Community welcomes Sherri Papini home with Christmas card
REDDING, Calif. - Dozens of people in the Shasta community met on the lawn at the Redding Civic Auditorium to show their support for the Papini family after Sherri's safe return. Many were dressed in pink, Sherri's favorite color, to take a picture for a Christmas card they'll send to the family.
"This was wonderful, I think it brought the community together. We all needed and wanted to support the Papini family," said Debbie Flanigan.
"I thought this was a fabulous idea to have something positive to give to the Papini family," said Terry Hopper.
With mixed feelings and countless rumors on social media since Sherri had been found, those who came out wanted to show the Papini family they stand by them.
"All the negative stuff has been bad, and I don't think the community thinks that way - I know I don't," said Valerie Mayne.
She added that this was personal for her. "I just watch the news and hardly go to any of these events - vigils or anything - like this is the first one I've ever gone to. And I think it was because when I was 16 I was abducted into my own car," said Mayne.
Ransom consultant Cameron Gamble and Mayor Missy McArthur also thanked the community for their help. "Everyone had an absolute purpose in this, and you made it personal and you took it personal, so everyone here gets to pat themselves on the back and say Sherri's home because of our efforts," said Gamble.
"We never lost hope, we kept working, we made it happen. We're so proud of our community, and thank you so much," said McArthur.
But while the suspects are still on the loose, many are still on edge. "I have a small dog, and I used to walk her every night, never afraid. But I don't walk her now," said Flanigan.