estranged (or worse) living in a solid-blue area.

I'm not suggesting you put your political passion in a lockbox, but it's time to think about community involvement that isn't winner-take-all. There are incredibly decent people doing incredibly generous things for others that need no polls to ratify.

What they could use, once in awhile, is a public thank you.

In past years, readers have taken time to write about the neighbor who walks a condo building's dogs when the owners are on business trips, the consistently considerate parking lot attendant, the dogged Downtown crime-prevention specialist, the school volunteer, the video clerk who takes time to recommend a good family movie or the activist whose crusade against waste helped clean up a neighborhood.

The thank yous can be small-bore or big-picture. They can be based on personal experience or occasional observation. What they need most is your sincerity, tapping into the authenticity of your nominee.

We have just a few ground rules:

- The "thankees" must live, work or do their good in Downtown. That's the area between the Mississippi River, I-35W, I-94 and Plymouth Avenue -- plus Nicollet Island and the East Bank district between Hennepin and Central avenues.

- The "good works" don't have to be huge, just good.

- Your nomination must be no more than 250 words.

- All entries must be submitted by Friday, Dec. 10, 5 p.m.

- Genuine feeling counts a lot more than fancy writing.

There are three ways to send your thank yous.

The most convenient for us is via e-mail, to You can also fax nominations to 825-0929, or send a letter to Thank Yous, Skyway News, 1115 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55403.

Please include your name, address and phone number, plus your neighborhood if you know it. We also need contact info for your nominee. (Rest assured, phone numbers and exact addresses are for confirmation, not publication.) And while it's not mandatory, if you can send us a photo of the person or persons you're thanking, we will thank YOU.

Look for the gallery of generosity in the Dec. 20 issue.

David Brauer edits Skyway News.