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Their three stories captivated the 430 people inside the Welder Center on Wednesday night:

-- A widowed father stripped of his ability to hug his children.

-- A mother -- who has spent her life doing all she can for her family -- forced to rely completely on others.

-- A gregarious pastor robbed of his ability to speak.

Through the tears, the three smiled and strengthened those around them. They inspired all of us to be a little bit better and to focus on what truly matters.

Filmmaker Drew Stewart, who captured their stories, talked about destiny as he introduced his documentary, "Breadth of Hope." He didn't know what led him to this project, but perhaps fate had a hand, he said.

I will testify that Stewart's talents and tenacity also played no small part. When Stewart, then an Advocate intern, and reporter Erica Rodriguez told me last fall that they wanted to turn a newspaper story into a movie, I thought, "Well, it doesn't hurt to encourage them." However, I harbored my doubts they could reach such an ambitious goal.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez started our print series on the widowed father, Craig Fox, and his family. Her sixth installment, a beautiful Thanksgiving Day feature, set the stage for the magical night the following week inside the Welder Center.

As the film ended, the audience rose to applaud both Stewart and the subjects of his movie. A rush of goodwill swept from the audience toward Stewart and Fox, who fielded questions about the project.

I wish everyone could have been inside the Welder Center that night. The next best thing we have to offer is a special website,, featuring the entire documentary, the print series and other online extras.

Interactivity editor CJ Castillo labored carefully over the site, trying to do justice to such an important project. We hope you will take your time exploring the site and finding your own inspiration.