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UPDATE | Box at center of bomb scare came from Boston fundraiser
Bainbridge Island received a bit of a scare on Sunday afternoon as a bomb squad investigated a suspicious package in downtown Winslow.
But one local woman knew the bomb squad would come up empty when it sent a robot to investigate a cardboard box left outside the Bainbridge Island Post Office with the message "Pray for Boston" marked on the side.
"I have to chuckle, it was such a set of circumstances that turned into an event," said Terri Kaminski. "That's life sometimes."
Kaminski had seen the package a few days before it prompted Sunday's shutdown of the downtown and sent local law enforcement officers into hyper-security overdrive.
Kaminski said she tossed the box into the garbage container outside the post office in Winslow on Thursday, but added that she doesn't know how it ended up resting on top of a landscape planter in front of the post office three days later.
"That box was floating around between Thursday and Sunday somewhere," Kaminski said.
On Sunday, however, a woman passing by the post office noticed the box and the words printed on the side, "Pray for Boston." Her suspicions raised, she called police. Island police in turn called for a bomb-sniffing dog. But the bomb squad based in Bremerton took note of the words printed on the box and decided to send a bomb disposal unit, complete with robot.
The robot's investigation found that the box was empty, just as Kaminski had left it.
Kaminski had spent Sunday in Bremerton at a fundraiser for Young Life, a Christian youth ministry. A young Boston man acquainted with Kaminski and her family was raising money for the victims of the recent Boston bombing. T-shirts with "Pray for Boston" printed on them were made for the charity and a box of the shirts was sent to Kaminski, and she handed out the shirts at the Young Life fundraiser.
The box, with "Pray for Boston" printed on it, contained "Pray for Boston" T-shirts. The shirts arrived in Winslow on Thursday, but the box was too big to fit into Kaminski's car.
She took the shirts out of the box and tossed it into the trash bin.
When she arrived home after Sunday's fundraiser, she found message after message on Facebook about the box at the post office.
"The second story I read was that there was a box found at T&C and the bomb squad was there and I was like, 'Oh no!'" Kaminski said.
She immediately called the police and spoke with Bainbridge Island Police Lieutenant Chris Jensen, who told her everything was OK.
"He said it was the best exercise in crisis training they could have done," she said.
In the end, Kaminski said she just had to laugh at the situation; that a bomb scare became part of the positive story of Young Life raising money for youth in need.
The ministry works with approximately 100 underprivileged kids a week. On Sunday, Young Life drew about 150 people and raised $30,000 for their work.