5 heartwarming stories of 2016.

The 5 most heartwarming Dayton stories of 2016

There are stories that shock us, there are stories that scare us and then,  there are stories that warm our hearts.

Here are 5 2016 stories that spoke to Dayton’s soul:

 LOVE FOR BIG STEVE

Dayton coach Archie Miller hugs Steve McElvene's mom Jenell Shoals during a pregame ceremony before a game against Austin Peay on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Photo: David Jablonski

Dayton is a town thgat comes together to celebrate and to mourn. 

The latter was sadly the case when University of Dayton said farewell to student basketball player Steve McElvene.  

 MORE: Tom Archdeacon: Memories of ‘Big Steve’ touch hearts at UD Arena 

The 6-foot-11 center died May 12 at his family’s home in Fort Wayne, Ind.

His death came just days before he was to  return to campus for the start of the first summer session at UD. A coroner’s report in August revealed the cause of death to be hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart.

The crowd at UD Arena gave  McElvene’s mom, Jenell Shoals, her two younger sons Trayshawn and Escarvar, and her sister Vanessa Jackson a standing ovation as the stood mid court in November. 

UD coach Archie Miller gave Jenell the Atlantic 10 championship ring her son won last season.

Dayton coach Archie Miller presents Steve McElvene's mom Jenell Shoals with his A-10 championship ring during a pregame ceremony before a game against Austin Peay on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at UD Arena. David Jablonski/Staff
Photo: David Jablonski

BABY’S FIRST SHAMPOO

In the aftermath of one of the most divisive elections in American history, a newborn getting her very first shampoo was able to unite us.

A Facebook video of Amira Yvonne Glenn having her hair washed by a Miami Valley Hospital nurse melted hearts here and around the nation. 

 MORE: Dayton newborn gets first shampoo, goes viral

A video of a Miami Valley Hospital nurse giving newborn Amira Yvonne Glenn her first bath went viral. Her is the backstory. Video by Taveon Glenn edited by Amelia Robinson.

The sweet video posted by Amira’s dad,  Taveon Glenn of Dayton, has received nearly 40 million views on Facebook. 

LITTLE BOY SELLS TOYS 

Franklin Police Officer Steve Dunham

The community rallied around a Franklin police officer who bought a meal for a 7-year-old boy who tried to sell stuffed animal to buy food.

For his actions,  officer Steve Dunham received support from people all over the nation. 

Due to his action, Warren County Children Services intervened and helped the boy and his siblings.  

The 7-year-old and his four siblings also received the community’s support. 

In August, the five children went on a shopping spree arranged by the Franklin Walmart. They received back to school supplies, new shoes and clothing.

MORE:  Franklin police help boy trying to sell toy for food 

AGGIE’S STORY 

Aggie Parrish at age 16. (photo by Amelia Robinson)

Aggie Parrish’s journey from a life of abuse hampered by epilepsy and mental issues uplifted many of those who read it. 

Aggie married a 69-year-old man when she was just 16. 

MORE: Married at 16 to 69-year-old, Dayton woman "free" after 23 years in nursing home 

At age 39 Aggie suffered seizures and what she called a nervous breakdown and was put in a nursing home after a three-month hospital stay.

Estranged from her family, Aggie stayed in the nursing home 23 years in virtual isolation among much older people, many suffering from dementia and severe illnesses.

A social worker threw Aggie a life vest through the Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley HOME (Helping Ohioans Move – Expanding) Choice program which helps people with disabilities living in long-term care facilities.

Aggie has lived happily and independently since.

“I am my own boss and it feels great. I can go any place I want. I don’t have to listen to nobody. I just feel like I want to hug everybody,” she told us. 

GRACE’S RUN   

Cedarville University freshman and Xenia Christian grad Grace Norman wins gold at the Paralympics Games in Rio de Janeiro. CONTRIBUTED
Photo: Staff Report

   Local residents found Xenia Christian graduate Grace Norman’s performance in

the 2016 Paralympic Game awe inspiring. 

A congenital amniotic band disorder meant Norman was born without a  left foot and missing a big toe on her right foot.

With the world watching, the Cedarville University student won gold in the triathlon and bronze in the 400-meter run at the games.

MORE: Grace Norman wins gold at Paratriathlon World Championships

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