One year ago this month, KOMU 8 News started the EmVP series highlighting the most valuable people in our community.

There’s no denying the past year has been difficult, but we still found a lot of good to share with you. 

From the local nonprofit that makes boxes of sunshine for kids in the hospital to the husband fighting for breast cancer awareness, it’s been one year of highlighting the good.

“If I can help bring awareness so somebody finds [breast cancer] before, I’ll rest in peace,” Tom Klucking said. 

The series has also brought attention to the selfless, like a young boy in Jefferson City who uses his own allowance money to surprise other children with gifts.

“I feel better if other people get gifts instead of me getting gifts,” Landon Connally said.

And, EmVP recognized the sacrifices made by those in our community by highlighting  a parade for a WWII veteran turning 100 and the Quilts of Valor program that gives handmade quilts to veterans. 

“I almost started crying. I really did,” Charles Hawkins said after receiving his quilt.

There are so many EmVPs in our community from the most valuable pet, Izzo the arson dog, to a Columbia teacher who kept teaching while battling brain cancer.

“Keeps me going. You’ve got to be energetic to be around them,” Bill Morgan said.

EmVP also highlighted the creative act of love when a police officer pulled over his girlfriend, who is also an officer, to propose. And, the series featured the love brewing at Love Coffee on the Business Loop, a business aimed at giving job opportunities to people with disabilities.

“I can do a job with my limits and they’re willing to take me in and see what I can do.” Tomas Swenson said. 

It’s easy to shine a spotlight on the remarkable people in mid-Missouri because there are just so many, like the Columbia man who took his accordion to the streets to cheer people up during the pandemic and the COVID-19 nurses supporting their patients in the hospital. 

“We’re not afraid to interact with our patients and do what we have to do,” Jared Wilson said. 

So, despite the darkness of this past year, keep looking for the light. You just might find our next EmVP.