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It was the tale of the lost teddy bear at the Alco Discount Store in Vandalia — until Santa Found it.
Some four weeks ago Trinity White, age 3, lost her beloved teddy bear, “Bear,” while shopping with her mother, Rachel White, at Alco.
“I kind of gave up on finding (Bear),” White said. “She takes him everywhere. “She cried almost every night and wanted me or daddy to go find him.”
Guy Marshall, Alco employee, said store employees looked occasionally for the missing bear but couldn’t come up with it. White had left a note and a number to call if “Bear” ever showed.
About 15 minutes before the end of Alco’s “Black Friday” on November 23, “Bear” was there.
“We were just cleaning up at the end of the night,” Marshall said.
“I thought I saw a pet’s toy on the ground but I knew it wasn’t a pet toy. It was a well-used teddy bear.”
He said “Bear” had been kicked underneath a shelf and had lain inconspicuously for several weeks until that night’s cleaning of the store floor.
Marshall and work-mates Julia Wood and Tim Epperson rounded up White’s note and called to tell the news.
“I was ecstatic when Alco found him,” White said. “I went into the other room and told them (Alco) found “Bear.”
She said Trinity was in bed by the time the call came in that “Bear” was rescued so she sent her husband, Richard, to get him.
With a Santa suit handy, Marshall, Wood, and Epperson decided Santa should give the bear back.
“I had been Santa earlier that day,” Marshall said. “We thought maybe (Trinity) would come with (Richard). It was just the father but (Trinity) was still excited.”
Trinity was fast asleep when Richard returned home with “Bear” but the two brought the bear into her bedroom.
“She said ‘you found bear!’”, White said. “Richard told her ‘no Ho-Ho Santa found him.’”
“It was definitely the best part of my day,” Marshall said. “That was the best part of the whole deal. It was a great way to close the store.”