Everybody loves a good story that's sure to warm the heart. Over the past year, KTVA has told dozens of stories that did just that. In no particular order, here are the 11 of the most heartwarming stories of 2017.

1. Kenai plane crash victim shares his family’s story of survival

The Smiths take a photo with the Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak MH-60T Jayhawk crew, who rescued them near a ridgeline landing strip in the vicinity of the Chakachatna River. U.S. Coast Guard photo.


“It was a flight that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.” Pilot and plane crash survivor Josh Smith describes how he and his 72-year-old father-in-law and 12-year-old daughter survived a plane crash near Kenai.

2. Moose’s Tooth sets record sales for family of Vegas shooting victim


The Las Vegas mass shooting was felt hard across the nation -- especially in Alaska. After Moose's Tooth heard the news that one of their employees lost their mother in the shooting, the crew teamed up to raise money by donating a portion of their pizza sales to the family -- breaking sales records. 

3. Anchorage 7-year-old gave up birthday to help homeless

Logan More, 7, celebrated his latest birthday by raising more than $1,500 for Anchorage's homeless community. (Heather Hintze/KTVA)


He may look small, but this 7-year-old has one huge heart. For Logan More's birthday this year, he wanted nothing other than to spend his birthday money on the homeless. 

4. After open-heart surgery, Alaska babies try to lead 'normal' lives


Malachi Hampel was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, which means he's missing the left side of his heart. His family says splashing around in the pool was a lifesaver for him. 

5. New memorial unveiled for slain Palmer teen David Grunwald


David Grunwald, 16, who was allegedly beaten, kidnapped and shot to death is being remembered with a new memorial at Academy Charter School in Palmer -- where he attended seventh and eighth grade.

6. Operation Santa Claus brings Christmas miracle for St. Michael boy


A Christmas miracle for this 7-year-old boy with cerebral palsy. Leon Cheemuk shows St. Nick what he learned to do at this year's Operation Santa Claus in St. Michael, AK. 

7. Man's best friend: Dog saves owner suffering from seizures


A real-life Lassie is earning praise in a Southeast community. Eric Skousen and his mobility service dog Thorr are spending some time in Sitka Community Hospital where they’re learning just how deep their bond really goes. 

8. Alaska Airlines co-workers recover after kidney transplant

How far would you go to help a friend? Two Alaska Airlines coworkers will be put that question to the test when one donated a kidney to the other in March.

9. Donor's heart is gift of a lifetime


Becky Turney thought every detail of her Palmer wedding had been planned. That’s why what happened just minutes into the service took her totally by surprise. Becky’s husband-to-be, Kelly Turney, let go of her hand to make an announcement to the crowd.

10. Crafting friends start project for hospitalized children


An unlikely friendship sparked at American Legion Post 35 in Wasilla. Despite a nearly 50 year age difference, Pat Buchanan and Jennifer Hudson say they bonded right away over their love for crafting and Hudson’s incredible ability to crochet stuffed animals.

11. Woman makes blankets of love for youngest Royal Suite Lodge fire victims


A blanket may not seem like a big deal, but one Anchorage woman says it can be a good thing to hold on to when someone experiences a trauma. Denise Skonieczki made several dozen personalized fleece blankets for the children who were left homeless by the Royal Suite Lodge apartment fire early in the year. 

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