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Serving Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra since 1984 WEDNESDAY January 16, 2013 9 Father-daughter team takes part in Norwegian art exhibit that spans three generations Your source for local news, sports, opinion and entertainment: Found: Act of kindness leads to new bond suitcase Woman leaves thank-you note for good deed done years ago by man’s late father full of meat John Kurucz Jeremy Deutsch There’s an awful lot you can pack into a suitcase — clothes would be the first items that come to mind. But apparently, as Port Moody police have discovered, a suitcase is also an acceptable way to pack meat. The department was called to a report of an abandoned suitcase out front of an apartment on St. Johns Street Sunday night. When an officer opened up the suitcase, police found more than 100 pounds of various packaged frozen meats. Police aren’t sure where the edible contents came from, but note it’s not unusual to get the occasional report of food stolen from deep freezes kept in carports. “Most likely one of our local homeless went rummaging through someone’s outside deep freeze, gathered up the meat into an old suitcase and rode off,” said Port Moody police spokesman Const. Luke Van Winkel, adding the meat either fell off or the person may have gotten startled and dropped it. “In the long run it’s probably best that they dropped it. Some of the beef had best before dates of 2004 — the prime rib was well past its prime.” The department sent out this tweet late Sunday night: “We have found a suitcase full of 100 lbs of meat. On the sidewalk. Please come and get it if it’s yours. #mysterymeat.” While no one has come forward to claim the suitcase, police said they’ll hold on to the meat for the time being. It’s a lesson in paying it forward that spans two families, three generations and a 14-year gap. Though he wasn’t expecting any mail at the time, Port Moody resident Larry Coleman followed a hunch that led him to his porch on Christmas Eve. Situated on the sill of his Ioco Road doorway was a thank-you card recalling an act of kindness his late father had performed in 1999. “I was unlocking the door, and I thought to myself, ‘This is silly, I’m not expecting anything,’” Coleman said. “But I opened it up anyway and on the door sill was an envelope that said Merry Christmas on it.” The card had only a first name attached to it — Sarah — and recalled a rainy spring day 14 years ago. On that day, a stranded motorist found herself having to walk from the Port Moody Public Library back to her home on Flavelle Drive. On top of the fact that it was raining, the card writer had a six-month-old daughter in her arms. “About half-way home, my arms were aching and it was beginning to rain,” the card reads. “A very kind gentleman who lived in this house noticed my struggle and offered me a ride home. This simple act of kindness has stayed with me through the years.” The letter was referencing Larry’s father, Leonard, who died in 2005. “I got all teared up when I read that card,” Coleman said, adding he was unaware of his dad’s good deed until reading the card. “Dad was a really good guy. He would help anyone. Someone saying thank you after 14 years really touched me.” Christmas Day saw Coleman convene with other NOW photos by Lisa King Sarah Bondi and Larry Coleman met after Sarah left a card thanking Larry’s father for giving her a ride in 1999. family members for a holiday meal and, to a person, they were all overcome with the same kinds of emotions. In fact, Coleman couldn’t read the card aloud and instead asked his sister-in-law to. Buoyed by the profound effect the card had on him, Coleman set out to find the seemingly anonymous card writer. He purchased a professionally made sign that read, “Thank you Sarah, please call” in the hopes the two could connect. About a week passed by, and he had heard nothing. “I just want to say thank you to her because it made so many people’s Christmas,” Coleman said. “Even the place where I got the sign made, one of the gals there kind of teared up as I told her about why I’m getting the sign made. It’s been the same thing with my neighbours.” But on Jan. 7 the call came through, and Larry put a voice to the name. As it turns out, the letter writer, Sarah Bondi, lives a few blocks away. At first, Bondi wanted to remain anonymous, but her 14-yearold daughter Kira — whom Bondi was carrying that day in 1999 — convinced her mother to do otherwise. “When I passed the sign, I think I went 11 shades of purple. I thought this whole thing would be done anonymously,” Bondi said. “But I was so tickled pink with that sign. I knew that I had to say thank you and to make sure that his family knows that I haven’t forgotten.” The pair connected over the phone on Jan. 7, and met in person for the first time last Thursday. It wouldn’t have happened were it not for Kira, who, along with her classmates, has focused on random acts of kindness throughout the school year. It was that classroom focus that prompted Bondi to write the card. “It was so simple and it was only three minutes out of his way,” Bondi said. “He was such a gentleman. It was a simple, simple act of kindness and I always like to tell my kids that these are the things that are so important in life.” 3$ 8!$ '&@! ;&28; $:%$!BC "&! 8@0A& >A0$& %!&0@2BC ( #@8;AB' A4CB8;;8BA&4C) 6/-9/?. =/1*= *5*-< ON NOW! 604.522.4000 1200 Lougheed Hwy, Coquitlam =87$ +!A2$ , *:%$!B /0>A2$

Coquitlam Now January 16 2013

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