Editor's Pick: Happiest Stories from 2012

What were your favorite stories from the past year?

As 2012 ends and I reflect on the stories of the past year, two stand out. 

These stories are the ones I remember because they brought a smile to my face.

I hope they make you smile too.

This story about Pine-Richland's 12-year-old singing phenom was the most-read story of 2012. Here's an excerpt:

Before thousands of leaders and dignitaries from around the world, Jackie Evancho performed a song Thursday morning (Feb. 2) that calls on people "to believe in a day when hunger and war will pass away."

The 11-year-old from Richland Township sang at the annual National Prayer Breakfast at the Hilton-Washington in the nation's capital, for which President Obama was the keynote speaker.

Her uncle, Matt Evancho, wrote the song, which is on her Dream With Me CD.

“Jesus said that if we had faith as small as a mustard seed, we could move mountains," said Sen Jeff. Sessions, R-Alabama, when he introduced Jackie.

"We experience a similar miracle when we hear the size of the voice that comes out of the relatively small body of our singer, Jackie Evancho. She’s 11. God has given her an extraordinary gift, and we are thrilled she is here to share it with us.”

(For the full story, click on the headline above.)

If you believe in miracles, you'll appreciate the Guerinos' story.

They entered a contest in the hopes of winning a much-needed wheelchair-accessible van for 57-year-old Gary Guerino and his 16-year-old daughter Miranda of Richland Township.

They did not win.

But a 2009 Dodge Grand Caravan specially outfitted for Gary's and Miranda's power wheelchairs pulled into their driveway Tuesday afternoon as friends, educators, caregivers and media looked on.

The keys were handed over to Melissa Guerino, wife of Gary and mother of Miranda.

That online contest started a domino effect. It led to a story in Pine-Richland Patch, which led to a call from an anonymous donor, which led to Variety the Children's Charity working with Mobility Works of Monroeville to create a van that is perfect for transporting Gary and Miranda.

Melissa calls it a miracle.

(For the full story, click on the headline above.)


What 2012 stories stood out in your mind? Tell us in the comments.



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Check out some of today's other top stories here.


Joe Merkt December 31, 2012 at 07:33 PM
What a wonderful way to end the year, Cindy! Thank you. I read the story of the Guerino family and found it incredibly inspiring. The generosity exhibited by the anonymous donors is amazing! I find Jackie Evancho to be incredibly inspirational as well. If only her singing of "To Believe" at the National Prayer Breakfast could bring some peace to this contentious planet. Happy New Year to you and yours. May 2013 bring use more stories of happiness and inspiration. Joe Merkt Thompsons Station, TN
James Dale Barrington January 01, 2013 at 12:29 AM
In the beginning was a seed, the size of a grain of salt. The seed was packed with potential. The seed held the power to bring forth, to create. It held the power of life itself. - And the seed released its power in a big bang, giving birth to time and space. - And the power flowed forth, and flows still, and the power was, is and always will be. - And the secrets of the seed revealed itself through the silent reaches of unfolding eons; seeding the stars and the galaxies, shaping and sifting, gathering and dispersing, energizing space with the forces that both hold us together and urge us to grow, each in the direction nature tells us to go. It brings together elementary particles, holding them in balance, and forming primeval relationships between particles and anti-particles, protons and neutrons, surfing the knife-edge of possibility, creating everything as if out of nothing. -- 'Unless a seed falls into the ground and dies it will not bear fruit.' -- Cindy, the two examples you gave us, and I am sure there are many more we could name, have scattered seeds of good will, and peace, and inspiration all around themselves, and some of it has fallen upon us... May this grace, gratitude, and beatitudes of giving fill our hearts with such loving kindness, too, this next year.


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