Today we have a nifty and ongoing story about multiple tragedies, Christmas, a do-gooder charity, country music and some students’ concern for their grief-stricken peers.
It’s almost guaranteed to warm the iciest of hearts.
It involves radio station Star Country 94.9, aka WSLC-FM, Staunton River High School in Moneta and James River High in Buchanan.
Staunton River, as you probably have heard, has had a rough fall. Three students there — Jacob Baird, Katie Thurston and Ashley Barton — died in car accidents in the past few months. That’s taken a heavy toll on the 1,100-student Bedford County school.
WSLC is part of Wheeler Broadcasting, which is headquartered on Electric Road in the Tanglewood area of Roanoke County. For the last decade or so, they’ve been running a Christmas-season contest among our region’s high schools to gather toys for the charity Toys for Tots.
Each year, the school that contributed the most toys per capita has won a free concert by a country artist at their school. In recent years the entertainers have included Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum and Blake Shelton. The winning school this year gets a concert from Love and Theft, which currently has the chart-topping hit, “Angel Eyes.”
James River High, which has about 500 students, has won the contest for the last five years under the leadership of former teacher Lori Sibley, advisor to its Key Club. She’s no longer with the school.
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