Credit the Internet, something which didn't exist when Deborah attended high school over a generation ago, the concern of a Florida couple with local ties, and some fairly quick detective work by Warde graduates with getting the high school ring back to its rightful owner.
Anna Ferrara, a 1976 graduate of nearby Central High School in Bridgeport (seated at the far left in the photo below), found Deborah's ring that same year. Thirty-two years later, Anna and her husband, Joe (second from left), now living in Florida, decided to search the Internet in hopes of finding its owner. He found the AWHS Class of 1976 reunion homepage and contacted 30-year reunion president Tony Procaccini (seen in the middle of the photo) via email on March 19.
Joe said his wife found the ring in Bridgeport in 1976. She got married right out of high school, tucked it away, found it again on her 1983 move to Florida, and put it in a safe deposit box near her home in Clearwater. The ring, still in pristine condition, emerged from the box in Florida twenty-five years later on March 18th. They resolved, this time, to find the owner.
Joe gave Tony the pertinent details, including "Warde 1975" and "DAM," the initials on the ring. Tony, in turn, contacted Mary Ann Colihan (second-from-right above), the president of the AWHS Class of 1975, to find out if a classmate with the same initials could be identified. Mary Ann sent out several emails, and within hours she heard from Deborah in Milford.
After a flurry of emails among all the parties, a group meeting with everyone involved was held last Friday evening, April 4, at Testo's Restaurant in Bridgeport to convey the ring to its original owner.
Even a news crew from News 12 Connecticut, including anchor Nancy Barnes and a photographer, covered the story for the late-night newscast. Click the video below to see the story.
Incredibly, in a little more than two weeks after the initial email from Joe to Tony, the gathering took place. Anna and Joe flew in from Florida to visit relatives in Stratford, Mary Ann arrived from Canada via Washington, Deborah drove from Milford, and Tony came from New York City.
What a great story!
Please sign the AWHS Guest Book.
Visit the Andrew Warde High School Gift Shop.
Watch the AWHS 1976 vintage "film".