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Challenging year produces memorable moments

Published: Dec. 31, 2020 at 7:49 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Whether it was the sound of a piano in a Roanoke neighborhood, messages of hope on driveways in Salem, a diverse crowd marching for racial justice in Richmond or the emotional return of a popular DJ, 2020 was a year of memorable moments.

As the year comes to a close, we revisit some of those stories that stuck with us.

Last spring, Hank Humphreys sat down at the piano he has played since he was four years old, and brought his neighbors out of their houses, delivering 8 at 8: eight minutes of music each night at 8 o’clock.

“As hard as it is to try and push yourself away from other people in this time, really we just have to be one, through this whole thing,” Humphreys told us in March.

People who live in the Karen Hills neighborhood of Salem were armed with chalk as they responded to the pandemic, using their driveways as a canvas to send a message of hope.

“It really has brought neighbors together, which I think is great,” one resident told us.

In late May, it wasn’t the pandemic, but the call for racial equity and justice that brought out more than 1,000 people for a march in Richmond.

They were determined to foster change without encouraging violence or destruction.

“This is a great city full of great people,” one of the organizers told us. “We want to show people the right way to get things done.”

Robynn Jaymes has been building community for years as one of the region’s most popular radio personalities.

So it was an emotional moment in October when she picked up her first full-time shift at B-99.9 FM in Henry County after battling chronic pancreatitis for almost ten years.

“To be able to stand here at this board and turn this microphone on, play a song and be on the radio again, is just overwhelming, really really overwhelming,” Jaymes said.

And here’s hoping encouraging moments will multiply in the year ahead.

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