J.K. Rowling said, "It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities."
A New York woman made all the right choices when she successfully used social media to return a camera full of Super Bowl memories.
The first-grade teacher from Long Island was in Indianapolis to witness the Giants' upset of the Patriots earlier this month when a fellow fan asked her to take a photo of his family with his digital camera. In the excitement of the moment, Mary Ellen McPaul forgot to give the camera back to the random fan -- instead putting it in her purse by mistake.
Once she became aware of her error, the teacher wanted to do the right thing, but she had no idea who the owner of the camera was.
"I was just so sad that this man wasn't going to have photos with his family" McPaul told FOX 59 Indianapolis. "I thought, 'I have to do something.'"
McPaul started a 10-day do-the-right-thing blitz. In addition to "old media," she used social media sites Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. She posted a few images of the unknown family, hoping someone would see or hear about her efforts through the grapevine and recognize the strangers. Her message went viral, reaching Chicago, where the son of the camera owners spotted the images on a Windy City TV station and contacted the Long Island resident.
Plans were quickly made to return the camera to its rightful owner, a man named Tom McGee.
"I was just blown away, blown away she had done that much" said McGee. "It's just very reaffirming. You hear so much bad news and to have something like this happen when I gave up on finding the camera."
The 55-year-old from Oak Park, Ill., had almost given up hope he would ever see the more than 200 images from a Super Bowl weekend spent with his son and a New York firefighter brother. McGee had called Lucas Oil Stadium on 10 consecutive days, thinking someone would have returned it to the lost and found, but obviously that never happened.
McPaul told the New York Daily News she choked up after realizing her efforts paid off: "I had tears in my eyes when I got the email and realized I had found the owner."
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