Portland businesses help reunite Tennessee boy and his bunny

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PORTLAND — A family visiting from Tennessee won’t soon forget their trip to Portland after the downtown community came together last Friday to help them find their son’s lost stuffed bunny.

Jennifer Dzermejko said her son, Eddie, 5, lost his bunny pal, Bean, when he put him down while playing on the rocks in Tommy’s Park sometime during the afternoon on Oct. 12.

“When we left, (my son) forgot Bean. He’s had (Bean) since he was a baby and the stuffed animal has been a steady companion ever since. We put the word out on social media that he was missing and came back Friday morning to retrace our steps with no luck,” Dzermejko said.

“Then we got a call that (the manager) at Gus & Ruby Letterpress had found (Bean). We went straight there and picked him up. It was so great how the community came together to get Eddie and Bean reunited.”

Kristin Forester, from Gus & Ruby’s, said she found the stuffed bunny on a bench near the intersection of Exchange and Middle streets.

Adam MacDonald, the communications director for Portland Downtown, said his organization first learned about the missing stuffed animal when a Facebook follower sent a link to a lost-and-found posting on Craigslist.

“My heart went out to the boy,” MacDonald said, “so I decided to share the Craigslist post on the Portland Downtown Facebook page. As soon as I did, I noticed that many of our followers began sharing the post.”

He said that within an hour or so, the post had been shared more than 90 times. To widen the search for the bunny even more, he sent an email blast to contacts at hundreds of downtown shops and restaurants.

Forty-five minutes later, MacDonald said, “I was delighted to get an email, exclaiming, ‘I have the bunny.’” That message came from Forester, who was hailed as a hero by the Dzermejko family.

“We aren’t normally in the business of helping folks find items they’ve lost downtown,” MacDonald said, “but the impassioned plea from the boy’s mom motivated us to take action. We all know what it feels like when you’re a kid and you lose something you love.”

“The search for the bunny is a wonderful reminder that we’re part of a caring and tight-knit community,” he added.

Kristin Forester, the manager at Gus & Ruby Letterpress on Exchange Street, was the hero who found Eddie Dzermejko’s lost stuffed bunny, Bean, last week. Dzermejko, 5, and his family were visiting from Tenessee.