The case of the mystery ornament

5 Jan

Yesterday, as I was dragging my Christmas tree to the curb for the Village to pick up, I was reminded of a nice story that happened seven years ago this week.

In the first week of January 2016, My husband and I had decided to take a winter hike at Helmer Nature Center in Irondequoit. It happens that Helmer is the location where the Town of Irondequoit collects Christmas trees every year for recycling. We noticed that someone had placed an ornament on top of a post near the pile of trees. Clearly, some family had left it on their tree, a kind person had noticed it and put it somewhere obvious in case the family came back looking for it.

At my husband’s suggestion, I snapped a photo of the ornament and posted it on my Facebook page. I was still writing a weekly column for the Democrat and Chronicle at the time, so the page had a lot of readership. Someone at Channel 13 saw the post and did a short piece on their newscast. That caught the attention of the Irondequoit family who had lost the ornament, the Rusters.

Turns out the photo is of (then) 22-year old Teigan Ruster, who was just a year old when it was taken. The family returned to Helmer Nature Center the next day and was thrilled to get the ornament back.  

The whole story was picked by by Channel 13 reporter Matt Molloy, who actually came to interview me at the Webster Thomas High School library where I was working at the time. Click here to see his report.

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(posted 1/5/2023)

8 Responses to “The case of the mystery ornament”

  1. David Whitlock January 5, 2023 at 7:21 pm #

    Thanks, gotta read soon – Dave

  2. David Whitlock January 5, 2023 at 7:25 pm #

    Neat! Thanks! – Dave

  3. Deborah Silver January 7, 2023 at 11:46 am #

    Thank you for a very heartwarming story.

    The link to Matt Malloy’s story doesn’t work. It just takes you to the Wham13 main page.


    • websterontheweb January 7, 2023 at 12:22 pm #

      Hmmm. Thanks for letting me know. I’ve updated it but it looks like the only link I have is the one that was already in there. So try it again and let me know what happens!

      • Deborah Silver January 7, 2023 at 1:20 pm #

        I tried it again and it still just goes to the main page.


      • websterontheweb January 7, 2023 at 2:23 pm #

        Huh. It works for me. Try just pasting the direct link:

      • Deborah Silver January 12, 2023 at 1:35 pm #

        Missy, A second mystery solved! I was attempting to view the story on my phone. Whether I clicked the link or copied and pasted, it opened the 13WHAM app on my phone which simply took me to the main news page. I decided to try clicking the link on my Mac laptop where I do not have the 13WHAM app and, voila, it worked!

        I thought you would find that interesting.

        Again, thank you for the heartwarming story and the link to the news coverage.

        Debbie Silver


      • websterontheweb January 12, 2023 at 4:26 pm #

        And it always worked for me because I used my computer! That explains a lot … doesn’t make sense, but it explains a lot. 🙂

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