The cause was a good one -- finding little Scott Meyer, a 5-year-old with autism who wandered away from his Prescott, Wis., home earlier this week. But the conditions under which the search took place-- blazing heat and humidity -- were formidable.
And still the volunteers came, many giving up their July 4th holiday to help out. Hundreds poured into the little river town to look for the little boy. As the sun rose on a steamy Wednesday morning, authorities dispatched shifts of volunteers on un-air-conditioned buses out to search sites. There they trudged through thick brush and scanned fields and neighborhoods as tropical temperatures and summer insects turned their act of kindness into a grueling endurance test.
Fortunately, one of these good-hearted volunteers found Scott around 8 a.m. about half a mile from his family's home. Jason Moser of nearby Ellsworth, Wis, and his golden retriever spotted a bit of bare skin and a diaper on a steep slope near a tree, according to the Star Tribune story by Rochelle Olson. It was Scott. He was sunburned, dehydrated and suffering from diaper rash and bug bites -- and he was ready to go home.
You could almost hear the collective cheer that went up around the region as the Star Tribune and other media reported that Scott had been reunited with his family. One of the best days of summer got even better thanks to the happy ending to the kind of story that too often ends tragically. Photos of Autumn, the friendly dog who helped find Scott, took this feel-good story to the next level.
The volunteers who turned out to help can't be thanked enough. They rolled out of bed early on their day off, shrugged off sweltering heat and swatted away bugs because a little boy needed help. They endured the worst of a Midwest summer but embody the best of our region. We don't sit idly by when neighbors need help. We get up and go lend a hand.
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