"I was going to do everything in my power to find it," Beverly Amick said after helping her dad Mal Osborn find his varsity jacket

By Joelle Goldstein
December 11, 2020 04:18 PM
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Mal Osborn
| Credit: Beverly Amick via AP

A 92-year-old North Carolina man who lost his beloved varsity jacket was finally reunited with it — thanks to a kind stranger and the power of social media.

Ever since Mal Osborn received the varsity jacket for running long-distance track and cross-country events at the University of Maine from 1949-52, he proudly wore it almost everywhere he went, the Bangor Daily News reported.

"It was a part of me because I’ve had it so long," Osborn told the outlet. "It was a miracle that it stayed in the condition that it's in. It wasn't something that hung in the closet. I wore it."

But in October, the practicing Winston-Salem tax lawyer disclosed to his daughter, Beverly Amick, that his beloved jacket was missing, according to the Bangor Daily News.

Wanting to help her dad find his jacket, Amick turned to Facebook and put out a post asking her followers if they had seen it alongside a photo of her dad wearing the jacket at a USA Masters swimming competition with three gold medals around his neck.

"This man would be ecstatic if this well-loved jacket was found," she wrote in the post, according to the Associated Press.

Within four hours, Amick's post was shared more than 1,000 times. Less than a day later, a woman announced that she had found the jacket buried in leaves on her front lawn, the Bangor Daily News reported.

Amick told the outlet that the woman said she had a feeling she shouldn't get rid of the jacket when she discovered it, and later learned from a friend who knew Osborn that he and Amick were desperately searching for it.

The woman had the jacket dry-cleaned before returning it to Osborn on Dec. 3, according to the Bangor Daily News.

"I have to give credit to all these people being so kind," said Osborn, who reportedly celebrated getting his jacket back by ringing the Salvation Army bell at a local store for a few hours on Monday.

Amick told the outlet her family believes Osborn put the jacket "on top of the car and got in the car and drove up the street to go to the local restaurant and it fell off his car into someone’s yard."

"I just know how much it meant to him. I was going to do everything in my power to find it," she added to the Associated Press. "As challenging as this year has been, this has given us some hope."

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In her Facebook post, Amick also wrote, "I appreciate all the kindness and compassion that was shown during the last 24 hours. This experience is certainly a positive event to finish out 2020."

With the jacket back in his possession, Osborn told the Bangor Daily News he feels fortunate to have lived such a long and productive life, which includes being the outdoor state champion in the mile at Mattanawcook Academy in Lincoln and the Maine Intercollegiate Athletic Association outdoor mile champion in 1951.

"I’m awful glad I got it," he said. "I hope you give credit to all the kind people, especially my daughter, who set this whole thing in motion. I know there's good people in the world, but this made me more aware of it."