Pearl Fu leaves Roanoke for new home in Philadelphia

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Pearl Fu has been bringing people together since she arrived in the Roanoke Valley in 1986.

WDBJ7 photo

And she's not hard to find in the WDBJ7 archives: sharing traditions of the Chinese New Year in 1990, raising money for RAM House a year later or receiving the key to the city as Roanoke's Citizen of the Year in 1994.

But now it's time for a new chapter in a different city.

"I reluctantly am leaving Roanoke," Fu told WDBJ7, "because we love Roanoke."

Fu has lived with Parkinson's disease for 20 years. The move to Philadelphia will mean she and her husband C.C. will be closer to their youngest daughter, Colette.

Fu is best known as the founder of Local Colors, an organization that celebrates the region's ethnic and cultural diversity.

And she loves to tell how the annual celebration has grown from a few nationalities to more than a hundred.

"I've been very happy to see all of the different cultures coming out, and being exposed and friendly to each other," Fu said. "Outside of Roanoke there may be fighting and disagreements between the different cultures, but here in Roanoke we all get along together. It's very heartwarming."

Fu said she feels like she's a part of "the big Roanoke Valley family," and says she hopes the people of western Virginia will continue to open their hearts to others.

"Within the four seas we are all sisters and brothers," Fu said. "I'm so blessed and so lucky to have lived here since 1986. Thank you."

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