Friday, August 12, 2005

Update to "Hometown Girl" Story

Tom and Jane Zachman are on that long road back to Grand Island once again.

This time they are making the drive with joy in their hearts, as they have their miracle.

Jennifer has been found, alive!

Once again, the people of Grand Island came through. Rita, a woman who had been very helpful to Tom and Jane on their last visit, saw Jennifer walking along a road south of town. She called the State Patrol. It was indeed Jennifer.

The State Patrol picked her up, and she is now in a Grand Island hospital under observation. She was malnourished and dehydrated.

To Tom and Jane, the real story is that Jennifer has been found alive, not what she was doing since mid-July. They also want the emphasis to be on what the help and concern of the people of Grand Island meant to them.

There were many people cited, but they don't remember all of the names right now. The urgency in getting to Jennifer is primarily in their minds.

Jolene from the pawn shop and Rita from the jewelry store are at the top of the list. The United Way let the Zachmans use their office to make phone calls. The employees at Office Max helped with flyers.

Tom and Jane were overwhelmed by the support given to them by people of Grand Island and the surrounding communities. He said "their concern made the difference". And indeed it has.

"When another day went by without word on Jennifer, we began to think the worst. After all of this time, we were pretty sure something bad had happened to her. To get that phone call that she was found was wonderful and unexpected. We are very overjoyed," Tom related via cell phone on his journey back to his daughter.

The Zachmans want to make sure the people of central Nebraska know how much their help meant to them. Because of their kindness and willingness to take action, they now get to be reunited with their daughter.

I figured out which jewelry shop was the one where Rita, the woman who spotted Jennifer, works. It was the one where my engagement ring was purchased.

It's a small world, and its a good world.

Thank you Grand Island for proving it.


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