Pink Parade Honors Jaycee's Return

Community comes together for full-circle support

By Jessica Greene
|  Tuesday, Sep 8, 2009  |  Updated 11:07 AM PDT
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A Glimpse Into the Jaycee Lee Dugard Mystery

AP

Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11.

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When Jaycee Lee Dugard was snatched from her South Lake Tahoe neighborhood in 1991, the community rallied around the family for support, organizing searches for the young, innocent blond-haired, blue-eyed freckle-faced girl, and spreading the word that a kidnapper was on the loose.

Fast-forward 18 years.

Shock, overjoy and disbelief hardly describe the range of emotions that rippled through the Northern California neighborhood and across the world upon word that Jaycee was alive but had been held captive for nearly two decades in a backyard compound by a convicted rapist.

While Jaycee, a woman of 29 now, reconnects with her family in a remote location, the same community that came together all those years ago will gather again to show love for the family.

A sea of pink will flow through the South Lake Tahoe town of Meyers this Sunday for the Pink Ribbon Parade.

That was Jaycee's favorite color, and while some in the town may have feared Jaycee would never be seen again, they always remembered the smiling girl who loved pink.

The South Lake Tahoe chapter of the non-profit Soroptimist International group is organizing the parade, which is expected to draw up to 1,000 people. The same group rallied the community in 2001 to mark the 10th year of Jaycee's disappearance.

Sunday's crowd will follow the same route as the one eight years ago but in reverse, signifying the full circle that Jaycee's story has taken.

Participants in the prade will be wearing pink and carrying pink balloons as they cry, laugh and share stories.

"It is a walk of celebration that she is now safe and in the loving arms of her mother." Sue Novasel, one of the parade organizers said. "It's about our community honoring the family and saying 'We never forgot you, Jaycee'."

South Lake Tahoe Police and members of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department will lead the parade. There will also be a "Fighting Chance" vehicle, which will help teach kids how to avoid becoming victims of abduction.

When the group ends their march, all the pink balloons will be released, symbolizing Jaycee's new freedom.

Pink T-shirts will be sold at the event, with all the proceeds going to a fund established for Jaycee and her family.

If you would like to donate to the Jaycee Dugard Family Fund, send a check to:

Bank of the West -- Acct. #186153508
SISLT/Jaycee Dugard
2161 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

The parade starts at 11 a.m. from the El Dorado County Library.

See our special section for more coverage of the Jaycee Dugard story.

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